Mike Hamilton: 'We just knew he was the guy'

Cuonzo Martin, left, speaks to reporters during a news conference, Monday, March 28, 2011, in Knoxville, Tenn., after being named the new men's head basketball coach at the University of Tennessee replacing Bruce Pearl.

Photo by Wade Payne, Associated Press

Cuonzo Martin, left, speaks to reporters during a news conference, Monday, March 28, 2011, in Knoxville, Tenn., after being named the new men's head basketball coach at the University of Tennessee replacing Bruce Pearl.

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It's been a busy week for Mike Hamilton, and the University of Tennessee athletic director was still very busy on Monday when he stopped into Thompson-Boling Arena to ensure the Ray Mears Room was getting set up properly for the press conference introducing Cuonzo Martin as the Vols' new men's basketball coach.

Hamilton took a couple of minutes to talk with the News Sentinel to share a brief overview of Martin's hiring.

“It's a situation where when we met (Martin), we just knew he was the guy,'' Hamilton said, making his first public comments since a March 16 interview aired on Knoxville radio station WNML. “We talked to a lot of people out there, and it just kept coming back to him, and coming back to him.''

Hamilton, who took an active role in the search along with senior associate athletic director Chris Fuller and associate athletic director Desiree Reed-Francois, said he was particularly impressed with Martin's ability to build a program over the past three seasons at Missouri State.

The Bears were 26-9 this season and won the Missouri Valley Conference regular season championship for the first time in school history.

“When he got there, he had five scholarship guys, and he goes on to win the league in his third season,'' Hamilton said. “You look at that conference, and it's pretty tough.''

Hamilton said he's aware many UT fans have championed the names of other up-and-coming coaches for the opening that came about when Bruce Pearl was fired last Monday.

“Yes, a lot of people talk about some of the other hot coaches,'' Hamilton said, “but Cuonzo wins his league this season and had the No. 43 RPI, so who's to say if his team gets in the (NCAA) tournament they don't make the same kind of run?

“We feel very good about the hire.''

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Comments » 137

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor say lets remember he also hired Pearl.
Go VOls
Bones never lie.

utclassof1992 writes:

We are starting to become the UT Fighting Owls. Why? Every time That Athletic Director From Clemson hires a coach, we end up saying, "Who? Who?"
firemikehamiltonnow.com

DancingOutlaw writes:

Um, isn't this what the AD is supposed to say every time?

"We just knew he was probably not the best, and I felt a little uneasy with it, but ah what the hell I picked him anyway."

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to utclassof1992:

We are starting to become the UT Fighting Owls. Why? Every time That Athletic Director From Clemson hires a coach, we end up saying, "Who? Who?"
firemikehamiltonnow.com

Witch Doctor say not Hamiltons fault you "fell" for the KNS "list-of-candidates" that never really existed. Good Hire but for two years all you have done is post hate about Tennessee sports...(?_)
Bones never lie.

utvols1 writes:

what "we" is he rerring to? Him and Cheeks? Seems like a HUGE rush job for another fringe "no name" - just like Dooley. One has to question ANY coach that would take this job after ESPN and half the staff lit up Hamilton and the UT Administration on the entire Pearl situation. Another rushed mediocre hire(s)

VolAtUGA11 writes:

As long as Marting will wear the orange blazer, I'm fine.

Coach Marting seems like a great guy, has had success in his brief head coaching career, has some excellent mentors, and has had to work extremely hard to earn his success.

Welcome, Coach Martin. And thanks for joining UT! And and I'm serious about the blazer.

volsmith writes:

I'm liking the hire more and more. Maybe he will play more scholarshio players that have been sitting on the bench the last few years.

VOLS_SEC_RULES writes:

in response to JamesBond007:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

AMEN!

UTATO93 writes:

I am a UT graduate but grew up in North Carolina. Was listening to the Roy Williams show last week and he was talking about how good the MOSU staff was. He has a former player as an assistant and he was talking about their NIT game with Miami.

It looks like the people in the "know" like him as a coach.

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

First off, I hope it all works out well.

Next, I am wary of the timing..........3 times things have happened either prior to or on the same day the men and women have had, or will have had a tournament game. I hope this will not be another distraction for the girls.

Finally, it sort of reminds me of my frustrated Christmas shopping. Close to crunch time, when I went shopping, I'd pick up the first thing in the store to get it over with. Just hope M H is a better shopper than I.

Conrad writes:

Coach Martin seems like a great guy to save our sinking ship. Give him a chance...he certainly took a chance in coming to our soon-to-be sanctioned program.

As for Hamilton - thanks for the new coach, now be on your way!

Fulmer for AD.

illinoisvolfan writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say not Hamiltons fault you "fell" for the KNS "list-of-candidates" that never really existed. Good Hire but for two years all you have done is post hate about Tennessee sports...(?_)
Bones never lie.

I fell for the KNS "list-of-candidates" that never existed. I was hoping for Mark Turgeon. Having said that, I've seen Cuonzo Martin coach in the MVC and this guy can do the job. He can help the Vols where they need it the most...defense and image (not necessarily in that order).

Go Gonzo for Cuonzo...and fire Mike Hamilton.

MidTennVol writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say lets remember he also hired Pearl.
Go VOls
Bones never lie.

Doc, Ernie Grunfeld put BP in Hamilton's lap with a big orange and white bow on it. Hamilton never would have known Pearl's name if Grunfeld hadn't brought him to his attention.

Think Grunfeld is taking Hammy's calls these days?

Bones maybe miss some important details sometimes...

MemphisVol writes:

Welcome to Big Orange Country Cuonzo!!!

CrankE writes:

Lord Hamilton, The Indecisive was impressed with Martin's ability to build a program in three years.

Translation:
After we're reduced to 5 scholarships, Martin will have us ready to compete again in 2014.

Fire Mike Hamilton!

HHUUMMBBLLEE writes:

WE FEEL VERY ill ABOUT THE HIRE

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors_Daddy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Witch Doctor say send me your papers as I own every thought you have...how does it feel? Witch Doctor say Precious feelings hurting? ahhhhhh
Bones never lie.

thevoice writes:

in response to volsmith:

I'm liking the hire more and more. Maybe he will play more scholarshio players that have been sitting on the bench the last few years.

Funny. Ditto.

I have an optimistic outlook for our UT BB program and am impressed with Mr. Martin. Thanks to the mess Pearl left behind, getting a big-name coach or a popular up-and-comer who was willing to risk the balance of his career at the now-shaky UT was just a pipe dream.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Golly Mr. Hamilton? I really believe you like this guy. I certainly don't understand why you'd hire someone soooooquickly that you didn't like? he certainly seems likable. Don't you have to be at least a little likable to recruit?
Really! Why some on here that seem to be real fans on Hammy's case? Could IT BE THAT WE LOST FIRST-ROUND because of a little slip of the tongue??? ARRRgh sorry that slipped out. I'm supportive Mr. Hamilton and think you made a good hire. C u o o o onnnnzooooooh Martin. I love that name.Gonna be great. Forget Hamilton's little slip he has made some good choices while here.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to MidTennVol:

Doc, Ernie Grunfeld put BP in Hamilton's lap with a big orange and white bow on it. Hamilton never would have known Pearl's name if Grunfeld hadn't brought him to his attention.

Think Grunfeld is taking Hammy's calls these days?

Bones maybe miss some important details sometimes...

Witch Doctor not know so lets all assume we do (?) Witch Doctor say the flaw lies in the fact Pearl was fired and NOT replaced. Witch Doctor go slow as some are still wandering(correct spelling)
Bones never lie.
go Vols.

orangepeel writes:

Somebody step up and fire Mike hamilton

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors_Daddy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Witch Doctor say "mama_calls_u_bitter_and_hurting"
hahahahahhaha
OWNED!
Bones never lie.
(hows it feel to not be able to "hang")

OTPVol writes:

My first reaction was "Huh?! Who?! What!?" But like with Coach Dooley, I'll reserve final judgement for a while. GBO!!! The Big Orange is bigger than any one man.

Volumnus writes:

As WDG mentioned above "he also hired Pearl", and fired Fulmer(don't get me wrong I like Phil but he had stalled out), hired Kiffin and he has hired Dooley....Now he has hired Martin....

And the end result of all of these transactions is a chunk of money gone, an icon of the school on less the warm and fuzzy terms, a football, basketball and baseball(fired Delmonico) programs that are in shambles at best. We have NCAA sanctions looming, have been adversely plastered on national newscasts for speeding, guns and drugs. We have been to 6 NCAA's but at what cost, since we have become the laughing stock of the SEC.

IS this really progress? Is this really where we need to be? Are we really better off? It seems as if we have paid a great price for NCAA appearances, in cash, in recruiting presence, in stability and reputation. When a friend emailed me that Coach Martin had been hired, my comment was "Who?" I have to think that I am not the only Alum who had not heard of Coach Martin. My knowledge of him is not necessary for him to be a good hire, nor a good coach, but it does seem to iterate the frustration with Hamilton and his tenure. He needs to go.

In stating that, I wish Coach Martin all the success in the world as our student athletes deserve the very best. I thought the Bowden Wyatt days were dark... does anyone have a candle?

ttowndick writes:

ROFLMAO!!!!
I can't believe you didn't wait and see if Alabama gets beaten in the NIT.
That's your normal criteria for hiring coaches.
The spirit of Logan Young will haunt you for 100 years!

63vet (Inactive) writes:

Luckily, new coach Martin does not have to worry too much about what all of you negative posters are saying. I'd venture to say that if all of you cut off all of your financial support.....well, just saying.

ttowndick writes:

in response to utclassof1992:

We are starting to become the UT Fighting Owls. Why? Every time That Athletic Director From Clemson hires a coach, we end up saying, "Who? Who?"
firemikehamiltonnow.com

now THAT'S funny !!!!!!!!!!!

Orangeblood13 writes:

translation= Martin please help keep my job

C74Law77 writes:

Make no mistake, this was a desperation hire. It may work out, but this was definitely not the guy they wanted.No one, and I repeat no one, except a guy making 140k per year would take this job with Hamilton as AD.

On the other hand, we could have had larry Brown at age 70. Sure he would'nt stay long. But he would have made the returning players better..might have convinced Harris and Hopson to stay under his tutelage in prep for the NBA...at 70 is'nt a careerist and would have been a perfect candidate to weather the NCAA storm.

Then again Hamilton and the quislings in Stokley probably could'nt abide someone bigger than their own bloviating selves

jsmithnga#207674 writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors_Daddy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

WD(g) I believe deadvolfoul has resurfaced copying your moniker. Ooo e ooo ah ah ting tang walla walla bing bang.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to ttowndick:

now THAT'S funny !!!!!!!!!!!

Witch Doctor say what funnier in a couple days you read we turned your coach down! lol. enjoy
Bones never lie.

tennrich1 writes:

in response to utvols1:

what "we" is he rerring to? Him and Cheeks? Seems like a HUGE rush job for another fringe "no name" - just like Dooley. One has to question ANY coach that would take this job after ESPN and half the staff lit up Hamilton and the UT Administration on the entire Pearl situation. Another rushed mediocre hire(s)

Your post seems a little rushed....

SLM85VOL writes:

Hamilton just knew KIFFIN was the guy. We can't believe anything you say Hammy. You are an overpriced idiot. You are only smart enough not to quit your job that overpays you by $400,000 and what do we have to show for it? Nothing but more cliches.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to C74Law77:

Make no mistake, this was a desperation hire. It may work out, but this was definitely not the guy they wanted.No one, and I repeat no one, except a guy making 140k per year would take this job with Hamilton as AD.

On the other hand, we could have had larry Brown at age 70. Sure he would'nt stay long. But he would have made the returning players better..might have convinced Harris and Hopson to stay under his tutelage in prep for the NBA...at 70 is'nt a careerist and would have been a perfect candidate to weather the NCAA storm.

Then again Hamilton and the quislings in Stokley probably could'nt abide someone bigger than their own bloviating selves

Your post shows just how big of an IDIOT you are. Larry Brown left Kansas to avoid SANCTIONS just as Pete Carrol did USC. That's JUST what we need...hire a guy who evaded the NCAA in 88-89 to soften the future punishment. Roy Williams took over a program in Kansas that was put on probation just after he took the job. Larry Brown was a cheater at the collegiate level. Sounds a lot like this situation, except Cuonzo has proven he can win.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to jsmithnga#207674:

WD(g) I believe deadvolfoul has resurfaced copying your moniker. Ooo e ooo ah ah ting tang walla walla bing bang.

Witch Doctor say "mama_calls_me_precious" thought he could "hang" and got his feelings hurt...hes so easy. lol Witch Doctor say hes a bitter little limp wrist that now worries about me all day long....Good Voodoo! lol.
Bones never lie.

tennrich1 writes:

in response to C74Law77:

Make no mistake, this was a desperation hire. It may work out, but this was definitely not the guy they wanted.No one, and I repeat no one, except a guy making 140k per year would take this job with Hamilton as AD.

On the other hand, we could have had larry Brown at age 70. Sure he would'nt stay long. But he would have made the returning players better..might have convinced Harris and Hopson to stay under his tutelage in prep for the NBA...at 70 is'nt a careerist and would have been a perfect candidate to weather the NCAA storm.

Then again Hamilton and the quislings in Stokley probably could'nt abide someone bigger than their own bloviating selves

You ARE kiddin right????????????

A_Voice_ofReason writes:

KNS, when are you going to announce that Martin re confirmed Hopson and Harris will enter the draft? I thought you guys were covering the presser.

volsfan74 writes:

I'm growing more and more excited about the hire. I as many were drinking the Shaka Smart Kool-Aid but then I say to myself 2 weeks ago i didn't even know who Shaka Smart was furthermore I knew so little I had USC beating them in the play in game. So for everyone that wanted Shaka Smart as our next coach ask yourself if Mike Hamilton would have hired Shaka Smart 2 weeks ago would of approved of the hire. Go Coach Martin this is one VOL fan that fully supports you.

A_Voice_ofReason writes:

in response to TheMemphisSlim:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Believe it or not, you aren't quite as dumb you sound. Pearl was fired this past week, that's a fact. He knew he probably wouldn't be retained prior to the blowout by MI (again, no surprises there). What sealed his doom (as if me telling you about his NCAA violations for the past 3 years was foretelling enough) was the most recent set of NCAA violations WHICH HAVEN'T EVEN COMPLETELY COME OUT YET.

The recruiting committee did NOT hire Cuonzo Martin weeks ago, but as soon as it was known that Pearl was gone the search started right away.

I've told you sheep for years this would happen and I'm telling you again that UT will face more violations as they publicly come out. Just a hint, you will be more than glad this liar is far removed from this program.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to TheMemphisSlim:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

New invention. Called a "cell phone." Some big corporations even have something called "vid-e-o con-fer-enc-ing." May not be in your area yet.

Dutifully mocked, I will add that I agree that everyone knew BP would be fired back circa December 13.

VolunteerLifer writes:

Earth to Hamilton: All those big name guys who turned you down when you called? - they did that because they just knew you were NOT they guy they wanted to work for.

We have a top drawer job that could have and should have attracted a proven coach/recruiter. Were it not for the reputation of Hamilton, we likely would have.

Vol86 writes:

Our new coach seems like a good guy. But, his track record does not say big time. I want to know why we went this route.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to A_Voice_ofReason:

Believe it or not, you aren't quite as dumb you sound. Pearl was fired this past week, that's a fact. He knew he probably wouldn't be retained prior to the blowout by MI (again, no surprises there). What sealed his doom (as if me telling you about his NCAA violations for the past 3 years was foretelling enough) was the most recent set of NCAA violations WHICH HAVEN'T EVEN COMPLETELY COME OUT YET.

The recruiting committee did NOT hire Cuonzo Martin weeks ago, but as soon as it was known that Pearl was gone the search started right away.

I've told you sheep for years this would happen and I'm telling you again that UT will face more violations as they publicly come out. Just a hint, you will be more than glad this liar is far removed from this program.

The problem with you "Voice" is that you give us no "reason" to believe you. Just taunts. You won't even admit that the reason you know anything is that little thing called a media pass that lets you get close to players/coaches/admin/recruits to hear rumors that you can't substantiate in print but can wildly post here. And because of this accident of trade you think you look smart? Insecure is a better word. How about doing some investigate work and find enough substantial evidence to back up your charges rather than let someone else do the work. But then that would mean you would have to get off your butt and out from behind the microphone and keyboard.

basketballfever writes:

in response to utclassof1992:

We are starting to become the UT Fighting Owls. Why? Every time That Athletic Director From Clemson hires a coach, we end up saying, "Who? Who?"
firemikehamiltonnow.com

Thats funny...I don't care who you are!!!

A_Voice_ofReason writes:

in response to VolunteerLifer:

Earth to Hamilton: All those big name guys who turned you down when you called? - they did that because they just knew you were NOT they guy they wanted to work for.

We have a top drawer job that could have and should have attracted a proven coach/recruiter. Were it not for the reputation of Hamilton, we likely would have.

You sheep are clueless aren't you?

First off, half of the names floating around were never even realistic options! You think coaches would leave schools like Pitt, Villanova, etc to come to UT? HAHAHA, not a snowballs chance.

Also, these coaches know the sledgehammer that the NCAA is going to drop down on UT. The only reason Martin took the job is because it was an upgrade from where he was. I like Cuonzo, but he'll struggle at UT and be gone within 4 years because nobody will want to play for this team once they get backhanded by the NCAA.

Thanks again Pearly.

Vol86 writes:

I think our choice for coach may help our ncaa problems and in a couple of years we will look for a big name.

hg25 writes:

in response to VolAtUGA11:

As long as Marting will wear the orange blazer, I'm fine.

Coach Marting seems like a great guy, has had success in his brief head coaching career, has some excellent mentors, and has had to work extremely hard to earn his success.

Welcome, Coach Martin. And thanks for joining UT! And and I'm serious about the blazer.

The Orange blazer is a deal breaker!

lafollette37766 writes:

in response to VolunteerLifer:

Earth to Hamilton: All those big name guys who turned you down when you called? - they did that because they just knew you were NOT they guy they wanted to work for.

We have a top drawer job that could have and should have attracted a proven coach/recruiter. Were it not for the reputation of Hamilton, we likely would have.

Hamilton hired the first person to return his call. Nothing against Martin, he seems like a good person and I am sure he will give it his all but he is walking into a huge mess and the main reason for that mess is still there.

VOLS_SEC_RULES writes:

Welcome and Best wishes for Coach Martin.

Hopefully the next article will the entitled: "Mike Hamilton, not the right guy and he's gone."

tnape21 writes:

Witch Doctor Ghost is on my last nerve. Anyone who can back the AD that destroyed a well respected program like UT is the blind following the blind.

The man has fired the most successful and beloved football and men's basketball coaches at least in the modern era. Both programs will take time to recover from his lack of leadership. He needs to go.

I want for nothing but the best from our new coach. I hope he has many years of success here. The best way to insure that is to release the UT albatross. BYE HAMILITON!

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