Tony Vitello Pulls A Mike Leach During College World Series Loss To LSU, Removes Seating Options From Dugout

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There are different ways to pay tribute to Mike Leach, even if you aren’t trying or had the intention. This was the case for Tennessee baseball coach Tony Vitello on Tuesday night against LSU in the College World Series.

Leach, the late Mississippi State football coach, had so many funny moments during his time coaching college football, but his last one came this past season against Auburn. The Bulldogs led 24-6 at halftime, but came out in the third quarter looking flat, as the Tigers cut the lead to 24-19.

Highly upset with his offense, Leach went to the wide receivers area on the sidelines and folded up every one of their chairs, placing them on the ground. This was a video that would live on forever, as another Mike Leach teachable moment, or just frustration. Mississippi State would go on to win the game 39-33, but his postgame quote made the sideline moment even better.

“We were in that period of time where it sure seemed to me we were a lot more interested in sitting in that chair than being on the football field or rooting for our teammates,” Mike Leach said postgame. “So it was my opinion that we oughta be rooting for our teammates rather than kind of lounge it because we pretty much had everything but playing cards over there, so I thought it was time to move on from that.”

Tony Vitello Tried To Get His Bench More Involved, Pulled A Leach

Whether or not Tony Vitello had seen the Mike Leach video last year is not the point. The fact that something so small as the Vols head coach trying to motivate his team by pulling all the seats would remind us of ‘The Pirate’.

This moment for Tennessee came late in the game when the Vols trailed 2-0, with not much going their way. So Vitello took every bench and flipped it upside down and put them in a spot in the dugout, trying to get his team to rally.

The best part of this video is that it quickly reminded folks of the late head coach, during a baseball game in Omaha. Mike Leach left us with hundreds of great memories, including his wild interviews, media day rants and military stories. Not only did he change the way offenses are called around the college football, his moves along the sidelines left a lasting impression on fans of the sport.

Tonight proved that Mike Leach will never be forgotten, during a College World Series game between two SEC foes. The motivation tactic ultimately didn’t work, as Tennessee lost 5-0 and was eliminated from the CWS. But no matter…

Long live ‘The Pirate’.

Written by Trey Wallace

Trey Wallace is the host of The Trey Wallace Podcast that focuses on a mixture of sports, culture, entertainment along with his perspective on everything from College Football to the College World Series.

Wallace has been covering college sports for 15 years, starting off while attending the University of South Alabama. He’s broken some of the biggest college stories including the Florida football “Credit Card Scandal” along with the firing of Jim McElwin and Kevin Sumlin. Wallace also broke one of the biggest stories in college football in 2020 around the NCAA investigation into recruiting violations against Tennessee football head coach Jeremy Pruitt.

Wallace also appears on radio across seven different states breaking down that latest news in college sports.

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