Vols Announce Contract Extensions For Several Coaches Including Tony Vitello
(utsports.com) Tennessee Vice Chancellor/Director of Athletics Danny White on Tuesday announced that nine head coaches recently finalized contract extensions.
Six of the nine coaches who earned extensions lead teams whose championship season takes place in the spring, while three of the recently extended coaches oversee winter sports.
The baseball Vols’ recent run to the NCAA College World Series capped a highly successful spring semester for Tennessee Athletics. In fact, the combined 470.5 Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup points collected by Tennessee teams this spring stands as UT’s highest spring points total in the 28-year history of the Directors’ Cup.
“First, I’d 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. “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.”
All told in 2020-21, 11 Tennessee teams finished their season ranked in the national top 25. And Tennessee was one of only three Division I schools nationwide to advance to the NCAA Tournament in men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis, rowing, softball and baseball.
Rick Barnes | Men’s Basketball
Barnes has led the Volunteers to appearances in each of the last three NCAA Tournaments, while restoring Tennessee’s status among the nation’s top collegiate basketball programs. Tennessee’s recruiting under Barnes has risen to unprecedented heights, as he has signed five five-star prospects in the last three years, and Tennessee’s 2021 signing class was rated as the third-best in the country.
Barnes’ contract was extended by two years and now runs through the 2025-26 season.
Lisa Glenn | Rowing
The longest tenured of Tennessee’s active head coaches, Glenn recently led the UT rowing program back to the NCAA Championships for the ninth time during her 23-year tenure, and the Lady Vols turned in a top-20 finish.
Glenn’s contract now runs through June of 2024.
Kellie Harper | Women’s Basketball
In just her second year at Tennessee, Harper led the Lady Vols to their best back-to-back SEC finishes (third/third) since the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons and became just the second women’s coach in history to direct four different programs to the NCAA Division I Tournament, helping UT finish 13th in the AP Poll for its first year-end ranking since 2017-18.
Harper’s two-year extension brings her contract term through the 2025-26 campaign.
Matt Kredich | Swimming & Diving
Kredich has now led Tennessee’s combined men’s and women’s swimming & diving program for a full decade. Prior to the impacts of COVID-19 in 2020, Kredich guided the Lady Vols to their first-ever SEC Championship. At the NCAA Championships, the Tennessee women finished seventh in 2018, eighth in 2019 and 10th in 2021. Tennessee’s men are riding a streak of four straight NCAA top-20 finishes, including back-to-back 11th-place finishes in 2018 and 2019.
Kredich’s contract has been extended through the 2025-26 season.
Alison Ojeda | Women’s Tennis
In her fifth season overseeing the women’s tennis program at her alma mater, Ojeda guided the Lady Vols to a final ITA ranking of No. 18 this spring—the program’s highest year-end ranking since 2011.
UT posted nine shutouts and earned nine wins against ranked opponents this spring. And Ojeda has led Tennessee to national top-25 finishes in each of the last three years.
Tony Vitello | Baseball
As evidenced by his 2021 NCBWA National Coach of the Year award, Vitello has revitalized Tennessee baseball. The Volunteers recently completed one of the most successful seasons in program history, winning 50 games for just the third time and advancing to the College World Series for the first time since 2005. Tennessee also hosted an NCAA regional for the first time since 2005 and hosted its first-ever super regional, sweeping LSU to punch its ticket to Omaha for the fifth time in program history.
Under Vitello’s guidance, UT this spring won its first SEC Eastern Division title since 1997 after posting a 20-10 record in league play and winning eight of its 10 conference series, including all five series on the road for the first time ever. Tennessee also made its first appearance in the SEC Tournament championship game since 1995 and has advanced to back-to-back NCAA regionals for the first time since 2004 and 2005.
Vitello’s restructured contract runs through the 2026 season.
Brennan Webb | Men’s Golf
In three seasons on Rocky Top, Webb has led a quick ascension of the Tennessee men’s golf program. During the 2020-21 season, the Vols qualified for NCAA Championships for the first time since 2013 and posted their best win percentage since the 2008-09 season. Under the direction of Webb, Tennessee has claimed five tournament titles.
Webb signed an extension through June of 2026.
Karen Weekly | Softball
It was announced on June 23 that after 20 years as co-head coach of the Lady Vols softball program, Karen Weekly would assume all head coaching duties for the program she helped build over the last two decades.
Alongside her husband, recently retired Ralph Weekly, Karen Weekly has guided Tennessee to seven NCAA College World Series appearances, and the Lady Vols have hosted an NCAA Regional for 16 consecutive seasons.
Karen Weekly‘s contract extension runs through the 2025 season.
Chris Woodruff | Men’s Tennis
The Volunteers’ men’s tennis team made the deepest postseason run of all Tennessee teams this past year, as Woodruff guided the Vols to the semifinals of the NCAA Championships. That exciting NCAA run—which also featured an NCAA doubles crown won by Adam Walton and Pat Harper—was preceded by an SEC Tournament championship.
After Tennessee finished the season ranked No. 4 nationally, Woodruff was named the 2021 ITA Ohio Valley Region Coach of the Year. His contract extension runs through June of 2026.