Cuonzo Martin keeps Houston Fancher, hires Tracy Webster

UT basketball coach Cuonzo Martin talks about his coaching staff

Tennessee men’s basketball coach Cuonzo Martin made it official that he’s adding a pair of former head coaches to the Vols’ staff.

Martin said Tuesday that he’s promoting former UT coordinator of video scouting Houston Fancher to director of basketball operations, and he confirmed the hiring of former Nebraska assistant coach Tracy Webster.

“Houston is our man; he’s done a great job for us, and he’s the guy who knows the lay of the land better than anybody,’’ Martin said when asked about the previously vacant director of basketball operations position. “The best thing is (Fancher) has been a head coach, so he understands what I’m going through and thinking.

“Same thing with Tracy Webster; he’s been a (interim) head coach at DePaul.’’

Fancher, a 45-year-old Newport native, served as coach at Appalachian State from 2000-2009 before resigning from that post and joining UT’s staff two years ago as a graduate assistant.

“I wanted a job where I could make a difference, and one I could be excited about coming to work every day,’’ Fancher said of his promotion. “My family and I feel at home here, and we feel honored to be a part of Coach Martin’s first staff.’’

Webster, 39, is the third and final assistant coach on the UT staff, joining Jon Harris and Kent Williams, who followed Martin from Missouri State.

“Tracy is a guy that coached with me at Purdue, we played against each other in college, and he’s one of the better recruiters in the country,’’ said Martin, who played at Purdue (1991-95) while Webster was earning All-Big Ten honors as a point guard at Wisconsin (1991-94). “You want to have guys that know you and that you can trust, and you want guys that are good as well.’’

Martin said that Thursday is the first day he can get out recruiting, and that his first stops will be to see UT recruits Kevin Ware and Chris Jones.

Ware, a 6-foot-4 guard from Rockdale County High School in Conyers, Ga., asked for and was granted a release from his National Letter of Intent last week.

Jones, of Melrose High School in Memphis, has requested a release, too. Jones, ranked No. 39 by Rivals.com, has yet to be released.

Ware, the No. 56-ranked player in the nation, said he’s looking forward to meeting Martin.

“I’m definitely excited, because I really haven’t gotten to know Coach Martin,’’ Ware said Tuesday night. “That’s the biggest thing in my eyes, just getting to know him. If I choose Tennessee, it will be because of my relationship with the head coach.

“If the relationship is good, I can definitely see myself at Tennessee again.’’

Ware has received a great deal of attention since being granted his release last week: Alabama, UCLA, Kentucky, Louisville, Georgetown, Florida State, Providence, South Carolina, Georgia and Central Florida all have shown interest.

The national spring signing period begins on April 13 and runs through May 18.

The Vols will sign anywhere between two and six players, depending on the futures of Scotty Hopson and Tobias Harris, who will test the NBA draft waters.

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Comments » 21

MusicCityVol writes:

Webster is my favorite of the hires. Solid resume. He has a bright future. Harris and Williams are good but still cutting their teeth. All 4 of these guys had awesome careers as players.

Hoops Staff Can Play, Can They Coach?
http://checkerboardchatter.blogspot.c...

bullet123 writes:

Go Vols

87UTVOL writes:

Our coaches will have a lot to sell when they meet with recruits, parents and (sadly) 'handlers'. Martin displays confidence, character and will assure 'momma' he will take care of their young man. That goes a long way. Recruits will see our coaches successful history on the court. Here's hoping for good things for the basketball Vols.

I'm guessing Harris' wife will enjoy being around Pat Summitt and the Lady Vols program. I also hope the good relationship Pat has/had with Bruce is also true with this new staff. Bruce embraced the Lady Vols success. Smart move.

vet4ut writes:

I'm glad we've got our staff put together. But their relationship with Pat and the Lady Vols means squadooshie. UConn does just fine with both their bball programs and those 2 coaches hate each other. So enough with the love-fest request.

By the way, all the clamoring for Marshall and Byrd...what programs hired those guys anyway?

BillyVol writes:

in response to vet4ut:

I'm glad we've got our staff put together. But their relationship with Pat and the Lady Vols means squadooshie. UConn does just fine with both their bball programs and those 2 coaches hate each other. So enough with the love-fest request.

By the way, all the clamoring for Marshall and Byrd...what programs hired those guys anyway?

Great point on Marshall and Byrd.

RoyaltyVol writes:

great hires!

GreerVol22 writes:

Good for Houston, smart guy and a homey that will fit right in as dir of ops.

westknoxrepub writes:

in response to vet4ut:

I'm glad we've got our staff put together. But their relationship with Pat and the Lady Vols means squadooshie. UConn does just fine with both their bball programs and those 2 coaches hate each other. So enough with the love-fest request.

By the way, all the clamoring for Marshall and Byrd...what programs hired those guys anyway?

Well with Byrd I agree, nobody even sniffed his way. While Marshall would have been a bad hire here, the reincarnation of Buzz Peterson (down to beating Alabama for the NIT Title), NC State was seriously considering him, but nobody with any other options wants to work for Yow.

vet4ut writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

Well with Byrd I agree, nobody even sniffed his way. While Marshall would have been a bad hire here, the reincarnation of Buzz Peterson (down to beating Alabama for the NIT Title), NC State was seriously considering him, but nobody with any other options wants to work for Yow.

Agreed. Even if the options were government assistance...
Although Marshall and Shaka did parlay the NC State flirtation into extensions and raises.
And the double bonus is no more listening to Gottfried for the SEC games.

boonhower writes:

What does a director of basketball operations do exactly? Yes, I'm sure he directs the basketball operations, but what exactly does that mean?

hcjournals#206623 writes:

I like that they played major college basketball. They, have, in effect, been there. Their coaching resume is very short. Now is the proving ground. If we can stop talking about Mizzou State, that might help.......And defense is great, but this is the SEC. You also have to have an offense. A big one. You have to have both. It's not easy, but that's why this isn't the Missouri Valley. ...

CoverOrange writes:

in response to boonhower:

What does a director of basketball operations do exactly? Yes, I'm sure he directs the basketball operations, but what exactly does that mean?

Designated gopher for the coaches. Helps set the schedule, arranges travel, facilities, equipment, etc., and whatever the coaches say they need done. Not a highly paid position usually. But being promoted from grad asst to DirBBOps, I'm sure his raise was over 800% too.

RoyaltyVol writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

Well with Byrd I agree, nobody even sniffed his way. While Marshall would have been a bad hire here, the reincarnation of Buzz Peterson (down to beating Alabama for the NIT Title), NC State was seriously considering him, but nobody with any other options wants to work for Yow.

$/ this is the worlds smallest violin playing to your sad winey comment about Byrd. Maybe you should start a webpage, ihaterickbyrd.com

orangeinmyveins writes:

Just heard Fancher on the radio. He seems to be the real deal. GBO

KCHS63 writes:

in response to 87UTVOL:

Our coaches will have a lot to sell when they meet with recruits, parents and (sadly) 'handlers'. Martin displays confidence, character and will assure 'momma' he will take care of their young man. That goes a long way. Recruits will see our coaches successful history on the court. Here's hoping for good things for the basketball Vols.

I'm guessing Harris' wife will enjoy being around Pat Summitt and the Lady Vols program. I also hope the good relationship Pat has/had with Bruce is also true with this new staff. Bruce embraced the Lady Vols success. Smart move.

Dealing with"handlers" is right. Did you see Urban Meyer on ESPN yesterday telling the story about his first recruiting trip to Miami as HC at Florida and being told by a handler that every Miami Area recruit had to go through him? The rumblings are that this issue has now totally pervaded even women's basketball. If you want real reform NCAA this is where you start.

Voluvr writes:

GVX do you guys have one picture of Martin that doesn't make him look like he has rabies?

VolNExile writes:

in response to Voluvr:

GVX do you guys have one picture of Martin that doesn't make him look like he has rabies?

lol, thank you! There's got to be a nice posed shot somewhere on file.

At any rate, the staff is complete now, except for any grad assistants, and tomorrow recruiting starts again. Great to be moving forward!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to Voluvr:

GVX do you guys have one picture of Martin that doesn't make him look like he has rabies?

Hi Mrs. Martin. How are you?

VOLSMAN1999 writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

Well with Byrd I agree, nobody even sniffed his way. While Marshall would have been a bad hire here, the reincarnation of Buzz Peterson (down to beating Alabama for the NIT Title), NC State was seriously considering him, but nobody with any other options wants to work for Yow.

The reason that Byrd isn't announced for any and every job opening is that he is happy at Belmont and there is nothing wrong with that. He is a class act as a coach. Most likely the only job that he would even consider is UT. Did you and Rick go to school together and he stole your girlfriend or ran over your dog? You are always taking a shot at him and down him in 98% of your post.

TNVol71 writes:

in response to 87UTVOL:

Our coaches will have a lot to sell when they meet with recruits, parents and (sadly) 'handlers'. Martin displays confidence, character and will assure 'momma' he will take care of their young man. That goes a long way. Recruits will see our coaches successful history on the court. Here's hoping for good things for the basketball Vols.

I'm guessing Harris' wife will enjoy being around Pat Summitt and the Lady Vols program. I also hope the good relationship Pat has/had with Bruce is also true with this new staff. Bruce embraced the Lady Vols success. Smart move.

What a great post. This may be the most positive post I have seen on the new hires. Hope it works. Go Vols!!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Bicardidumb? it's always good to hear from ya!!! I mean you seem to just luv UT with all your posts and all. Thanks for your support. we get sooooo many on here that are fakevolfans. That should be their handle! FAKEVOLFANS!!!!

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