Part 3: 'Fulmer is all about tell me what you have to do to get to a championship level'

Part 3: 'Fulmer is all about tell me what you have to do to get to a championship level'

Baseball

Part 3: 'Fulmer is all about tell me what you have to do to get to a championship level'

Part 1: Vitello’s working relationship with Pruitt

Part 2: FieldTurf a game changer for Vitello

KNOXVILLE — Tennessee’s baseball season is set to begin February 15.

The Vols finished 29-27 (12-18, SEC) in Tony Vitello’s first season as UT’s head coach.

With the 2019 season two months away, Vitello sat down with Vols Wire to discuss a variety of topics in a three-part series.

In the third-part, Vitello discussed the benefit of having Phillip Fulmer as UT’s director of athletics.

Fulmer was hired on Dec. 1, 2017, and after one full year in his position, Fulmer has made it clear that he wants to provide anything and everything to his coaches that is needed to succeed at UT.

Fulmer’s desire to succeed stems back to his introductory press conference when he was named athletics director as UT was searching for a football coach.

“Our football program has the history, the facilities, the tradition and the resources to play with anyone, any time and that’s what we’re going to do again,” Fulmer said.

His remarks also pertain to other sports at Tennessee, including baseball.

Fulmer’s resource comment relates to UT having money to place sports programs in position to succeed.

For baseball, providing money for a grass field to artificial turf conversion on Robert M. Lindsay Field this offseason is an example of Fulmer giving the green light for each UT sports program to be in a good position.

The 126,000 square-foot surface that is currently being installed is a product of FieldTurf, the industry leader in artificial turf.

“Fulmer is all about tell me what you have to do to get to a championship level,” Vitello told Vols Wire.

The conversion to FieldTurf will benefit UT’s baseball program in player development and in recruiting — two areas Fulmer understands that are crucial for success.

“He is all about recruiting and wanting to get involved and to also be informed in what is going on,” Vitello said of Fulmer. “But there is an asterisk to all that. He has obviously been a coach and sees things through a coach’s eyes, so he is always good about asking questions to make sure it is what you want to do, or have you thought about this or that.

“He has really helped me feel good about the situation because it is a big move and it is easy for an assistant coach to sit there and say this is what we need to do, but ultimately Coach Fulmer and I are the ones that have to make the final decision. He has more of a mature thought process to it that helps my peace of mind in knowing that it is well thought out and we are going to have no regrets, and it is truly the best thing for us to do.”

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