If Tennessee manages to keep Tony Vitello, it will pay top dollar to do so.

Considering LSU’s baseball program is searching for a new coach following the retirement of Paul Mainieri, Vitello’s name has become a popular one in Baton Rouge as the Tigers have yet to reel in a replacement for Mainieri.

It appears Tennessee is willing to do what it can to keep its coach from leaving for Baton Rouge as the Vols are prepared to make Vitello the nation’s highest-paid coach according to former Tennessee Volunteer receiver and current Knoxville radio personality Jayson Swain.

While Swain does not list any potential contract figures for Vitello, a look at the salaries being paid to the coaches that led their teams to Omaha gives a good indication of the pay increase likely heading Vitello’s way.

These figures come courtesy of USA Today Sports.

  • Vanderbilt — Tim Corbin: $1.2 million (2019 listed salary; 2020 salary not publicly listed)
  • Arizona — Jay Johnson: $856,687
  • Virginia — Brian O’Connor: $765,530
  • Mississippi State — Chris Lemonis: $750,000
  • Texas — David Pierce: $731,250
  • Tennessee — Tony Vitello: $550,000
  • N.C. State — Elliott Avent: $434,833.33
  • Stanford — David Esquer: N/A (Stanford is a private school and therefore not subject to public records laws.)

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Sports betting in Tennessee officially launched on November 1, 2020, and many of the largest sportsbooks are live and operating in the volunteer state. Tennessee is only one of a handful of SEC football states with legalized sports betting.