Kent Williams joining Cuonzo Martin's staff

Kent Williams

Kent Williams

Tennessee men's basketball coach Cuonzo Martin is hiring another former Missouri State assistant coach to join him on the Vols' staff.

UT associate media relations director Tom Satkowiak confirmed Sunday morning that the hiring process has begun for 29-year-old Kent Williams, an assistant to Martin the past three seasons with the Bears.

Martin could not be reached for comment.

Martin hired former Missouri State assistant Jon Harris, 30, on Monday for an assistant coaching position and the two have been in Houston for the Final Four games and activities.

Williams served as supervisor of basketball operations at Purdue from 2005-08 prior to joining the Bears' staff, which would qualify him to take over as UT's director of basketball operations if not join the Vols as an assistant coach.

Williams played at Southern Illinois (1999-2003) under Bruce Weber – a prominent member of Gene Keady's coaching tree – and current Purdue coach Matt Painter was an assistant coach with the Salukis at that time.

Williams led Southern Illinois in scoring all four years he played there, finishing as the program's second all-time leading scorer before a one-year stint in the NBA Development League that saw him lead the league in 3-pointers made and 3-point shooting percentage.

Prior to his collegiate career, Williams finished as the all-time leading scorer at Mt. Vernon (Ill.) High School.

Martin has also met with UT coordinator of video operations Houston Fancher about a coaching position, and he told the News Sentinel on Friday he was considering hiring the 45-year-old Fancher.

Fancher was the head coach at Appalachian State from 2000-2009, running up a 137-136 record before resigning from his post and joining UT's staff as a graduate assistant two years ago.

Former Vol Dane Bradshaw has had one meeting with Martin about a possible position on the staff, and the two are expected to meet again when Martin returns from the Final Four in Houston.

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Comments » 81

born2ride writes:

Great! We replaced TJ and Steve Forbes with another inexperienced assistant from MO State.

RockyToptoNeyland writes:

maybe this will build coach chemistry??? since they all coached together, idk, I thought he should have thought outside the box on this...

VolunteerLifer writes:

The coach should be able to hire whoever he wants to be on his staff. After all, it's his neck on the line.

But it does make you wonder why the heck he would hire a 29 year old with very little experience when he could probably get whoever else he wants to come to UT.

newportvol writes:

Fellow UT Fans we are not gonna get any big names or great coaches to come to UT till the NCAA mess is over with! Just give Coach Martin your full support he is gonna need it!

VolinCalif writes:

in response to RockyToptoNeyland:

maybe this will build coach chemistry??? since they all coached together, idk, I thought he should have thought outside the box on this...

Rocky that box package may be a lot like you. It just may be very good, The players that played on the MS team may not have had the talent to play for KY, Fl but they were well coached.So lets wait and see what goes down.

FWBVol writes:

I have no problem with this hire. He seems to be a young coach that is building a nice coaching resume. He's already coached in the Big 10 at Purdue so I think he'll be able to adapt to coaching in the SEC.

I'll support CCM in all of his hires, but I would hope he gets at least one coach in that has some ties to UT whether as a former player or assistant coach.

kantanuuv writes:

I must admit I was skeptical about this hire...until I learned he played at Southern Illinois under Bruce Weber.

Heh heh. Nah I'm just kiddin'. He's a great coach.

Dalton writes:

If this guy is a hot new property as a young head coach or still a valuable staff member five years down the road....we'll forget these doubting posts....wait I just did.

midnite__VOL writes:

He looks to be a 3 point shooter in his playing days leading the NBA Development League in 3-pointers and 3-point percentage. I think we need someone to teach our shooters in this category.

acworthdave writes:

This is either a great hire, bad hire or average hire. Truth is, nobody knows or should even pretend to know for years to come. In fact, I think evaluating asst bball coaches is extremely difficult to do. I assume Martin hired him because he has seen him in action and wanted him. That is good enough for me.

BigOrangeBoss writes:

Are we going to hire any TN guys? I know there are so many players that have played at TN that want to get into coaching especially on this high level. I heard Vincent Yarbrough is wanting to come back and be a part. His name is as big as anyone in the state to bring in talent! I also know that Torrey Harris is in the region and is running player development. Aaron Green is in Oak Ridge. Chris Lofton. C J Black just a few that come to mind.

james#216392 writes:

in response to VolunteerLifer:

The coach should be able to hire whoever he wants to be on his staff. After all, it's his neck on the line.

But it does make you wonder why the heck he would hire a 29 year old with very little experience when he could probably get whoever else he wants to come to UT.

These guys were good players and young enough to have some great scrimmages.

utchuckster writes:

Bet the staff would beat the team on a 3 on 3

lomas98 writes:

in response to BigOrangeBoss:

Are we going to hire any TN guys? I know there are so many players that have played at TN that want to get into coaching especially on this high level. I heard Vincent Yarbrough is wanting to come back and be a part. His name is as big as anyone in the state to bring in talent! I also know that Torrey Harris is in the region and is running player development. Aaron Green is in Oak Ridge. Chris Lofton. C J Black just a few that come to mind.

Why do we have to hire TN guys. All of the guys you mention have a lot less credentials than the guys who have been hired. Just because they are former vols doesn't make them a good coach. Chris Lofton is still playing professionally. Why not add Allan Houston, Lang Wiseman, Tony Harris, Charles Hathaway, Isiah Victor to your list. I just don't get why everyone wants former TN players to be a coach when they are not qualified either.

BobKesling_is_overpaid writes:

Should hire back Bruce Pearl and let Cheek and Hamilton go to Southwest Missouri State Tech Community College A&T. Why the hell they hired this no name is a mystery to me. The sanctions will be a slap on the wrist like Uconn(who had more serious violations) got. This joke of an AD should've at least went after Brad Stevens. The guy makes 400k at Butler. Don't tell me we can't afford him. Hopefully, Martin will be a winner, but UT administration took a big chance when they had no reason to do so. Pearl put bball on the map.

mattlock writes:

in response to BobKesling_is_overpaid:

Should hire back Bruce Pearl and let Cheek and Hamilton go to Southwest Missouri State Tech Community College A&T. Why the hell they hired this no name is a mystery to me. The sanctions will be a slap on the wrist like Uconn(who had more serious violations) got. This joke of an AD should've at least went after Brad Stevens. The guy makes 400k at Butler. Don't tell me we can't afford him. Hopefully, Martin will be a winner, but UT administration took a big chance when they had no reason to do so. Pearl put bball on the map.

You're insane if you think we could get Stevens, no way he would come here.

KJVol writes:

in response to midnite__VOL:

He looks to be a 3 point shooter in his playing days leading the NBA Development League in 3-pointers and 3-point percentage. I think we need someone to teach our shooters in this category.

A voice of sanity. Glad someone sees that this team's biggest need is to develop some SHOOTERS. Period. Bruce brought in a lot of athletes, but not many basketball players - either that, or they just didn't develop the guys once they arrived. This looks like a great hire.

By the way, how many of you experts had heard of Tony Jones before Bruce brought him in? Exactly.

BobKesling_is_overpaid writes:

in response to mattlock:

You're insane if you think we could get Stevens, no way he would come here.

Yeah you're right. He wouldn't want to make 2 million or more a year and coach in front of 20000 fans. All those nationally televised games would suck too. Working for Hamilton and Cheek would be a downer though. This would've been the year to get him. His best 2 players are seniors. At least UT hired a guy with no NCAA tourney coaching experience. That's a plus.

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to BobKesling_is_overpaid:

Should hire back Bruce Pearl and let Cheek and Hamilton go to Southwest Missouri State Tech Community College A&T. Why the hell they hired this no name is a mystery to me. The sanctions will be a slap on the wrist like Uconn(who had more serious violations) got. This joke of an AD should've at least went after Brad Stevens. The guy makes 400k at Butler. Don't tell me we can't afford him. Hopefully, Martin will be a winner, but UT administration took a big chance when they had no reason to do so. Pearl put bball on the map.

Pearl put basketball on the map but he also took basketball off the map .Pearl is GONE.Stand behind CCM until he proves he dosen't belong.

winVol writes:

we are mizz state now ,,,FIRE HAMILTON,,,,FIRE HAMILTON ,, GBO

VolNationPride writes:

in response to BobKesling_is_overpaid:

Yeah you're right. He wouldn't want to make 2 million or more a year and coach in front of 20000 fans. All those nationally televised games would suck too. Working for Hamilton and Cheek would be a downer though. This would've been the year to get him. His best 2 players are seniors. At least UT hired a guy with no NCAA tourney coaching experience. That's a plus.

First, Stevens makes a million a year as he just signed a new contract last year. Second, he just made the championship game, so he is about to get another pay raise. Third, he was born and raised in Indiana so he isn't coming to East Tennessee.

It is fine and dandy to throw out names, but they are not coming here. We can throw money, and some might take it, but when you are throwing money at a coach that is already making lots of money without all the headaches, then he isnt going to come here.

shipperman#280095 writes:

in response to KJVol:

A voice of sanity. Glad someone sees that this team's biggest need is to develop some SHOOTERS. Period. Bruce brought in a lot of athletes, but not many basketball players - either that, or they just didn't develop the guys once they arrived. This looks like a great hire.

By the way, how many of you experts had heard of Tony Jones before Bruce brought him in? Exactly.

Right on, and for that matter, how many of you had heard of Pearl before he came here?

BleedsOrangeinMO writes:

in response to lomas98:

Why do we have to hire TN guys. All of the guys you mention have a lot less credentials than the guys who have been hired. Just because they are former vols doesn't make them a good coach. Chris Lofton is still playing professionally. Why not add Allan Houston, Lang Wiseman, Tony Harris, Charles Hathaway, Isiah Victor to your list. I just don't get why everyone wants former TN players to be a coach when they are not qualified either.

Iomas98
You hit the nail right on the head!!! None of the former UT guys have any coaching experience . . . yet some folks don't like that CCM is hiring guys that he knows and is comfortable with and they have coaching experience. SO what that it was at a small college. Ray Mears was from a smaller college than MO STATE, the FLA coach was from a college about the size of MO STATE and he has only won 2 titles. And Pearl was from a college smaller than MO STATE. CCM knows that his neck is on the line. I'm also happy to know that we have people on this thread that can see the future . . . stating that the NCAA is going to go easy on UT. The NCAA is so mad at OHIO STATE that they made UT fire Pearl - - get real. The NCAA is going to hammer UT - - and it should be directed at Hammy for "NO institutional control" and at the California Dude. Both this new hire and CCM were known for their 3 point shots; if we can hit some of those it will stretch the defense and make going inside easier. The Butler coach is a Indy boy and he ain't going no where regardless of the money. You see money does NOT motivate everyone. He is KING of Indy and he clearly has the program going the direction he wants it to go why would he come to an place that has as many unknowns as UT? And I agree with what others have said about big name coaches not wanting to go to UT - - again too many unknowns with the NCAA ruling hanging over us.

TKO writes:

Why was it necessary to give this coach a $1m raise? Should have found a mid range salary with incentives. Stupid.

RashaadSalabeb writes:

Good luck Coaches and good luck Vols!

VolNationPride writes:

in response to TKO:

Why was it necessary to give this coach a $1m raise? Should have found a mid range salary with incentives. Stupid.

With unknown penalties coming our way, they offered an amount that they knew he wasn't going to turn down. Plus, with mulitple jobs open and the real possibility of the Mizzou job going to him if Painter turned it down, they paid what they felt would get him here.

If we had went big time, we are looking at atleast 2.5 million and that might not have even got them here. People just need to be grateful that Coach Martin saw us as a place that he can build a future at, that he wanted to take on the challenges and face the hardships that the NCAA may or may not put on us.

CoverOrange writes:

Curious to know why it took a week to decide. Did Williams withdraw his name from the Mo St HC search? Who besides Fancher did Martin interview? How many days till the announcement of the third asst from Mo St.

Whoever is hired, they will be running CCM's program and process.

bvdisc writes:

More idiotic tripe from our so called fan base. a) Sure, we could have thrown 3 mill a year a twenty or so more established coaches, been publicly rejected by most if not all of them, and then watched Martin get hired at Missouri or elsewhere. b) Sure, we could have offered Martin a lot less money, and either watch him blow us off while he waits for a bigger offer from elsewhere, which would have come; or maybe he accepts 500k a year, and then we announce to the world that we plan on joining the horizon league next year.
The next person that mentions Brad Stevens as a realistic possibility to come to UT should, by definition, have their mental stability evaluated by a professional.

givehim6 writes:

Does any one know what kind of record MST had? I mean it's easy to see CCM is going to bring his staff over to UT. How well can MST compete in the SEC?

12Hours writes:

in response to winVol:

we are mizz state now ,,,FIRE HAMILTON,,,,FIRE HAMILTON ,, GBO

Did you not notice that when Pearl came to UT he brought Tony and assistants.
Did I hear you say "We are Wisconsin-Millwaukee?"
Most coaches stick with guys they have come to trust and who have the same goals and ways of acheiving them.
Hey, did you also notice that they usually bring their same old wives.
Maybe you should tell CCM to leave her behind and go with someone fresh and new.
After all that proved to really help Bruce's focus! NOT!

lomas98 writes:

in response to bvdisc:

More idiotic tripe from our so called fan base. a) Sure, we could have thrown 3 mill a year a twenty or so more established coaches, been publicly rejected by most if not all of them, and then watched Martin get hired at Missouri or elsewhere. b) Sure, we could have offered Martin a lot less money, and either watch him blow us off while he waits for a bigger offer from elsewhere, which would have come; or maybe he accepts 500k a year, and then we announce to the world that we plan on joining the horizon league next year.
The next person that mentions Brad Stevens as a realistic possibility to come to UT should, by definition, have their mental stability evaluated by a professional.

I'm with you on people saying Brad Stevens name. I'm tired of people still mentioning ANY names. We have a coach. Like it or not he isn't going anywhere right now. Quit playing possibiilties with other coaches!!

Razzle writes:

in response to bvdisc:

More idiotic tripe from our so called fan base. a) Sure, we could have thrown 3 mill a year a twenty or so more established coaches, been publicly rejected by most if not all of them, and then watched Martin get hired at Missouri or elsewhere. b) Sure, we could have offered Martin a lot less money, and either watch him blow us off while he waits for a bigger offer from elsewhere, which would have come; or maybe he accepts 500k a year, and then we announce to the world that we plan on joining the horizon league next year.
The next person that mentions Brad Stevens as a realistic possibility to come to UT should, by definition, have their mental stability evaluated by a professional.

I know right? Although I am a Vols fan, we must have some of the dumbest fans anywhere.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to Razzle:

I know right? Although I am a Vols fan, we must have some of the dumbest fans anywhere.

Witch Doctor say click on their usernames and read their previous post. Witch Doctor say Rumboy is also Walt who is also Born2ride who is....etc, etc. Witch Doctor say they forget who they are logged in as half the time..Witch Doctor say we dont have as many dumb fans(granted our fair share as any program does) as we do dumb interlopers with passive aggressive tendencies.
Bones never lie.
Go REAL Vols.

TommyJack writes:

in response to BolivarBob:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

BB & BV both on the mark. Could have resurrected Red Auerbach ($10m yr) and some of these mopes on here would still gripe. Give the guy a chance.
The worst fans in the country (ours) want to chase the guy before he's coached one game.

BigOrangeBoss writes:

In order to be attractive to the top tier recruits you have to have someone that they feel can get them where they want to be or either have been where they want to go.

BleedsOrangeinMO writes:

in response to Razzle:

I know right? Although I am a Vols fan, we must have some of the dumbest fans anywhere.

It would NOT make any difference who UT hired for any coaching position, someone would not like the pick. If UT had hired "I've been lucky two years in a row" Stevens it does NOT mean he would be successful at UT. We could have hired coach K and that would not guarantee success at UT it would have just slightly improved the possibility of success. Again, it happens all the time a coach is hired away from college A and goes to college B sometimes it does not work out; example Rich Rod from W. Va. to MICH; how did that work out? NOT!!! I live in Springfield MO (and am a life long 50 + years VOL FAN) and I can tell you that CCM had a great staff at MO STATE. Wichita State just beat ALABAMA for the NIT crown; MSU beat Wichita STATE twice this year; did we beat BAMA? He will be able to recruit better at UT than he did at MSU; while at MSU he did bring in players from all over the country to little Springfield MO. And Springfield IS a basketball town and Home of Bass Pro who sponsors the Tournament of Champions high school Basketball tournament each year. The tournament is ranked in the top five every year and we have had many future college and NBA players ply in the tournament. Plus CCM played at Purdue when they went to the NCAA's. GET OFF HIS CASE AND GIVE HIM A CHANCE!!! Yes, I would be saying the same thing if they had hired some of you arm chair coaches who think you know it all. Why would I support you, coach know it all, because I'm a VOL FAN for LIFE and I support whoever is the coach until he or she gives me reason not to support them. You come on this forum and $itch because your wife, if you have one, tells you to STFU!! Us VFL are tired of it too. Just go away and cheer for the latest "successful team" and next year you will change your team to the hot team. We don't need that kind of support!!!

tennrich1 writes:

in response to born2ride:

Great! We replaced TJ and Steve Forbes with another inexperienced assistant from MO State.

I will venture a guess to say you'd never heard of TJ or Steve Forbes or Jason Shay BEFORE Coach Pearl took over and probably said the exact same thing about them....Way back then....just a guess, mind you!!! Life is funny isn't it????

dyerbey#281598 writes:

My question is when are these coaches going to start recruiting. We lose Williams, Fields, Pearl, Goins, Bone and Hubert to Graduation. Harris probably turning pro. Ware and Jones will be released from their scholarships. My point is we need bodies. We are looking at a team full of walk-ons next season if these guys don't start a full court press on recruiting.

tennrich1 writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say click on their usernames and read their previous post. Witch Doctor say Rumboy is also Walt who is also Born2ride who is....etc, etc. Witch Doctor say they forget who they are logged in as half the time..Witch Doctor say we dont have as many dumb fans(granted our fair share as any program does) as we do dumb interlopers with passive aggressive tendencies.
Bones never lie.
Go REAL Vols.

Really, WD, it's a compliment to our program, don't you think? Mimicry they say is the greatest form of flattery , but I think hatred in sports is another form of flattery....if we were irrelevant no one would care....you agree???

westknoxrepub writes:

in response to abnerPeabody:

Pearl put basketball on the map but he also took basketball off the map .Pearl is GONE.Stand behind CCM until he proves he dosen't belong.

He didn't take Tennessee Basketball off the map, this job is STILL more high profile than it was when he took over.

volsfan74 writes:

in response to born2ride:

Great! We replaced TJ and Steve Forbes with another inexperienced assistant from MO State.

And who on this website knew who TJ or Steve Forbes were before they came to Tennessee and had success?

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to tennrich1:

Really, WD, it's a compliment to our program, don't you think? Mimicry they say is the greatest form of flattery , but I think hatred in sports is another form of flattery....if we were irrelevant no one would care....you agree???

Witch Doctor say it really must be cause some are on here day and night. Witch Doctor agree!
Bones never lie.

jgl#233810 writes:

in response to lomas98:

I'm with you on people saying Brad Stevens name. I'm tired of people still mentioning ANY names. We have a coach. Like it or not he isn't going anywhere right now. Quit playing possibiilties with other coaches!!

re: "Quit playing possibilities with other coaches!!" -- Why? Might as well get a headstart on what seems pretty likely be needed in 2-3 years.

re: Brad Stevens -- On that point we can agree. Only the most irrational of people could imagine a scenario where he would walk into this hot mess for anything short of the largest coaching contract in history. And even then ...

VolinCalif writes:

in response to BicardiRum:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Bi
You make it sound like Tenn was really doing bad things. Let me remind you without the Lying the Vio's were secondary. Also BP came forward and didn't try to cover it up. We sure as H didn't go out and buy players or their family. Our coaches didn't pull an Ohio St Bs either. No we aren't near as bad as Au, Al, OS So Cal etc. So if you must run down programs pick one that was really pulling some s... Don't pull this cra.. that The QB didn't know his dad was selling his service. The guy wasn't a kid he was ready to Grad. from College he sure as h knew and the NCAAA closed their eyes for the sake of making money for this season.

HtownVol writes:

in response to dyerbey#281598:

My question is when are these coaches going to start recruiting. We lose Williams, Fields, Pearl, Goins, Bone and Hubert to Graduation. Harris probably turning pro. Ware and Jones will be released from their scholarships. My point is we need bodies. We are looking at a team full of walk-ons next season if these guys don't start a full court press on recruiting.

You are not correct at all on the "team of walk-ons"

While UT is hurting for big bodies and a scoring PG, or scorer period. We are not at all down to walk-ons.

Golden
McRae
Tatum
Maymo
Woolridge
Hall (ALL 4 STAR RECRUITS

Perhaps Hopson
small chance Harris (5 STAR RECRUITS)

McBee, maybe Martin can teach McBee how to play Defense and only shoot the 3 when it is a good shot. Maybe he can turn McBee into the 3 point shooter we all hoped and some thought he would be.

The roster needs major work but there is plenty of talent.

Maybe (this may be right or will be laughed at) UT needs some 3 star recruits who can play and will come in here and work their tail off so they can play instead of these highly recruited kids who expect to win on ability.

If less talented players work as hard as they can and they play it should motivate the more talented players to work hard and maybe reach their potential.

Trae averaged 35 per game his Sr year in high school. He gets to UT and he can not make anything.

I dont know how Woolridge was a 4 star. Maybe he plans on a rap career but his basketball is horrible. He has size but all he does is shoot 3's and that is not a pretty sight. Hopefullt CCM will teach Woolridge how to use his sixe, and again get him to make shots.

I want Chris Jones as much as anyone but after this past week I am not sure they will make good players. Chris is as arrogant as I have ever heard and both of them are Vol for life, they want out, they dont know...

As long as this staff can sign a couple bigs and a scorer or two I will be ok with the roster and it is up to the staff as to how good the team is.

GO VOLS

ellerbee123 writes:

I too was extremely upset over the firing of Bruce Pearl. I was going to let my season tickets go, etc. Now, almost two weeks later and lots of research on the coaches, including the one yesterday, I do feel better. We all loved Bruce. I feel most fans feel they are somehow being disloyal to Bruce if they support the new coach. That is just not the case. Martin is our coach and we should support him until he gives us cause not to. At least with all the basketball knowledge these coaches possess, they realize we need shooters, no prima donas and will hopefully know how to set up plays to run instead of dribbling the ball out front until there was 8 seconds left on the clock. After watching the games last night, it was apparent we ran no plays. Nothing was set up to run. Let's all just try to support the new coach. From all I have read, he is an amazing coach as well as individual.

james#216392 writes:

in response to utchuckster:

Bet the staff would beat the team on a 3 on 3

Probably 3 coaches vs our five- they still win

VOLDoll writes:

in response to ellerbee123:

I too was extremely upset over the firing of Bruce Pearl. I was going to let my season tickets go, etc. Now, almost two weeks later and lots of research on the coaches, including the one yesterday, I do feel better. We all loved Bruce. I feel most fans feel they are somehow being disloyal to Bruce if they support the new coach. That is just not the case. Martin is our coach and we should support him until he gives us cause not to. At least with all the basketball knowledge these coaches possess, they realize we need shooters, no prima donas and will hopefully know how to set up plays to run instead of dribbling the ball out front until there was 8 seconds left on the clock. After watching the games last night, it was apparent we ran no plays. Nothing was set up to run. Let's all just try to support the new coach. From all I have read, he is an amazing coach as well as individual.

Not everyone loved Bruce Pearl. Some of us were raised with higher standards.

Thank you mom and Dad!

huntined#565710 writes:

Come on guys both of these coaches knew they were going with Martin the day he was hired...

murrayvol writes:

in response to born2ride:

Great! We replaced TJ and Steve Forbes with another inexperienced assistant from MO State.

"we"??? I don't think so.

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