Cuonzo Martin linked to Illinois opening by Chicago website

Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin calls to his players during the second half against MTSU in the NIT second-round game at Thompson-Boling Arena Monday, March 19, 2012.  MTSU defeated Tennessee 71-64 to end their season.  (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer, copyright © 2012

Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin calls to his players during the second half against MTSU in the NIT second-round game at Thompson-Boling Arena Monday, March 19, 2012. MTSU defeated Tennessee 71-64 to end their season. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Editor's note: Cuonzo Martin's annual salary is $1.3 million. An earlier version of this story misstated the terms.

Comcast SportsNet Chicago is reporting that sources close to the University of Illinois and Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin have indicated Martin would be interested in filling Illinois' vacant men's basketball coaching position.

Martin didn't comment on the opening on Tuesday night, but he said earlier in the day his focus was on the Vols' offseason and improving on this season's 19-15 campaign.

"Next year we're planning on being one of the best teams in the country, that's the bottom line," Martin said Tuesday afternoon. "It's time for us to get ready to get back to work."

The Chicago website brands itself as the "Midwest's premier regional sports network" and is part of the NBC Sports Network, according to its website, CSNChicago.com.

Martin was recruited by Illinois coming out of Lincoln High School in East St. Louis, Ill., but his mother declined to let him go there because of concerns with how the school was recruiting him.

Martin is finishing up the first year of a five-year contract worth $1.3 million annually, which he agreed to when he left Missouri State after three years as its head coach to take the Tennessee job on March 27, 2011.

According to Martin's signed Memorandum of Understanding, which the News Sentinel acquired through a Tennessee Open Records request, if Martin left for another job during the first three years of his contract, he would owe UT two times his annual salary ($2.6 million).

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Comments » 114

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor guess publish this EVEN after Martin says no truth or interest. Witch Doctor now ask who is watering the bamboo? Witch Doctor say this is why we have the legend of the Miserable as we have enablers.
Bones never lie.

Witch_Doctors writes:

*Paypal ..lol. Witch Doctor say sports writers invited too!(But not betting for stolen office supplies..only cash on paypal)
Witch Doctor going home from studio and going to bed (remember! Hyams said Peyton was picking the team he was going to tomorrow! haha)
Bones never lie.

Pullingguard writes:

Whatever, but if this is true its an indication that Martin is not firmly seated in the success or Job for Tennessee basketball and if its true that he prefers to be in Ill's then turn him loose for personally I dont think he will ever match the expectations that is expected at UT.. Last nights game was a nightmire, both from coaching and players.

givehim6 writes:

Isn't that interesting? Question, what other UT head coach was all Vol for a year then was gone?

thevoice writes:

Sounds like Mr. Hart may have to up the ante for a coach to stay. Probably a good sign other major school is interested, just hope we can keep him.

golfman1975 writes:

Would he go from Cuonzo to cudzu? Illinoid is beautiful in the winter. Big 10,12,14...or the SEC? Leave the finest arena in college ball in Knoxville? Dealing with the Chicago media? Great team coming back. Makes perfect since to me.

redskinvol1 writes:

He got Austin pissed on at home,and he is a choker.Don't need that kind of loser.

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

Why don't I ever scroll through the articles on this website and see: "Derek Dooley Considering Position as Equipment Manager at UGA" ???

govolsbaby writes:

Counzo please take it!!!!

Mr. hart go out and get a offensive minded coach!! I wanna enjoy watchin UT bball agian!!

BigVolFaninSC writes:

in response to 10seVol85:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

BAM!

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

in response to Pat777:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I love this "wants to be here" nonsense. As though the ONLY reason UT's mens sports are suffering is that we haven't had coaches that WANT to be at UT.

Pearl wanted to be at UT and as soon as he made a mistake, the fans turned on him like he had committed original sin.

Fulmer wanted to be at UT, but his "want" and desire to be at UT didn't help him compete with Meyer or Saban.

Here's how you get good coaches to "want" to be at UT...YOU PAY THEM MORE THAN ANOTHER SCHOOL IS WILLING TO PAY THEM.

It isn't rocket science. Don't believe me? Watch Ohio State this next season.

Welcome to reality.

MWBTN writes:

Bring back Bruce!

Snapshot writes:

in response to lakindofguy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Why do you call the man a liar when you don't even know if it is true or not? Don't be such a moron and believe everything you read on the Internet.

bigsteve92 writes:

you people are silly. you are mad at a coach who had to come in and take over a program under ncaa watch. let along the top two scorers leaving. one who shouldnt have left scotty hopson. the man signs a 5 star player which has never been done. we finish second in the sec. but i guess you want to sound like uk fans now. oh what no national title get him out of here lol. remember offense may be exciting to watch but defense wins games. every team to win a title had great defense. ask ucla about all of theirs. never high scoring offense always great defense. defense leads to transition baskets. dont be a ignorant fan please.

lafollette37766 writes:

According to the Chicago Tribune, Illinois is going after Shaka Smart hot and heavy. It also stated that Leonard Hamilton is also interested. Nowhere was Martins name mentioned.

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

in response to 10seVol85:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I don't know...maybe you aren't looking hard enough.

EarthBoundMisfit writes:

http://www.csnchicago.com/ncaa/news/S...

Sources close to both Illinois and Martin found out that Martin would be VERY interested in coaching at Illinois. Interested enough to pull a Lane Kiffin and leave Tennessee high and dry.

On the surface, Martin seems like an intriguing candidate. He's from East St. Louis, Illinois where he won two IHSA state championships and played at Purdue under Gene Keady and alongside Matt Painter where they made it to the Elite Eight in 1995.

He knows the Big-Ten well. Imagine Martin battling Painter year in and year out. Illinois/Purdue would be a nice little rivalry. Martin's entire coaching staff at Tennessee is from Illinois including Tracy Webster who was once on Illinois' bench. I'm told by people involved in Chicago's public league that Webster is still very much 'plugged-in' to the athletes and coaches in Chicago which is extremely valuable.

notorange writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor guess publish this EVEN after Martin says no truth or interest. Witch Doctor now ask who is watering the bamboo? Witch Doctor say this is why we have the legend of the Miserable as we have enablers.
Bones never lie.

The National Enquirer is bush league compared to Go Vols Xtra.....

davids2010 writes:

Here’s an opportunity for a win/win….UT needs to do whatever is required to facilitate Martin’s leaving including waiving the penalty that was to be paid if he leaves in the first 3 years of the contract…

We can do so much better…

D60 writes:

as the old saying goes " don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out" putting it nicely

Madkels writes:

Are we facing another Kiffinesk deal? Will mattresses once again burn on Volunteer Blvd? I hope this is not the case.

After the great run through February, the excitement about this team swelled. After the terrible play against Ole Miss and MTSU, I'm sure some doubt has crept in. Put we have to remember, this team was picked to finish 11th and did finish 2nd. Not bad for a new coach with a young team.

Getting kind of tired of the coaching carousel so I'm hoping for some continuity and an even better season #2.

BrassMonkey writes:

Let him go! He flopped with a team of 3 and 4 stars. We can do better. This guy spent the entire summer in China instead of guiding summer workouts. He is worthless!

HOSSFLY writes:

the MTSU debacle convinced me that this guy is incompetent, and i'm having a hard time getting over his lack of coaching and leadership in that game. i bet he reached out to U of I......let him go.

VolAtUGA11 writes:

Doesn't anyone remember Bruce Pearl's perennial "interest" in some hot coaching job, only to be followed by a bump in contract pay/years?

If Bruce was as loyal to UT in doing this, how can you start bashing Martin for one report on one job?

And how can you hate a coach so much for turning a team of underachievers that don't fit his playing scheme into 2nd place regular season SEC and a win in the NIT?

Martin's done a great job in his only year here. He's as much of a class act as you can get in college sports. Everyone that's flying off the handle, demanding he leave right now after one little report needs to calm down.

And anyone still angry at Kiffin needs to get a life. It's been 2+ years! Get over it.

HOSSFLY writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor guess publish this EVEN after Martin says no truth or interest. Witch Doctor now ask who is watering the bamboo? Witch Doctor say this is why we have the legend of the Miserable as we have enablers.
Bones never lie.

WD...i luv ya bro. but way too cryptic for this time in the morning. my brain, or lack thereof, can't figure it out !

bigorangesob writes:

CCM took a team expected to finish next to last in the SEC and finished 2nd, yeah there were some bumps along the way, but it's 1 yr, Dooley ain't did squat in 2 yrs and tons of people says he deserves another year, doesn't CCM deserve another year?

Lean_and_Hungry writes:

Here's the link to the Tribune article:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/...

As Lafollette37766 noted, he's not mentioned and may even be considered a third-tier hire.

SummittsCourt writes:

Click the link and read the article. If this writer is being truthful and the sources are correct, Martin may be gone.

If so, we have an AD who want settle for mid-major talent at coach and this might not be the such a bad thing for Tennessee.

VolnPickwick writes:

I too think Martin did a good job in his first year, I like him and believe he can succeed at Tennessee. But with that being said, why would you still have a timeout left in a game that close? Why didn't he call timeout to break momentum, settle his club down, give them a chance to catch their breath? I didn't really see him do any coaching the last seven minutes of the game against MTSU, the same thing against Ole Miss. It's like he just took the reigns off at let them run, and as a result (in my opinion ) we got beat in two games we should have or at least could have won. Someone please enlighten me.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to andforhisnexttune:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Witch Doctor say not true. Witch Doctor in studio late last night and stupidly look on this site. haha. Witch Doctor dealing with hack singers and "autotune" Witch Doctor say Nashville full enough of great singers that cant get work now full of really bad singers and technology! haha
Bones never lie.

ProfessionalHandicapper writes:

in response to golfman1975:

Would he go from Cuonzo to cudzu? Illinoid is beautiful in the winter. Big 10,12,14...or the SEC? Leave the finest arena in college ball in Knoxville? Dealing with the Chicago media? Great team coming back. Makes perfect since to me.

You people use the word great with little expectations. GREAT teams dont go to the NIT nor do they lose to APSU and MTSU in the same year. You really wanna call a team that is forced to start McBee and has no center great? Hardly

jakethevolguy writes:

in response to bigsteve92:

you people are silly. you are mad at a coach who had to come in and take over a program under ncaa watch. let along the top two scorers leaving. one who shouldnt have left scotty hopson. the man signs a 5 star player which has never been done. we finish second in the sec. but i guess you want to sound like uk fans now. oh what no national title get him out of here lol. remember offense may be exciting to watch but defense wins games. every team to win a title had great defense. ask ucla about all of theirs. never high scoring offense always great defense. defense leads to transition baskets. dont be a ignorant fan please.

If you hold a team to 30 points and you only score 25, YOU STILL LOSE!!

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say not true. Witch Doctor in studio late last night and stupidly look on this site. haha. Witch Doctor dealing with hack singers and "autotune" Witch Doctor say Nashville full enough of great singers that cant get work now full of really bad singers and technology! haha
Bones never lie.

Let me in on a little of that autotune tech.
I don't want to come to Nashville or be a star, I just want to have a copy of me singing the "abc" song with my little girl, and it not make my dog howl.

Bubba_Knows writes:

in response to govolsbaby:

Counzo please take it!!!!

Mr. hart go out and get a offensive minded coach!! I wanna enjoy watchin UT bball agian!!

Baby - if you had had an offensive minded coach with this team (lack of offensive scoring talent especially from outside), you would not have won 19 games. Some people amaze me with their lack of basketball knowledge. Martin actually did a great job considering he didn't have a point guard (kind of a critical position). My only complaint about Martin is his seemingly inabaility to recruit talented players. Of course, we now know how Pearl did it. CHEAT!

Bubba_Knows writes:

in response to Clarkrm0706:

Let me in on a little of that autotune tech.
I don't want to come to Nashville or be a star, I just want to have a copy of me singing the "abc" song with my little girl, and it not make my dog howl.

Arrrrrr. Bawaaaaaaa

westknoxrepub writes:

I'm not sure how the Illinois fan base would react to them hiring a coach who has never been to an NCAA tournament. Unless Mike Hamilton has suddenly become thier athletic director.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to Clarkrm0706:

Let me in on a little of that autotune tech.
I don't want to come to Nashville or be a star, I just want to have a copy of me singing the "abc" song with my little girl, and it not make my dog howl.

Witch Doctor say the new modeling can make you sound like Garth or even Whitney if you close your eyes and can breath like a the singer..amazing and sad as now the floodgates have opened. Witch Doctor say go to the small clubs where they DONT have it and your ears bleed. haha
Bones never lie.
(your girl loves Daddys voices Im sure! lol)

Bubba_Knows writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

You people use the word great with little expectations. GREAT teams dont go to the NIT nor do they lose to APSU and MTSU in the same year. You really wanna call a team that is forced to start McBee and has no center great? Hardly

What do you mean by YOU PEOPLE?

Vols17 writes:

Everyone calm down. There mat be no truth to this at all.

volbob writes:

I love the internet...and sports writers...and passionate fans. Quality entertainment during the football off-season. I don't watch bball, or care about bball, but the posts seem to indicate that the coaching style sometimes got in the way of the player's talent during the season. Sound familiar? Happens all the time. He either stays or goes, and life will go on. Can't wait for football stuff to start posting again! GBO

Bubba_Knows writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor guess publish this EVEN after Martin says no truth or interest. Witch Doctor now ask who is watering the bamboo? Witch Doctor say this is why we have the legend of the Miserable as we have enablers.
Bones never lie.

WD - this is East Tn you are talking to and we do not have a fricken clue what you are talking about. I'll come over and pee on the bamboo if you want me to.

Bubba_Knows writes:

in response to HOSSFLY:

WD...i luv ya bro. but way too cryptic for this time in the morning. my brain, or lack thereof, can't figure it out !

Hossfly: Look to the water at your feet. Does not the sage say: "What is more yielding than water? Yet, back it comes again, wearing down the ridged strength, which cannot stand to its strength. What is more forceful than quite water?"

RockyTopVolFan writes:

Could you hold the Xtra, the rumors, and the innuendos and just state the facts?

kevin151 writes:

that would be too funny... UT can't keep a coach in any sport.

Bubba_Knows writes:

in response to bigorangesob:

CCM took a team expected to finish next to last in the SEC and finished 2nd, yeah there were some bumps along the way, but it's 1 yr, Dooley ain't did squat in 2 yrs and tons of people says he deserves another year, doesn't CCM deserve another year?

YES

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say the new modeling can make you sound like Garth or even Whitney if you close your eyes and can breath like a the singer..amazing and sad as now the floodgates have opened. Witch Doctor say go to the small clubs where they DONT have it and your ears bleed. haha
Bones never lie.
(your girl loves Daddys voices Im sure! lol)

Digital enhancment for models, autotune for singers, body doubles for actors and reality tv that isn't real. Interesting species we are.

HOSSFLY writes:

in response to Bubba_Knows:

Hossfly: Look to the water at your feet. Does not the sage say: "What is more yielding than water? Yet, back it comes again, wearing down the ridged strength, which cannot stand to its strength. What is more forceful than quite water?"

whoa.......my head hurts even more...lol !

and this quote from a guy in east tennessee !!

well, it takes us hillbilly vol fans in sw va a little bit longer to fully digest the meaning of such things. i'll get back to you-ins.....

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to Clarkrm0706:

Digital enhancment for models, autotune for singers, body doubles for actors and reality tv that isn't real. Interesting species we are.

Witch Doctor say now you know why Im a Witch Doctor in hiding! Witch Doctor say talent is slowly being replaced by this BS.really sad.
Bones never lie
*There was an article(someone was telling me) some clown was suing Apple cause the "guitar app" didnt make him a great guitar player.((??))

Fall_Creek_Vols writes:

Horse hockey.

I don't believe it...not for a second.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to Bubba_Knows:

WD - this is East Tn you are talking to and we do not have a fricken clue what you are talking about. I'll come over and pee on the bamboo if you want me to.

Witch Doctor say it was a "back at ya" comment about the bamboo. Witch Doctor from E tn too and dont have clue either. Witch Doctor say pay attention 3 different "trolls"(which means they are the same person) used that reference.((??))
Bones never lie.

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