Nearly 5,000 votes later, GVX readers name their choice for the next head basketball coach

University of Tennessee vice chancellor and director of athletics Dave Hart announces Cuonzo Martin is leaving for California from the Ray Mears Room at Thompson-Boling Arena Tuesday, Apr. 15, 2014.   (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Michael Patrick, copyright © 2014

University of Tennessee vice chancellor and director of athletics Dave Hart announces Cuonzo Martin is leaving for California from the Ray Mears Room at Thompson-Boling Arena Tuesday, Apr. 15, 2014. (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

John Adams talks what's next for Tennessee post-Cuonzo Martin

In the days that followed Cuonzo Martin's surprise announcement that he was leaving Tennessee for California, nearly 5,000 GVX readers weighed in on who they wanted for his replacement.

Topping the list with 35 percent of the vote is Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall.

"The voters' top pick is really no surprise," said Knoxville News Sentinel basketball beat reporter Ben Frederickson. "It's likely UT athletic director Dave Hart's as well, along with pretty much any other athletic director that would be asked to fill a coaching vacancy."

"The question with Marshall, who has been linked to two previous UT coaching searches, is the money. He's not going to leave a basketball-crazed school that has a loaded roster returning for a slight pay bump, especially when he knows he's one of the hottest names in the business. Unless UT is willing to go big — up toward $3 million per year — this is probably a pipe dream for Vol fans. Surely UT won't pay a basketball coach more than Butch Jones? The UT football coach makes $2.95 million per year."

Coming in second place with almost 900 votes was VCU coach Shaka Smart.

"Shaka Smart, like Marshall, is a dream pick for college basketball fans," says Frederickson. "But remember: Smart turned down Marquette, a school in his home state, even thought it was paying its last coach (Buzz Williams) $3 million per year. Yes, Cuonzo Martin also turned down Marquette. But Smart would have been paid more to be the lead man for the Golden Eagles. It's tough to see UT, given its current financial state, coming up with an offer that could make Smart bite. Also, Smart and Martin have ties. What kind of recommendation would Martin give UT?"

Third on the list, Minnesota coach Richard Pitino whose team won the NIT tournament this year. The odds of Pitino coming to Tennessee were dashed slightly on Thursday when Minnesota athletic director Norwood Teague said on a local radio station that Pitino was "not interested" in the Tennessee job.

"Richard Pitino is much more realistic, despite his athletic director's recent comments that he has no interest in the UT job. (Vol fans have seen firsthand how fast that can change)," says Frederickson. "UT could offer Pitino more than his $1.2 million per year, if it deemed the 31-year-old who has been at two schools in two years worth the risk. His buyout is $1.5 million, which would be mostly covered by the $1.3 million Cal will pay for hiring Martin."

You can view the results of the poll here. This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

© 2014 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 17

vut5686#1405392 writes:

Let's see: (Well worded) logic rules out our top two choices. Pitino and the Colorado guy have already said, "Not interested." They probably will lead the parade or those so disinclined. We already are in single digits as to Vol fan interest. So, whoever we get is likely not going to please the majority of (at least) vocal fans.

The Belmont guy gets many favorable comments; he would be within our price range. But, to go for him runs counter to the oft voiced claim that "We have to hire a big name, successful coach." One presumably reaching the NCAAs on a regular basis.

When it is said and done, we might wish we had been nicer to the last guy. Any up and comer is unproven at major conference level; one plays their cards and takes their chances.

westknoxrepub writes:

in response to vut5686#1405392:

Let's see: (Well worded) logic rules out our top two choices. Pitino and the Colorado guy have already said, "Not interested." They probably will lead the parade or those so disinclined. We already are in single digits as to Vol fan interest. So, whoever we get is likely not going to please the majority of (at least) vocal fans.

The Belmont guy gets many favorable comments; he would be within our price range. But, to go for him runs counter to the oft voiced claim that "We have to hire a big name, successful coach." One presumably reaching the NCAAs on a regular basis.

When it is said and done, we might wish we had been nicer to the last guy. Any up and comer is unproven at major conference level; one plays their cards and takes their chances.

Yeah but Byrd has never won an NCAA tournament game. . .that's his downside. His work at Belmont is primarily smoke and mirrors and kind of got exposed when he switched conferences and failed to make the tournament this year.

atnvol#283282 writes:

in response to vut5686#1405392:

Let's see: (Well worded) logic rules out our top two choices. Pitino and the Colorado guy have already said, "Not interested." They probably will lead the parade or those so disinclined. We already are in single digits as to Vol fan interest. So, whoever we get is likely not going to please the majority of (at least) vocal fans.

The Belmont guy gets many favorable comments; he would be within our price range. But, to go for him runs counter to the oft voiced claim that "We have to hire a big name, successful coach." One presumably reaching the NCAAs on a regular basis.

When it is said and done, we might wish we had been nicer to the last guy. Any up and comer is unproven at major conference level; one plays their cards and takes their chances.

Lets wait and see instead of pissin and moanin about the upcoming hire...maybe Hart knows another B. Jones...

And Ben Fredrickson.....who told you that Martin "turned down" the Marquette job????

ThirdCreek writes:

Can we take a vote on who we want to see replace the inept Dave Hart at AD?

ccjensen writes:

Word on the street is that Jerry Green and Buzz Peterson are both available...and they have UT ties!!!

underthehill writes:

in response to atnvol#283282:

Lets wait and see instead of pissin and moanin about the upcoming hire...maybe Hart knows another B. Jones...

And Ben Fredrickson.....who told you that Martin "turned down" the Marquette job????

I don't know if it was Ben Fredrickson or the entire NS sports staff..but all I read and heard indicates it was total speculation on their part..the fact that he was not hired by Marq tells me he was not offered..and his statement that he withdrew his name was intended to deceive the drum beaters who wanted to paint UT as the villain when in fact they were more than fair to offer him a raise and 2 yr ext..but they were also smart enough to set the low buyout that they obviously expected they would have to pay with the depleted roster Martin is leaving..now I agree with you ...enough pissin and moaning..get another coach and I don't care who..just so he can game coach, teach good basketball fundamentals and raise hell with the officials over bad calls..

underthehill writes:

in response to ThirdCreek:

Can we take a vote on who we want to see replace the inept Dave Hart at AD?

Not at this time..he got this one right..he set they buyout low in case Martin couldn't get it done with his own recruits..I don't see any reason to think Martin could have took this roster and finished in the top 5 in the SEC..

rainbow6 writes:

We should question the intelligence of any basketball coach who would move to the univesity of Tennessee.
Tennessee's record for treating coaches like the men that they are is the worst in the SEC and one of the worst in the nation.
Wishful thinking ain't gonna make it happen.

Snapshot writes:

in response to underthehill:

I don't know if it was Ben Fredrickson or the entire NS sports staff..but all I read and heard indicates it was total speculation on their part..the fact that he was not hired by Marq tells me he was not offered..and his statement that he withdrew his name was intended to deceive the drum beaters who wanted to paint UT as the villain when in fact they were more than fair to offer him a raise and 2 yr ext..but they were also smart enough to set the low buyout that they obviously expected they would have to pay with the depleted roster Martin is leaving..now I agree with you ...enough pissin and moaning..get another coach and I don't care who..just so he can game coach, teach good basketball fundamentals and raise hell with the officials over bad calls..

I agree. I said all along Martin was not offered the Marquette job. If they had offered he would have took the job, why else would he have got on a plane and went to THEM?

Oh well, time to move on. Open the checkbook UT and hire a proven winner. 2.9 mil would be less Butch but still enough to attract a lot of good coaches.

ThirdCreek writes:

Hart's toupee bothers me.

rrekdivad#1422923 writes:

Reggie Theus

UT4prez writes:

in response to Snapshot:

I agree. I said all along Martin was not offered the Marquette job. If they had offered he would have took the job, why else would he have got on a plane and went to THEM?

Oh well, time to move on. Open the checkbook UT and hire a proven winner. 2.9 mil would be less Butch but still enough to attract a lot of good coaches.

You may be right but he went to them so he could fully assess the opportunity. That doesn't mean he wanted them. I drove to an interview at a company and then turned them down when they offered. The fact he went there doesn't support your point whether right or wrong.

trek writes:

Marquette is presently operating with an interim AD, and there's something I heard about the TV coverage of the team's games that was screwy. It might have been too unstable for Martin to feel good about it. He has young kids and it's hard on them to move from place to place. What if Marquette gets a permanent AD and he decides he wants to get rid of Martin and get his own guy in there? Cal job was probably a more settled situation. Good for Martin. I hope he gets a fresh start and does great things at Cal.

ccjensen writes:

trek writes:

Marquette is presently operating with an interim AD, and there's something I heard about the TV coverage of the team's games that was screwy. It might have been too unstable for Martin to feel good about it. He has young kids and it's hard on them to move from place to place. What if Marquette gets a permanent AD and he decides he wants to get rid of Martin and get his own guy in there?
----------------------------------
Kind of like Hart wanted to get rid of Martin and get his own guy. Hart's plans, and those of 30,000 haters, kind of got waylaid by a Sweet Sixteen appearance, but be assured, your message was heard loud-n-clear by Martin, and probably most minority recruits that even thought about Tennessee for one second.

johnlg00 writes:

If all of the 5000 people who voted for Marshall were to sign an iron-clad pledge of, say, $5000 each, part of which would almost certainly have to go to Butch Jones, then Marshall might at least return UT's phone call. Any takers?

carlvolfan#216136 writes:

It would be a damn shame if UT didn't hire an up and comer: ARCHIE MILLER!

fittrvssixty writes:

Does Steven Pearl have a buy out at UA?? Maybe half the 35,000 petitioners would be happy with any Pearl. I am not pleased with Hart's inability to retain Cuonzo...unless he has someone better in mind.

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