Chattanooga Times Free Press

Vitello receives extension, mammoth pay raise

- BY DAVID PASCHALL STAFF WRITER

Tennessee athletic director Danny White revealed Tuesday that nine head coaches, including six who oversee spring programs, recently finalized contract extensions.

Receiving extensions were Rick Barnes in men’s basketball, Kellie Harper in women’s basketball, Tony Vitello in baseball, Karen Weekly in softball, Lisa Glenn in rowing, Matt Kredich in swimming and diving, Brennan Webb in men’s golf, Chris Woodruff in men’s tennis and Alison Ojeda in women’s tennis. Weekly’s extension through 2025 had been known since before her husband, Ralph, announced his retirement late last month.

“First, I would like to acknowledg­e the fact that I inherited a very impressive roster of head coaches when I arrived at Tennessee back in January,” White said in a release. “That’s a credit to those who came before me. Extending contracts for successful coaches is one indicator of a healthy athletics program, and we plan on continuing to be aggressive with extensions and rewarding success moving forward.

“I am excited to work with these talented leaders to ensure that our programs continue building toward our bold, ambitious future. We want to support and maintain high graduation rates and championsh­ip aspiration­s — conference and national — across all of our sports. Great days are ahead of us, Vol Nation.”

Tennessee success in spring sports, which was highlighte­d by Vitello’s Vols reaching the College World Series for the first time since 2005, resulted in 470.5 points in the Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup.

That tally was the most for Tennessee in the spring in the 28-year history of the Directors’ Cup.

Vitello’s contract was extended through the 2026 season but financial details were not included in the release. However, D1 Baseball was the first to report that Vitello will be making a whopping $1.5 million annually, nearly tripling the $550,000 he earned this past season in guiding the Vols to a 50-18 record.

Vanderbilt baseball coach Tim Corbin, who led the Commodores to national championsh­ips in 2014 and 2019, made $1.2 million two years ago, according to the USA Today. Corbin’s current salary this past season is not known.

Barnes had his contract extended through the 2025-26 season. The Vols have appeared in each of the past three NCAA tournament­s that have been staged, and Barnes has helped land five five-star signees in the last three years.

Harper has coached the Lady Vols for just two seasons, leading them to a pair of third-place finishes in the Southeaste­rn Conference, and had her contract extended to 2025-26 as well.

FOOTBALL TICKETS ON SALE

Tennessee has put singlegame football tickets on sale at AllVols.com.

The Vols have eight home games this season, hosting Bowling Green (Sept. 2), Pittsburgh (Sept. 11), Tennessee Tech (Sept. 18), South Carolina (Oct. 9), Ole Miss (Oct. 16), Georgia (Nov. 13), South Alabama (Nov. 20) and Vanderbilt (Nov. 27). Tennessee will not only be promoting the start of the Josh Heupel era in 2021 but recognizin­g Neyland Stadium’s centennial celebratio­n.

Tennessee is continuing to sell mini-plans and season tickets, with season tickets as low as $300 with the Vol Pass. Fans can customize their mini-plan by selecting any four games in a variety of sections for one price.

 ?? AP FILE PHOTO/WADE PAYNE ?? Tennessee baseball coach Tony Vitello has received an extension and a significan­t raise after guiding the Volunteers to a 50-18 record and a berth in the College World Series.
AP FILE PHOTO/WADE PAYNE Tennessee baseball coach Tony Vitello has received an extension and a significan­t raise after guiding the Volunteers to a 50-18 record and a berth in the College World Series.

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