Todd Raleigh keeps status issue to himself

UT coach doesn't address future with team

Todd Raleigh, Tennessee baseball coach.

Todd Raleigh, Tennessee baseball coach.

Auburn at Tennessee

Records: Tennessee (23-28, 5-22 SEC); Auburn (28-25, 13-14 SEC)

Thursday

* Time: 6 p.m.

* Pitchers: LHP Steven Gruver (4-7, 4.08) vs. RHP Jon Luke Jacobs (1-3, 3.44)

* Promotions: Thirsty Thursday: All 20 oz. drinks are $1; Trading Card Set #5 Giveaway to first 500 fans.

Friday

* Time: 6 p.m.

* Pitchers: RHP Nick Blount (1-4, 5.52) vs. RHP Derek Varnadore (5-2, 3.60)

* Promotions: Dollar Hot Dog Night; Mascot Night; Free skin cancer/stroke screenings courtesy of UT Medical Center; Show your UTMC ID and receive free admission.

Saturday

Time: 2 p.m.

* Pitchers: TBA vs. TBA

* Promotions: Senior Day ceremony prior to game; Kids 17 & under get in free and will receive a coupon for free food and drink. They can also run the bases and get autographs from the team on the field post-game; BINGO Day: Play for a chance to win free Chick-fil-a for a year; Badges and Ladders: All police, fire fighters and EMT receive free admission with ID.

Mike Hamilton never issued a public ultimatum.

The Tennessee athletic director probably didn't really need to explicitly outline the bar for his baseball coach anyway.

After three years without postseason action of any kind under Todd Raleigh, in some ways the standard for his fourth season was implied before it even began. And with a berth in the SEC tournament long since out of reach for the Vols before the season-ending series with Auburn that starts this evening at Lindsey Nelson Stadium, perhaps all that's left to play for is Raleigh's future and team pride.

And in the aftermath of another disheartening non-conference loss to Belmont on Tuesday night, Raleigh made clear those two issues should remain separate.

"I've never addressed it (the future) to the team one time," Raleigh said. "I just don't think it's the place to do that. These are college kids, they're not professional. They need to go out and play and they need to stay focused on what they're doing.

"I'm a professional, and I'm going to show up every day, chop wood all day long and work as hard as I can. We'll be as prepared this weekend against Auburn as we always are, and I expect the same from (the players). It's just one of those things, and I don't bring them in on that situation. I've never once, and I never will. It's not for them."

The ultimate decision will have a direct impact on the Vols (23-28, 5-22 SEC) going forward, and like his preseason stance, Hamilton hasn't made any open declarations of which way he might be leaning at this point. He declined comment about the coaching situation in a text message to the News Sentinel this week, but Hamilton has spoken on several occasions about his high expectations on the diamond - specifically because baseball has the advantage of a fertile local recruiting area that he says should lend itself to at least being competitive in the league.

"The goals haven't changed," Hamilton said before the season. "Ultimately we want our baseball program to be consistently in the SEC and NCAA tournaments.

"I don't ever project forward or anything like that, because you never know what's going to happen over so many games. But I think Todd is a guy who came here knowing what the expectations are, and I think he's excited about those expectations and feels good about his ability to meet them with the team we have."

Instead, Year Four under Raleigh will end in the same way as the previous three, with the Vols on the outside of the top eight spots in the SEC - the minimum requirement for the conference tournament and generally enough to get teams into the NCAA tournament.

UT rarely threatened to qualify this year, battling injuries, poor hitting, inconsistent pitching and then falling apart down the stretch with all those issues contributing to the 11-game conference losing streak it takes into the final three games of the season with the Tigers (28-25, 13-14 SEC).

"I mean, you've got to finish it out," Raleigh said. "We started great, and I knew going into the year we were going to have to have some things go our way, you know, and with injuries, I feel like if we had stayed healthy it would have been a little different.

"I'm just staying focused on that right now, you know what I mean? We're banged up, we only hit 11 people before the game, most people hit 16 in the batting practice groups, and we have to deal with that, too. But you still have to play, it doesn't matter what your situation is. I'm just staying focused on that right now. I'm not worried about stuff like (the future) right now, I'm really not. I don't have time for that."

Austin Ward may be reached at 865-342-6274. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Vols_Beat and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/ward.

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Comments » 57

FWBVol writes:

Raleigh said, "We'll be as prepared this weekend against Auburn as we always are."

For some reason that doesn't instill a lot of confidence in me.

SummittsCourt writes:

Raleigh is as clueless as clueless gets.

Oenoboy writes:

Thanks for your efforts Coach but your time is up. Good luck in your future endeavors.

Rookie2 writes:

I didn't realize our team was so banged up. That changes everything. I'll just disregard CTR's 28 previous excuses for why we've lost this year.

FearlessFreep writes:

The only thing I want to hear from TR is "I am resigning my position as head baseball coach at the University of Tennessee."

tree_em_smokey writes:

I could care less for baseball, just not that in to it, but Raleigh must go. He is a disgrace to this program. Hope we have our sights on a good coach! GBO!!!

us43137415#376444 writes:

Sorry.. I do not have much sympathy for Coach Todd Raleigh. I never have. Not for coaches. They know what's expected of them.

If CTR knew the expectations going into this season, improvement should have been instantaneous and immediate. He should have been coaching like this was his last season.. if he had the ability to do it.

Instead, he coached like Delmonico did his last season.. arrogant and lackluster. This will, indeed be Raleigh's last season, with no improvement whatsoever. It cannot be anything less than his last season.

What he has said in the above story, he has said the previous 3 seasons (so has Hamilton). His broken record is now playing a 4th time. It now makes him out to be a big, fat liar.

The team has suffered from his ineptness.. his inability to help them adjust to certain game situations. Good coaches will have players adjust to fastballs and changes from a given pitcher.. Good coaches will rein in a hacker who swings at every single pitch.. Good coaches will change the plate stance of players who cannot catch up to certain pitches. Good coaches will notice players not hustling enough.

Raleigh and his coaches and assistants have not done any of this. What they have done, is let the players find their own styles. You cannot do that in college baseball.. you have to mold players; you find your own style when you get to the minors and majors (by that time, you have all the mechanics in place to find your style easy enough).

If Raleigh is not fired, I'll still like and respect the UT players.. but there are plenty of nearby JUCO games I can attend, with coaches who know how to coach.. Walters State, Chattanooga State, even Motlow State, Wesleyan..
They would love to get my popcorn money, and they just might.

Raleigh writes:

I hereby resign 'cause nobody 'round here gots da balls to fire my sorry arse.

Raleigh writes:

I have just changed my facebook status to "FIRED"

Raleigh writes:

2011 WILL GO DOWN IN HISTORY AS THE WORST YEAR IN UT ATHLETICS HISTORY AND I'M DANG PROUD TO HAVE BEEN A PART OF IT

Greatbasicswin writes:

When you get on a losing streak players start pressing. Most of them probably lost more games this year than they had their entire high school career. A good coach sees it and lets them know we dont need the spectacular play we need the routine one again and again. These guys pressed they made a ton of errors and have lost heart. Coaching baseball is more than teaching skills it's knowing and understanding the mental makeup of every player and knowing what to do to get the best each player has to offer. We obviously dont have that coach.

newportvol writes:

Should the new university president and the big donors allow Mikey hamilton the chance to make another hire..?? I vote no

LJS1984 writes:

Hamilton will probably make another sub .500 coach a whole lot of money for a couple of seasons. If I'm coaching anywhere in the country (little league, junior league, the local VFW) and I can talk on a third grade level I'm applying for the position. Just feed Hamilton something half intelligent and he will lap it up. Compliment his shoes and you may get the job. Heck just make up a resume and sweet talk him and sound a little smarter than him (not hard) and you got the job. If Raleigh and Kiffin could do it, anybody can do it.

Pullingguard writes:

The flop of the year would be if Hamilton for some reason decides to keep Raleigh. Don't erase that from happening for Raleigh has improved everything around the program except the W/L of the team and Hamilton acknowledges that improvement. Anyway, I hope they make change.

volspaws writes:

Todd Raleigh will be remembered as the Wade Houston of UT baseball--without the All American son

LJS1984 writes:

I thought that we needed a fresh start when FULMER was the football coach. I didn't think that he needed to be fired in the middle of a football season though. How can Mike Hamilton fire a Hall of Fame football coach in the middle of a season and not fire a losing baseball coach (who has lost a whole lot more than Fulmer ever did the last four seasons)? In other words why was Raleigh not gone weeks ago? I guess Hamilton didn't want to embarrass his guy, his hire? Or is Hamilton even making the decisions anymore? Hopefully it's the latter and Hamilton is just a lame duck until the NCAA meetings, after which he finally gets FIRED?

FWBVol writes:

It seems as if Mike Hamilton is under some sort of gag order from his bosses. He has commented on coaches that weren't doing nearly as poorly as Todd Raleigh and now he climbs into the cone of silence.

volzrock54 writes:

in response to FWBVol:

Raleigh said, "We'll be as prepared this weekend against Auburn as we always are."

For some reason that doesn't instill a lot of confidence in me.

If Raleigh prepares the team like he always does, you can pretty much bank on another loss..

VOLunTEAR writes:

Baseball, Mom, and Apple Pie. This hurts too much to comment on. Sad.

fanisshort4fanatic writes:

Are there any coaches out there that the Vols could target? If so, who? Clearly the Raleigh experiment has been a disaster from the word go...I would love to see us take a run at landing Coastal Carolina's Gary Gilmore. The guy is a monster recruiter and is a proven winner. He's turned CCU into a big fish in a little pond, but the Chanticleers have not only dominated league play, they've knocked off the big boys consistently...Fought USC to the end in the Super Regionals, which they hosted last year in Myrtle Beach. Just a thought...Go for GILMORE!

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to volman2010:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

you are as clueless as raleigh is.

Raleigh writes:

Fire all the big donors!! They have been calling all the shots and look at where it has gotten us!! UT athletics would be better off without their involvement. The money will still be accepted, but no more strings attached, please! Their meddling more than offsets any benefits of the donation.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to us43137415#376444:

Sorry.. I do not have much sympathy for Coach Todd Raleigh. I never have. Not for coaches. They know what's expected of them.

If CTR knew the expectations going into this season, improvement should have been instantaneous and immediate. He should have been coaching like this was his last season.. if he had the ability to do it.

Instead, he coached like Delmonico did his last season.. arrogant and lackluster. This will, indeed be Raleigh's last season, with no improvement whatsoever. It cannot be anything less than his last season.

What he has said in the above story, he has said the previous 3 seasons (so has Hamilton). His broken record is now playing a 4th time. It now makes him out to be a big, fat liar.

The team has suffered from his ineptness.. his inability to help them adjust to certain game situations. Good coaches will have players adjust to fastballs and changes from a given pitcher.. Good coaches will rein in a hacker who swings at every single pitch.. Good coaches will change the plate stance of players who cannot catch up to certain pitches. Good coaches will notice players not hustling enough.

Raleigh and his coaches and assistants have not done any of this. What they have done, is let the players find their own styles. You cannot do that in college baseball.. you have to mold players; you find your own style when you get to the minors and majors (by that time, you have all the mechanics in place to find your style easy enough).

If Raleigh is not fired, I'll still like and respect the UT players.. but there are plenty of nearby JUCO games I can attend, with coaches who know how to coach.. Walters State, Chattanooga State, even Motlow State, Wesleyan..
They would love to get my popcorn money, and they just might.

We need to hire Walters State's coach. Dude ain't no joke. Walters State would stomp the guts out of Raleigh and the Tennessee "Lumberjacks". Keep chopping wood Todd, keep chopping wood.

Raleigh writes:

in response to volman2010:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Thanks Volman, your envelope with an undisclosed amount of cash will be delivered to you as promised.

flatrock writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

you are as clueless as raleigh is.

I am LMAO...

VolunteerLifer writes:

Coaches are paid to win. They can get away with not winning for a couple of years while they build their program and recruiting network, but sooner or later they must show improving results in the win column. And they cannot get away with being non-competitive for very long. By those simple standards, Raleigh is toast.

olevole writes:

1. Our Vols are now ranked 129 and last in the
SEC. There is no excuse for this.

2. Clay Green is a true former Vol who is the top assistant at No. 31 ETSU. He could head a staff with Fred Corral and Jeff Pickler. They would get every top prospect at this end of the state, some from midstate, and add some talent from California and Florida and we would roll again. Larry Simcox (Rod's top assistant could do the same thing).

3. With our athletic department and top folks focussed on dealing with out of control stuff in basketball and football in the upcoming NCAA hearing, it probably is not a good time for a coaching change in baseball. It would make our AD look bad and he probably won't make a good hire.

pappyq writes:

in response to tree_em_smokey:

I could care less for baseball, just not that in to it, but Raleigh must go. He is a disgrace to this program. Hope we have our sights on a good coach! GBO!!!

at least you admit that you could care less...most of the people on here just want to whine about something...they're just waiting for football to start so that they can whine about Coach Dooley

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to olevole:

1. Our Vols are now ranked 129 and last in the
SEC. There is no excuse for this.

2. Clay Green is a true former Vol who is the top assistant at No. 31 ETSU. He could head a staff with Fred Corral and Jeff Pickler. They would get every top prospect at this end of the state, some from midstate, and add some talent from California and Florida and we would roll again. Larry Simcox (Rod's top assistant could do the same thing).

3. With our athletic department and top folks focussed on dealing with out of control stuff in basketball and football in the upcoming NCAA hearing, it probably is not a good time for a coaching change in baseball. It would make our AD look bad and he probably won't make a good hire.

Not a bad choice IMO. But Ken Campbell (Walters State) is the all time winningest coach at ETSU with tons of head coaching experience with florida ties. 4 JUCO WorldSeries in 10 yrs and is on his way to his 5th in his 11th (this season). The only reason Campbell left ETSU was because Walters State was FAR more willing to support him in building an ELITE program. And he has done so, building them into a top 3 JUCO program nationally, arguably the best JUCO in the nation. ETSU only got serious once they realized they lost the best coach they had ever had.

MikeInTN writes:

Hopefully a new AD will make the next baseball hire!!!!!!

Outdated writes:

The VOL NATION is just restless now..changes come when apathy sets in at UT..check our history..If the top dogs want to wait for apathy before changes they are on track..

2011Karma writes:

What goes around comes around!

bigdisbig writes:

Raleigh seems to be a good guy with great intentions but so was Buzz Peterson. Todd is not capable of recruiting top players...maybe because UT is not considered a baseball school or even close yet they need to at least be competitive and they are not even close. If Raleigh is retained yet another year then it will prove that UT does not care if baseball is competitive or not. Raleigh may be a good coach in another venue but he is obviously in over his head in the SEC. I wish him well in his future for his days are obviously numbered as is Hamilton's.

alfrizzle097 writes:

Amazes me how strongly people feel about Raleigh that don't care about baseball a lick.

I think its a little strong to say he's a disgrace to the university when he's always comported himself like a gentleman and actually came out of the NCAA investigation without any charges against the program.

Probably time for Raleigh to go, but I'm content to leave that up to the people that care about the nonrevenue sport.

eduardo writes:

going, going GONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

FarmerVol writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

Raleigh is as clueless as clueless gets.

Reminds me of the Dymanic Duo except it is the Clueless Duo - Raleigh and Hameign

PHAT_VOL writes:

Delmonico for Raleigh quite a decision. Fireing CPF in the middle of the season and replacing him with Kiffen quite a decision. Letting Coach Peal stay on quite a decision. Deciding to let Raleigh stay on quite a decision. What has happened to our athletic department?
GO VOLS !!!

volnscarolina writes:

Being a Vol fan in USC territory during baseball season is completely frustrating. The differences between to two programs could not be any more polar. Raleigh can't even interest any local talent and S. Carolina lives by it. Raleigh makes injury excuses and USC finds a way to plug players into spots vacated by All-Americans and generate winning results (i.e. Steven Neff). It all boils down to excuses vs. expectations. USC gets it because Tanner believes in his players and expects great things from them. Raleigh has proven he never will achieve a similar level because he can't hold himself accountable for the current situation.

BUMMIN (Inactive) writes:

in response to fanisshort4fanatic:

Are there any coaches out there that the Vols could target? If so, who? Clearly the Raleigh experiment has been a disaster from the word go...I would love to see us take a run at landing Coastal Carolina's Gary Gilmore. The guy is a monster recruiter and is a proven winner. He's turned CCU into a big fish in a little pond, but the Chanticleers have not only dominated league play, they've knocked off the big boys consistently...Fought USC to the end in the Super Regionals, which they hosted last year in Myrtle Beach. Just a thought...Go for GILMORE!

Gary Gilmore is a great coach in the Big South Conference.... However, he has never made it to the College World Series. Why not go after someone who has some World Series experience instead of someone who is getting beat by other SEC schools every year..

BUMMIN (Inactive) writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

We need to hire Walters State's coach. Dude ain't no joke. Walters State would stomp the guts out of Raleigh and the Tennessee "Lumberjacks". Keep chopping wood Todd, keep chopping wood.

Would he bring the steroids with him as well?

BUMMIN (Inactive) writes:

in response to Makeing_The_Call:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I think I was at that game..... Is it not the game where that player chucked his bat from the batters box and hit a shield in front of the bat girls????

Volunatic writes:

in response to Raleigh:

I have just changed my facebook status to "FIRED"

You crack me up, Coach.

Volunatic writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors_Daddy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You need to go back to trolling school, or check your Internet Explorer sarcasm detection settings.

us43137415#376444 writes:

in response to BUMMIN:

Gary Gilmore is a great coach in the Big South Conference.... However, he has never made it to the College World Series. Why not go after someone who has some World Series experience instead of someone who is getting beat by other SEC schools every year..

Because they cost too much.

Think money, dude.

The low end of the pay scale.

This is Tennessee.

Volunatic writes:

I'm rooting for Alan Cockrell to be the next UT baseball coach.

FWBVol writes:

in response to alfrizzle097:

Amazes me how strongly people feel about Raleigh that don't care about baseball a lick.

I think its a little strong to say he's a disgrace to the university when he's always comported himself like a gentleman and actually came out of the NCAA investigation without any charges against the program.

Probably time for Raleigh to go, but I'm content to leave that up to the people that care about the nonrevenue sport.

I agree that there are probably people on this forum that don't care about baseball, but there are plenty of us that love the game dearly. Baseball and football are my two favorite sports, and I, for one, would much rather watch baseball than basketball.

At many schools, such as LSU, Florida State and South Carolina, baseball is a money maker. No, it will never pull in the bucks that football and basketball do, but it can be self-supportive and then some with the right coach and team.

I haven't lived in Knoxville since Raleigh was hired four years ago, but I've read that he has some temper problems and has alienated more than one person.

It seems that Raleigh has Buzz Peterson's coaching touch with Jerry Green's people skills.

There are a lot of sports that I don't care about as much as I do baseball, football and basketball, but I still want to see Tennessee do well in these sports because I love UT.

us43137415#376444 writes:

in response to volman2010:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Let's hope not.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to BUMMIN:

Would he bring the steroids with him as well?

Not sure what you are trying to say?

VolGrad writes:

You may be a great guy, Todd, but at some point you need to wake up and smell the coffee.

Defrag, shutdown, 18 holes, cold boot and run a full system scan. Repeat as necessary.

Pompey writes:

....I hold Raleigh only partially responsible for the last four years. Hamilton put this man in a position where he was clearly out of his depth....I don't remember men’s athletics at UT being at this level of disarray..... How long are they going to allow this to go on?

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