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Chris Woodruff was the star with his turnaround of the men’s tennis program last year. Eve Rackham did that with the volleyball program this year. She took over a program that had a losing record the previous year and hadn’t made the NCAA Tournament since 2012.
All Rackham did was lead the program to a 26-6 record, good for a second place finish in the SEC, and the second round of the NCAA Tournament. It was the program’s best season since going 28-4 and making the second round of the tournament in 2011.
While all the talk of Phillip Fulmer’s takeover as athletic director involved the hire of Jeremy Pruitt to lead the football program, Rackham was a quiet hire he made. And she was the biggest success of anybody this year.
You can’t ignore incredible success like this in a first season coming off a losing record. The volleyball program as a whole may have been eighth best among the 18 sports. But given what it was last year, Rackham’s performance was the best.
As a result, there’s no doubt that she did the best job of any Tennessee Vols coach this year. Taking a losing team and leading them to postseason play is not something the other first-year coach, Jeremy Pruitt, could do with football. And it’s enough for us to say Rackham is clearly the top performer on this list from the 2018-2019 season.