Elander Promoted To Associate Head Coach For Vols Baseball

Thursday, August 11, 2022
Josh Elander
Josh Elander
- photo by UT
 Tennessee head baseball coach Tony Vitello announced on Thursday the promotion of Josh Elander to associate head coach.

Elander has served as an assistant coach as well as the recruiting coordinator for the Volunteers during all five seasons that Vitello has been head coach and has played a major role in building Tennessee into one of the nation's premier baseball programs.

Since his arrival, Elander has played an integral part in helping UT sign four top-15 recruiting classes.
The Vols brought in the fifth-ranked class in 2018, the seventh-ranked class in 2019, the 11th-ranked class in 2020 and the sixth-ranked class in 2021, according to Perfect Game.


Along with his role as recruiting coordinator, Elander works primarily with the team's hitters and catchers. During his tenure, Tennessee has evolved into one of the country's top offensive teams year after year.

In 2022, the Vols led the nation in numerous statistical categories while setting a handful of program records along the way, including new marks for home runs (158), doubles (156), runs scored (613), RBIs (574), slugging percentage (.604), walks (388) and total bases (1,380).

Tennessee's 158 homers shattered the previous program record of 107 and ranked fourth in NCAA Division I history, including the most by any team in the BBCOR bat era (since 2011). UT also led the country in on-base percentage (.419), runs scored (613) and slugging percentage (.604) this season.

After having one of the most productive offenses in the nation during the pandemic shortened 2020 season, the Vols were one of the SEC's most dangerous teams at the plate again in 2021 on their way to winning the SEC Eastern division title for the first time since 1997 and making their first trip to the College World Series since 2005. Tennessee finished the season ranked among the top 25 nationally in runs scored (7th - 475), hits (2nd - 657), doubles (3rd - 134), home runs (4th - 98) and walks (5th - 336). 

During Elander's five seasons at UT, seven position players have garnered All-America or Freshman All-America recognition: Trey Lipscomb (2022), Drew Gilbert (2022), Jorel Ortega (2022), Blake Burke (2022 – Freshman), Jake Rucker (2021), Liam Spence (2021) and Alerick Soularie (2019). 

Elander has also coached 17 position players that have been selected in the Major League Baseball Draft during his time on Rocky Top, including six of a program-record 10 Vols taken in this year's 2022 draft.

Elander has helped lead the Big Orange to the NCAA Tournament in each of the past three seasons in which there was an opportunity to do so (no postseason in 2020 due to COVID), ending a 13-year postseason drought with an NCAA regional appearance in 2019. 

In that span, Tennessee has hosted two NCAA regionals and super regionals (2021 & 2022) and made an appearance in the College World Series in 2021, the program's first trip to Omaha since 2005.  The Vols have also won back-to-back SEC eastern division titles and were the SEC regular-season and tournament champions this year for the first time since 1995, setting a program record for victories with 57.

Prior to becoming an assistant coach at Tennessee, Elander spent one year as the volunteer assistant coach at Arkansas in 2017 and one season as a student assistant coach at his alma mater TCU in 2016, helping lead the Horned Frogs to the College World Series that year.

During his college playing career at TCU, Elander was named a Ping!Baseball Freshman All-American in 2010 after helping lead the Horned Frogs to the College World Series.

The Round Rock, Texas, native was an All-Mountain West second team selection in 2011 and played for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team that year, as well. He was also a Capital One Academic All-American in 2012 before being selected by the Atlanta Braves in the sixth round of the 2012 MLB Draft.

Elander spent parts of four years in the Braves and Arizona Diamondbacks minor league systems. In 2013, he was named the Atlanta Braves Minor League Player of the Year and Hank Aaron Award winner, which is presented annually to the organization's top hitter in the minor leagues.

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