Vitello Tabbed ABCA Southeast Regional Coach of the Year

Vitello Tabbed ABCA Southeast Regional Coach of the Year

ABCA/ATEC Region Coaches of the Year

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee head baseball coach Tony Vitello was named the Southeast Regional Coach of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association and ATEC on Tuesday after leading the Volunteers to one of their best seasons in program history.

UT’s fifth-year skipper led the Big Orange to a historic season that included a program-record 57 victories and a pair of SEC titles.

The Vols were one win away from making their second consecutive College World Series appearance and won both the SEC regular-season and SEC tournament championships for the first time since 1995. UT posted its best SEC record in program history, going 25-5 en route to winning the league’s regular-season title by six games, and the eastern division crown by 10 games, both of which are the largest margins in conference history.

Vitello also guided the program to its first No. 1 national ranking in any poll during week six of the season before settling in as the unanimous top-ranked team in week seven. UT was ranked No. 1 in at least one poll during 12 weeks of the season and spent 10 weeks as the nation’s unanimous top-ranked team.

The Big Orange recorded one of the most dominant regular seasons in the history of Division I college baseball and led the nation in numerous statistical categories while setting a handful of program records along the way, including new marks for home runs (158), runs scored (613), RBIs (574), slugging percentage (.604), ERA (2.51), WHIP (1.00), opponent batting average (.199), strikeouts (695), strikeouts/nine innings (10.5) and walks allowed/nine innings (2.48), among others.

Tennessee became the first NCAA Division I team since at least 1972 to lead the country in both home runs and ERA. The Vols’ 158 long balls shattered the previous program record of 107 while ranking fourth in NCAA Division I history, including the most by any team in the BBCOR bat era (since 2011). UT also led the country in runs scored (613), slugging percentage (.604), strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.24), WHIP (1.00), walks allowed/nine innings (2.48) and win/loss percentage (.864).

Vitello was named the Perfect Game National Coach of the Year for the second season in a row after the Vols set a program record with eight players earning postseason All-America honors, including four first-team selections, which was also a school record. Tennessee had four players earn Freshmen All-America honors, as well.

The ABCA/ATEC Regional and National Coaches of the Year are selected by members of the ABCA All-America & Coach of the Year committees in all nine divisions: NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA, NJCAA Divisions I, II and III, Pacific Association Division and high school.

The 2022 ABCA/ATEC National Coaches of the Year in all divisions will be announced Wednesday, June 29. The complete list of Regional Coaches of the Year can be found HERE.

-UT Athletics

Vols HC – Tony Vitello / Credit: UT Athletics