Tennessee Vols athletic director Danny White made a comment this week that leads me to believe the future of UT athletics is in great hands.
White, who took over as Tennessee’s athletic director after Phillip Fulmer retired in January, took time on Wednesday to discuss the future of Vols baseball (among other things).
The biggest topic of discussion on Rocky Top right now is whether or not Tony Vitello will remain Tennessee’s baseball coach.
Vitello is a hot commodity after leading the Vols to an SEC East division title this past season.
But it appears likely — for now — that Vitello will stay at Tennessee (especially after Texas A&M hired TCU’s Jim Schlossnagle this week).
For Vitello, the decision to stay in Knoxville will be about more than just money. Vitello has a vision for Tennessee’s baseball program. And it’s important that his vision aligns with White’s.
Fortunately for Vol fans, it sounds like White’s vision is essentially whatever makes Vitello happy.
White was asked on Wednesday about the possibility of Tennessee playing games downtown.
“I’m committed to whatever our baseball coach tells us is the best thing for the program,” said White.
Vitello has made it clear in the past that he’d prefer to play on campus.
White’s comment shows that he’s not going to try to overthink things. Instead of forcing ideas on his coaches, White is going to listen to what his coaches have to say. And then he will make his decisions.
This is a refreshing approach from White.
Fulmer was stuck in the past a bit. The three athletic directors before Fulmer — John Currie, Dave Hart, and Mike Hamilton — wanted to do things their way. White, however, is clearly open to healthy discussions about how to handle things on Rocky Top.
That’s a great sign for the future of Vols athletics. A common-sense approach that focuses on the needs/wants of those running their respective programs is something Tennessee’s needed for a long time.
Featured image via UTSports.com