Tennessee Strength Coach Leaving For MLB Job

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Tennessee baseball strength and conditioning coach Quentin Eberhardt is leaving UT to become the head major league strength and conditioning coach for the Chicago Cubs, Knoxville News Sentinel’s Mike Wilson first reported and Eberhardt confirmed with RTI Wednesday.

New head coach Tony Vitello tabbed Eberhardt as his strength and conditioning coach in October of 2017. The last hired member of Vitello’s inaugural staff, Eberhardt has been a linchpin in the re-emergence of the Tennessee baseball program.

Vitello has been quick to praise Eberhardt and Tennessee’s physical growth on the field has been evident.  Mainstays in Tennessee’s lineup last season — Evan Russell, Max Ferguson, Jake Rucker, Connor Pavolony — saw major power increases in their time in Knoxville.

In Vitello’s second season in Knoxville, Tennessee hits 20 more home runs and 50 more extra-base hits than the year before his arrival. In the 2021 season that included more games with an extended postseason run, Tennessee hit 55 more home runs and 121 more extra-base hits then the 2017 season.

Eberhardt leaves Knoxville after four seasons to become the head strength and conditioning coach for the Chicago Cubs. The Ohio native had previously worked in professional baseball before coming to Tennessee, serving as strength coach for five minor league teams including four seasons with the New Orleans Baby Cakes.

Vitello now looks to replace Eberhardt as the second move to his staff this offseason. Assistant coach Ross Kivett left for a paid job at Houston this offseason and Vitello pegged former UT pitcher and graduate assistant Richard Jackson as his replacement.

Former Tennessee shortstop Ricky Martinez joined the Vols’ staff as a graduate assistant in the fall.

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.