Tee Martin mulling over return to UT

Former Vol QB offered job two days ago

Former Tennessee quarterback and current coach Tee Martin greets Tennessee defensive back Brent Brewer at the conclusion Tennessee's 24-14 win Saturday, Nov. 27, 2010 in Neyland Stadium in Knoxville.

Photo by Michael Patrick

Former Tennessee quarterback and current coach Tee Martin greets Tennessee defensive back Brent Brewer at the conclusion Tennessee's 24-14 win Saturday, Nov. 27, 2010 in Neyland Stadium in Knoxville.

Former Tennessee quarterback Tee Martin, who led the Vols to the 1998 national championship and is now one of the college game's most respected recruiters, will fly back to Los Angeles on Tuesday to consider an offer to return to Knoxville as a part of new coach Butch Jones' first staff.

Martin, currently receivers coach at Southern California, said he met with Jones and other staff members and toured UT's facilities on Monday in what was less a job interview and more a pitch.

"Things went really good," Martin said. "I had an opportunity to meet the staff and see everything that's changed (on campus). I could tell they were headed in the right direction."

Jones, who was hired Friday after three years at Cincinnati, has already filled every position on his new staff but the one reserved for Martin, who said he was offered the job two days ago.

Jones will bring five assistants from Cincinnati — offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian, offensive line coach Don Mahoney, tight ends coach Mark Elder, defensive coordinator John Jancek and defensive line coach Steve Stripling — and retain running backs coach Jay Graham from Derek Dooley's staff at Tennessee.

He is adding two who coached at Auburn in 2012 and were let go after Gene Chizik was fired. Secondary coach Willie Martinez has strong connections to Central Michigan and the Jones coaching tree and also coached with Jancek at Georgia. The other Auburn addition, Tommy Thigpen, could coach either linebackers or defensive backs. He has a reputation as an ace recruiter and was likely introduced to Jones by Martinez.

Tennessee has not yet officially confirmed the hiring of the eight assistants, but all eight coaches are listed in the university's staff directory. High school recruits also have tweeted about getting visits from several of the coaches.

That leaves only the receiver position. If Martin turns UT down, Jones could turn to his Cincinnati receivers coach T.J. Weist.

Martin shed no light on his plans Monday night. He politely answered questions from two reporters after watching his son's basketball game at Powell Middle School.

"We'll see what happens," he said. "Today was more about getting to know each other."

Martin arrived at the airport Monday morning with his wife, a singer known professionally as Toya, and his two children. His son in Knoxville is from a previous relationship.

"We don't get to see each other as much as we'd like, but when we do we make the best of it," Martin said.

Martin's presence in town created a stir on Twitter, and he cheerfully obliged autograph requests and visits from fans.

Asked about the seriousness of his interest, Martin said, "I'm here."

But he also emphasized that he liked living in Los Angeles, had no overriding desire to get back to the Southeast and was proud of the Trojans' top-ranked recruiting class.

Martin said he would talk about the decision with his wife and family on Tuesday, but said there was no timeline on when he would ultimately decide.

"It's about making this decision for the right reason," he said.

USC is a private university and does not have to disclose the salary it pays coaches. Jones was given a pool of $3 million with which to hire assistant coaches.

Prior to joining the Trojans and former UT coach Lane Kiffin, Martin spent two years at Kentucky and one year at New Mexico.

Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/TennesseeBeat.

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Comments » 205

GloryDays writes:

Tee come back to the promised land. The Vols need you. Why would anyone want to live in Los Angles and work with that scum bag Kiffin?

hallmo11 writes:

Come on, Tee!! Make our day. The Vol Nation would love to have you back.

123forVOLS writes:

Sounds like it is far from a done deal. The money alone could be a stumbling block. Either way, I have a lot of respect for Tee Martin and always will even though I think nothing of the soft cakes twinky head coach he works for in LA. GO VOLS!

keepitreal4vols writes:

Hopefully when they get back to LA and start coughing from all that toxic smog in the air, they will decide raising a family in a community not known as Compton would be a good idea.

papavol writes:

You better believe that his wife is calling the shots on this one.. Not sure where she is from but i'm willing to bet that her personal career is (or will be) thriving in LA.. Knoxville, not so much. If she is willing to give a little, Tee will be wearing the power T. You know he wants to!

DavidB writes:

Hoping he heads our way. Having a kid here may help him move this way. If he chooses to stay at USC I wish him all the luck. I know trooper Taylor has a NCAA cloud over his head right now but trooper would be another good ad.

utvols420 writes:

"It's about making this decision for the right reason,"

I'm sure he misses his son.

govolsgo8586 writes:

I wonder how VOL nation would feel if he decides to pick that scumbag over his alma mater? I sure hope he comes to UT it would be a shame if he doesn't. The only thing other thing I could think of that would keep him in LA is the fact his wife is a singer however, if they don't see each other often anyway why would it matter. When they normally would be able to see each other she could fly to Knoxville during her down time.

jjk writes:

Please Tee, come back! The Vols need you! Don't let your wife wear the pants on this one. It's never been a better situation.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

Sounds like the offer was a low ball in Tee's mind. Forget lil Lane and get your arse back to UT where you belong..

utvols420 writes:

She is a former singer. She is not currently a professional singer. If she was you would hear her on the radio. She is a mom now, duh. She had her moment, its over. The music business is a young person's game. She doesn't tour. She raises babies!!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to KnoxVegas88:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No doubt, that sounded kind of like thx but no thx. Maybe we're misreading his words, but it sure sounded like: "I'm way too happy in So-cal to ever move back to Knoxville".

jt45 writes:

Hope he is just going back to give LK the news before making it official. Should just send him a text. Of course USC might have a raise waiting for him and UT might get the text. Dang I hope not.

pcorange writes:

If he were coming, it seems like he would've gotten it all worked out while he was still here. Letting him get back on a plane to LA undecided may not bode well for us. I'd love for him to come home, but there are other receivers coaches out there. Hinshaw isn't bad if we don't lose him waiting on Tee's decision.

cloudodust writes:

Can't blame Tee for mulling it over. 'Coming Home Again' is at best a risk that can go one of two ways and one of those ain't good. Personally, I'd like to see him return but I will completely understand if he doesn't. I'll wage he'll chat with CPF during his thought process. Either way, we have his team's Crystal Football and I kinda hope he'd like to give it his best shot to earn another from the sidelines in Knoxville, not with Kiffin out yonder.

orangecountyvols writes:

Tee,

What's to 'mull?' Get yourself back here and far away from the surfer dude.....who without Barkley will be back to so-so on the gridiron.
This is supposed to be the best or one of the best staffs in the country. Pieces need to fall in place to make it so.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to pcorange:

If he were coming, it seems like he would've gotten it all worked out while he was still here. Letting him get back on a plane to LA undecided may not bode well for us. I'd love for him to come home, but there are other receivers coaches out there. Hinshaw isn't bad if we don't lose him waiting on Tee's decision.

I thought Hinshaw signed on with Tucky? Also, his WRC at Cincy will most likely fill the void if Tee opts to stay in So-Cal.

massvolfan writes:

This is no reflection on the abilities of the UC staff he is bringing...I know nothing about them. However, in light of his "best staff in the country" statement, I hope there is a lot more at work here than simply loyalty. This staff is going to be the key to the Vols success.

pcorange writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

I thought Hinshaw signed on with Tucky? Also, his WRC at Cincy will most likely fill the void if Tee opts to stay in So-Cal.

Last I saw, Hinshaw had an offer on the table from Kentucky, but I never saw that he'd accepted. He may have and I just missed it.

LifetimeVolFan writes:

GIVE ME A BREAK...."Mull over an offer". I say press on to the next candidate if he doesn't answer tomorrow. This is his school where he won a national championship and he needs to mull over whether to stay with the scum bag who walked out on his school or return to UT. I don't believe for a second this is about his wife's singing career--his decision will speak volumes about his allegiance to UT. I guess we'll see where his true colors lie.

pcorange writes:

in response to massvolfan:

This is no reflection on the abilities of the UC staff he is bringing...I know nothing about them. However, in light of his "best staff in the country" statement, I hope there is a lot more at work here than simply loyalty. This staff is going to be the key to the Vols success.

I couldn't agree with you more. I'm excited about CBJ, but I'm a little bit nervous about him bringing so many Cincinnati assistants. It's his butt on the line, so I'm sure he has confidence in their abilities or he wouldn't risk it.

Enki_Amenra writes:

It would be awesome this return become reality. It's time our National Champion alums come home and put Tennessee back on the level they took us to. Those alums hate to see their University as a shell of what they spilled sweat and blood to build.

Only reason I see Coach Tee Martin remaining in LA is his wife, the fact that she's an entertainer and LA is a Mecca for entertainers. Hopefully she will support Martin if this is what he wants to do... not too far from Nashville or Atlanta and she can chase her star from either of those 2 places, just as well as she can in Los Angeles.

CoverOrange writes:

Liked living in LA.
No desire to come back to the southeast.
Long distance relationship with his son.

It's a "thanks, but no" for an answer already.

jt45 writes:

in response to pcorange:

Last I saw, Hinshaw had an offer on the table from Kentucky, but I never saw that he'd accepted. He may have and I just missed it.

I think Hinshaw is done gone http://kentuckysportsradio.com/?p=123276

LifetimeVolFan writes:

in response to cloudodust:

Can't blame Tee for mulling it over. 'Coming Home Again' is at best a risk that can go one of two ways and one of those ain't good. Personally, I'd like to see him return but I will completely understand if he doesn't. I'll wage he'll chat with CPF during his thought process. Either way, we have his team's Crystal Football and I kinda hope he'd like to give it his best shot to earn another from the sidelines in Knoxville, not with Kiffin out yonder.

Clearly less risk than what he faces at USC...Kiffin is clearly on the red hot seat. By virute of the new coaching staff contract alone he would have a bare minimum of 3 years at UT. Not so at USC, so I don't see your logic at all.

OwensboroVol writes:

Come on Tee, Mama is calling!

laraccoon writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

No doubt, that sounded kind of like thx but no thx. Maybe we're misreading his words, but it sure sounded like: "I'm way too happy in So-cal to ever move back to Knoxville".

maybe he see s the cash cow the UT athletic department has been the last few years and he is trying to get his cut . either way i hope he dont punk the athletic dept.

johnnyvol writes:

Tee, Come home for Christmas.If not for Christmas by New Year's Eve.We need you home.Been gone to long !!!!

Enki_Amenra writes:

Also wanted to add... Tee has children with this woman and they are obviously married. I don't know for how long, but it seems they have been together more than 4-5 years? If that is the case, then they were living in Kentucky not too long ago.

Her career with music may not hinge on LA. Although the is a mom, a lot of singers are mom's and they don't just 'raise babies'.

Also, being a singer doesn't mean that is her only talent. Many times singers have multi-talents in the music industry. Writer, producer, manager, etc. are just a few things she probably has the talent to work with. That still leads me to believe all those things can be accomplished in Nashville or Atlanta as easy as LA... in Atlanta, maybe even more-so.

chrisvol4ut writes:

Who doesn't turn down UT these days? This has gotten to the point now that all I do is laugh. He can coach at Kentucky and for a team on probation for a dip wad like Kiffin but has to mull over an offer from the school that made him a national championship when we need him now more than ever.

LifetimeVolFan writes:

in response to chrisvol4ut:

Who doesn't turn down UT these days? This has gotten to the point now that all I do is laugh. He can coach at Kentucky and for a team on probation for a dip wad like Kiffin but has to mull over an offer from the school that made him a national championship when we need him now more than ever.

WELL SAID......

pcorange writes:

in response to jt45:

I think Hinshaw is done gone http://kentuckysportsradio.com/?p=123276

Thanks. I've read so much stuff the last three or four days it's all running together. Kentucky got a pretty good coach and recruiter in Hinshaw. I hope Tee decides to come home, but if I were CBJ I wouldn't give him much longer. Recruiting is a hot topic right now, and we need to get solid people in place and on the trail.

jt45 writes:

in response to LifetimeVolFan:

Clearly less risk than what he faces at USC...Kiffin is clearly on the red hot seat. By virute of the new coaching staff contract alone he would have a bare minimum of 3 years at UT. Not so at USC, so I don't see your logic at all.

I agree, and based on LKs track record so far I wouldnt be surprised to see the Lane train derailed after next season. Kiffen fetching water for another head coach is worth a good laugh, I think I will put that on my Christmas wish list.

claiborneh writes:

No way a singer/songwriter will want to leave scene even if she is not currently engaged in her career. Knoxville way too boring

wycoller writes:

Doesn't sound hopeful. It's easier to say no from 2000 miles away.

exlineman writes:

I say if Tee doesn't want to come home, try and go after the great Willie Gault who might like to come home. Just a thought, but he is probably making so much money, ours would be a joke. If we could get Willie, he is definitely a super star that could out recruit anyone out there. He could defiitely work on some of the speed we definitely need.

vol68 writes:

People grow up move out do their own thing. It is not always about going back to your alma mater to be successful. Sometimes that is the worst thing to do. Some people want to do that and others don't. As for Lane Kiffen, everyone should get over him. He is not an enemy, he came here to coach and did a decent job and was recruiting players to UT when USC happened. He was a guy way down on their list after others passed on USC. He was just given the opportunity to coach at a place he liked better. Most people have changed jobs and some change jobs quickly if something else comes up. This wasn't Kffen's dream job but this was one of Butch Jones dream jobs. The only thing to be concerned with is what are the other schools he considered to be a dream job.

alavol writes:

in response to DavidB:

Hoping he heads our way. Having a kid here may help him move this way. If he chooses to stay at USC I wish him all the luck. I know trooper Taylor has a NCAA cloud over his head right now but trooper would be another good ad.

trooper taylor is a fraud!

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

in response to 123forVOLS:

Sounds like it is far from a done deal. The money alone could be a stumbling block. Either way, I have a lot of respect for Tee Martin and always will even though I think nothing of the soft cakes twinky head coach he works for in LA. GO VOLS!

Speaking of money --

http://www.bestplaces.net/col/?salary...

You get the same quality of life out of $59K in Knoxville that you get out of $100K in Los Angeles, or every dollar you earn in L.A. is equal to about $1.70 in Knoxville. On the other hand, Tennessee has no state income tax and federal tax rates don't care what state you live in. That makes the difference even bigger, I would guess.

The draw of L.A. would be the bright lights. The draw of Knoxville would be peace, alma mater and being close to that son of his, not to mention hero worship. I doubt anybody stops him at LAX for an autograph.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to laraccoon:

maybe he see s the cash cow the UT athletic department has been the last few years and he is trying to get his cut . either way i hope he dont punk the athletic dept.

I can't see a position coach receiving more than 2-400G's unless he'll be the RC as well. And if he's punking out the Ath Dept like you alluded to, he's no better than that scum Lane Kiffin.

HooRay_Vol writes:

Only 3 million to hire assistant coaches? Didn't Monte Kiffin make 2 million as DC? How can we expect to get Tee when there is no money left in the pot?

LifetimeVolFan writes:

in response to vol68:

People grow up move out do their own thing. It is not always about going back to your alma mater to be successful. Sometimes that is the worst thing to do. Some people want to do that and others don't. As for Lane Kiffen, everyone should get over him. He is not an enemy, he came here to coach and did a decent job and was recruiting players to UT when USC happened. He was a guy way down on their list after others passed on USC. He was just given the opportunity to coach at a place he liked better. Most people have changed jobs and some change jobs quickly if something else comes up. This wasn't Kffen's dream job but this was one of Butch Jones dream jobs. The only thing to be concerned with is what are the other schools he considered to be a dream job.

I will never get over him....he tried to destroy my school's football program! Leave without notice is one thing, but to send your dirty low down staff to steal away the recruits that UT paid them a great salary while they were recruiting them is flat wrong, and in my humble opinion unethical. For that reason alone, I and many thousands of vol fans WILL NOT get over it, period!

Observer43 writes:

I remember when Tee was just a recruit and he played the media....I hope he makes the right decision once again! Kiffin will be gone in less than one year.

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor not in the loop BUT Witch Doctor know someone who is QUICK comment was Tee leaving SC was doubtful and not promising.
Witch Doctor glad to be wrong
TFWIW
Bones never lie.

jt45 writes:

in response to pcorange:

Thanks. I've read so much stuff the last three or four days it's all running together. Kentucky got a pretty good coach and recruiter in Hinshaw. I hope Tee decides to come home, but if I were CBJ I wouldn't give him much longer. Recruiting is a hot topic right now, and we need to get solid people in place and on the trail.

I know what you mean, its crazy trying to follow all the news and decipher all the BS from whats real. I cant imagine how these coaches manage these short notice decisions, I mean they make great money but pulling up roots at the drop of a hat with a family or the other situations they face has to be a challenge. Hinshaw probably jumped at the first offer but you cant blame a guy for staying employed these days.
Did he have a buyout, or did getting the UK job nullify that?

exlineman writes:

in response to exlineman:

I say if Tee doesn't want to come home, try and go after the great Willie Gault who might like to come home. Just a thought, but he is probably making so much money, ours would be a joke. If we could get Willie, he is definitely a super star that could out recruit anyone out there. He could defiitely work on some of the speed we definitely need.

Even if Coach Jones could get Willie Gault to come back for a visit and have a Willie Gault day, it would be great as to what his name could do for recruiting. Willie is a part time actor in Hollywood and I feel these young people could relate to Willie, even though he is 52 yrs of age.

bigdisbig writes:

Kiffin's time is limited for without his dad he is a loser. This was his year...number 1 rating at the beginning of the season and now reduced to playing Ga. Tech in the toilet bowl. He can recruit but can't coach. Tee Martin....if you stay with USC you will be walking the unemployment line in 2 years. There is no decision to contemplate. Come back home.

PHAT_VOL writes:

Every one has to find his own way.

Good luck Coach Martin!

pms151 writes:

in response to GloryDays:

Tee come back to the promised land. The Vols need you. Why would anyone want to live in Los Angles and work with that scum bag Kiffin?

Because it is LA not Hicksville. He can name his price anywhere in the country, but if he stays put there he will be a HC in 3 years..probably here.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

Liked living in LA.
No desire to come back to the southeast.
Long distance relationship with his son.

It's a "thanks, but no" for an answer already.

I'm trying to follow your logic, but you're not making it easy. "Liked living in LA," and "No desire to come back to the southeast" sound like reasons he would stay out West, but being out West is what causes him to have a long distance relationship with his son, who lives in Knoxville (Powell, maybe?).

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