Tony Vitello Signs Contract Extension Through 2026

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Photo By Caleb Jones/Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee baseball coach Tony Vitello has signed a contract extension that raises his salary to $1.5 million a year and keeps him under contract through the 2026 season.

Included in the extension is a minimum yearly salary pool of $900,000 per year. 

If Tennessee fired Vitello before June 30, 2024, the university would owe Vitello the full remainder of his salary. If fired after that date the university would owe Vitello 50% of his salary.

Vitello’s buyout to leave is $1,000,000 before June 30, 2023, $750,000 between June 30, 2023, and June 30, 2024, and $250,000 between June 30, 2024, and June 30, 2025. If Vitello were to leave after July 1, 2025, he would owe Tennessee nothing.

Tennessee is coming off a 50-18 season that saw it reach the College World Series for the first time since 2005.

Making it back to the sport’s pinnacle wasn’t the only accomplishment in the Vols’ surprising 2021 season. Tennessee won its most SEC games since 1995 and its most SEC series since 1994. 

The Vols went undefeated in road SEC series for the first time since 1994, won the SEC East for the first time since 1997, hosted a regional for the first time since 2005, and hosted their first-ever super regional.

In four years and three full seasons, Vitello has taken Tennessee to the NCAA Tournament twice and rejuvenated a program that spent the last decade in the dumpster of the SEC.

Since Vitello’s second season, Tennessee has posted a 105-41 record pushing his career record to 134-68.

In the four years prior to Vitello’s arrival, Tennessee went 111-102. In the 10 years before Tennessee’s arrival, the Vols didn’t make the NCAA Tournament once and never won more than 12 conference games.

Vitello’s contract extension comes on the final day of the 2021 MLB Draft. Seven current Vols were drafted in the 20-round draft. The number marked the most Tennessee players ever selected in the first 20 rounds of the draft.

The Vols also had two prep signees drafted, a junior college transfer selected and Missouri transfer Seth Halvorsen drafted.

Ryan Schumpert is a senior at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since the moment he stepped on campus. He just completed a three-year stint with the Daily Beacon, the last two of which as the Sports Editor. Ryan also spent last three years at Volquest providing strong Tennessee baseball coverage of Tony Vitello's resurgent program. While the bulk of Ryan's responsibilities involved beat coverage and writing, he also recorded podcasts for both the Beacon and Volquest. Did we leave out the part about Ryan interning for the Smokies? Ryan's work ethic, versatility, and strong writing skills are but three of the reasons why Vol Nation will be hearing from Ryan for years to come.