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.