If You Don't Love Tony Vitello, Your Brain Doesn't Function Properly

As I was thinking about how exactly I wanted to write up Tennessee's national championship, everything I thought about just kept coming back to Tony Vitello. In seven years, he's taken a doormat of a baseball program and not only made it fun to watch for the first time in a long time, but brought it all the way to the pinnacle with no signs of slowing down.

Obviously, the talent the Vols have put on the field over the last few years speaks for itself. Vitello can recruit his ass off and UT will be right at the top of the country on the diamond as long as he's at the helm. But even while Vitello is objectively an exuberant, exciting coach who has turned a barely watchable program into can't-miss television and seems to be beloved by his players, there are still those who choose to hate him for whatever reason.

Sure, he might chest bump an umpire every once in a while. He yells at opposing coaches and makes pointed comments sometimes. He might give you a "suck it" hand motion after winning a national championship.


But I'd argue that the moments when Vitello wears his emotions on his sleeve are some of the best examples of why he's awesome for college baseball. There are plenty of solid baseball coaches throughout the country that nobody has ever heard of and have never gotten people talking about college baseball because they're squares. Whether you love him or hate him, everyone has an opinion on Vitello.

I don't really understand most of the hate for Vitello — unless you're an Arkansas or Vanderbilt fan who's willing to admit it's solely because he kicks your team's ass — but if you really want to dislike him, that's fine. I'm so thankful that he was able to build a program capable of giving Tennessee a moment like it had on Monday night and I look forward to having a few more in the coming years.

Love you, Big Tone.