Tennessee hero Tee Martin turns down Vols

At least three head coaching candidates turned down overtures from Tennessee, but the most painful rejection may have come from an assistant coach.

Tee Martin, the quarterback who led the Vols to a national championship in 1998 — the year after Peyton Manning left for the NFL — has turned down an offer to become receivers coach under new head coach Butch Jones.

Making matters even worse is the fact that Martin works at Southern Cal for Lane Kiffin, who infuriated Tennessee fans by leaving Knoxville after only one season as head coach. Martin is in his first season as receivers coach at USC.

Martin said his decision was no reflection on Tennessee — he is just keeping his word.

“I was very honored to be offered a position on Coach Jones’ Tennessee staff,” Martin said in a statement posted on the Southern Cal website. “I truly believe he will do an outstanding job with the Vols program. My decision to remain at USC was the toughest I have ever had to make because Tennessee is such a special place to me.

“At the end of the day, I am a man of my word. I promised Coach Kiffin when I was hired at USC that I had goals I wanted to accomplish here. We still have work to do here to reach those goals. I see a great future at USC with the players on our roster and the recruits we have coming in.

“I have so much love and respect for Tennessee. But at this time, the right decision was to continue at USC and I am looking forward to doing that.”

54 comments Add your comment

oledawg

December 12th, 2012
9:44 am

i guess tee feels good about kiffin’s future at usc. he’d better hope they don’t lose to tech in the bowl game. not sure what pat haden’s thoughts are on kiffin.

Gene

December 12th, 2012
9:48 am

Kiffin is the kind of guy I love to watch lose football gams. He’s an immature twit.

neerdawg

December 12th, 2012
9:48 am

Russ

December 12th, 2012
9:48 am

I didn’t realize Tennessee won a national championship in 2008 with Tee Martin??

harleydawg

December 12th, 2012
9:54 am

I don’t think Kiffin will be at USC after the next two seasons at most. Karma is a female dog….and its closing in on him. I too love to watch him lose. Especially after he makes bone-headed decisions. Plus, he’s a snake in the grass.

SEC Veteran

December 12th, 2012
9:55 am

Tennessee fans might be disappointed in being turned down, but must applaud the idea that Tee stuck to his word. Not a slap in the face at all.
Why would he leave Los Angeles where he has made a home?

Joel Provano

December 12th, 2012
9:57 am

Make that 1998. My bad.

old dog

December 12th, 2012
10:01 am

Gotta give Kiffin credit for one thing, though. He did, in fact, realize that Jamarcus Russell had an IQ lower than a stump and was not an NFL player…..it cost him his job after Davis made him play him because of all the $ he had spent. Kiffin (or nobody else) could have done anything with that one……..

Oh Man

December 12th, 2012
10:04 am

Is it true that TN will be playing in Orange Overalls next year?

Mike Bell 790

December 12th, 2012
10:04 am

“Keeping his word to Lane Kiffin” is a really bad excuse. I know he wanted to let the TN fans down gently, but it’s not like he made a covenant with the Pope.

frank

December 12th, 2012
10:06 am

LOL just wait for the best one. When Peyton Manning one day turns them down. That will be the one that will make me smile the most.

Tennessee thinks they are on a level that they are nowhere close to.

Who would want to live in that horrible city with nothing to do where people wear coon skins on their head? And that horrible orange color… and that song…

Jon Gruden

December 12th, 2012
10:07 am

Tee,

I turned them down first.

Sincerely,

Jonathan Gruden

Groundhogday

December 12th, 2012
10:12 am

Gotta agree with Bell…..it’s semi-refreshing to hear a college football coach “keep his word”, but I don’t think anyone hold it against him if he went home to Knoxville. Does he think Kiffin would show similar loyalty to him?

gator Jim Bob

December 12th, 2012
10:34 am

TEE MARTIN; keeping his word to Lane Kiffin, HAHAHA!!! Yep, it would seem Tee ain’t seen the ball since kick-off, either!!! :0))

pikedawg

December 12th, 2012
10:44 am

frank…while I agree with your sentiment about all things Orange I must say Knoxville is a GREAT town. I, a life long UGA fan, married into a family with 6 UT graduates. So I go up there 5-6 times a year. Once I got to know the town itself I was pleasently suprised. Lots of things to do…great food everywhere, very good golf courses and I would not be afraid to walk around downtown after dark with my family. Now on gameday yes it turns into what I call OBNOXIOUSVILLE, but anyother time its a really cool town.

Ted Striker

December 12th, 2012
10:45 am

Nice column Mr. Provano.

The Truth

December 12th, 2012
10:50 am

This is easy, where would you rather live…K’ville or LALA Land?

Rob in Chapel Hill

December 12th, 2012
11:15 am

When did Martin join the USC staff, and what is his specific job?

Rob in Chapel Hill

December 12th, 2012
11:16 am

Curious about when Martin joined the USC staff, and what is his specific job…

Alphare

December 12th, 2012
11:23 am

speaking of college town, I went to Athens a couple of times from 316, it’s all country, then country, and again country. If GPS doesn’t show my destination, I thought UGA is part of a big farm houses.

Didn’t people like to joke about Auburn as Aw-Barn? That’s my impression of UGA. Nothing against UGA, just my personal impression.

frank

December 12th, 2012
11:42 am

when UT call peyton he be like laughing like a evil old man driving off with Papa John in his camaro into the sunset.

CC

December 12th, 2012
12:05 pm

I don’t blame Tee.

Joel Provano

December 12th, 2012
12:07 pm

Rob, Martin is receivers coach at USC. This is his first year there. Before that, he held the same position under Joker Phillips at Kentucky.

Big Dawg

December 12th, 2012
12:17 pm

Alphare,

Such a typical response from a Nerd who was rejected by a UGA co-ed. You wouldn’t know a cool college town from a hole in the wall.

MOSES X

December 12th, 2012
12:37 pm

To sum it up TEE MARTIN WOULD RATHER BE IN THE CALIFORNIA SUNSHINE THAN TENNESSEE…..MAKES A WHOLE LOT OF SENSE TO ME !!

BC

December 12th, 2012
12:38 pm

How refreshing…a man of his word!!

Call It Like It Is

December 12th, 2012
12:38 pm

His loss not UT’s. Lame Kitten will likely not last another season. He was on the edge this year. When he is booted, what does Tee think will become of himself. Of course as the saying goes, lay with dogs, you get fleas.

billdawg

December 12th, 2012
12:48 pm

The Lame Kitten gets to keep Tee, then we get on “college towns”? Dang, folks, coolest college town in the SEC is Nashville. Five universities call it home and it has country music., too!

sam

December 12th, 2012
12:58 pm

And I’m SURE Kiffin would be just as loyal to Tee Martin. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!

esteban

December 12th, 2012
1:04 pm

I believe the Tee turndown had to do with family, or should I say families. I understand Tee has a wife, who is an aspiring singer, and two children in LA. I also understand he has a son from a prior relationship who is a middle school student in Ktown (Tee watched him play basketball while Tee was in Ktown a few days ago). I suspect Ktown might be too small for both families.

Tron5000

December 12th, 2012
1:11 pm

Good on Tee Martin for feeling he needs to see his commitment through to the end. I get the feeling there’s a lot of puffery from people on here who will never know what it’s like to have to make such a decision when you’re good enough at your job that someone else wants to lure you away.

GT

December 12th, 2012
1:14 pm

Committment. Something Lane Kiffin would know nothing about. Why would you commit to someone who does not keep committments. These coaches leaving in the middle of contracts has got to stop. Must be nice to get paid millions and be able to leave whenever you want but when you are fired in the middle of the contract you expect to get a payout. There is something wrong with that picture.

Lane Kiffen was right!

December 12th, 2012
1:18 pm

He said UGA would never beat UT while he was head coach there, and he was correct…

David Puddy

December 12th, 2012
2:23 pm

“Who would want to live in that horrible city with nothing to do where people wear coon skins on their head? And that horrible orange color… and that song…”

Harsh, but Tee is a young guy and coaching in LA was certainly not mentioned yet played a huge role in not wanting to leave…..frankly, Knoxville is not the first city on my list to move my family. Not much going on if you’re not a college student.

mgdawg

December 12th, 2012
2:37 pm

Why would you make a lateral move from USC to tennessee?

Uh, mcdawg...

December 12th, 2012
2:56 pm

…because you are a legend at UT; because of a big pay raise; because of a hugely difference in cost of living; but, mainly, because your boss will probably be out of job next year, and quite possibly, with some slip-ups in the offseason, before next season…

Joey

December 12th, 2012
3:08 pm

Alphare, you are exactly right about “the country.” It’s horrible. It’s scary. People own shotguns, dogs and stuff.

Please – stay away.

Joey

December 12th, 2012
3:14 pm

“He said UGA would never beat UT while he was head coach there, and he was correct…”
******************************************
Good Lord, Lane, that gloat was about as laughable as the one uttered by the idiot techies’ infamous, “There’s a new sheriff in town!!!” back in ‘08.

PJ hung around to lose every one since.

Kiffin didn’t.

hit a single

December 12th, 2012
3:29 pm

Good to see a college coach feel he needs to honor his word!

Put in Timeout by Ken Sugiura,Filtered by Mark Bradley, Banned once by Bill King & Chip Towers but only slightly loved by Jeff Schultz.

December 12th, 2012
3:40 pm

Why is BOBO not already the So Miss head coach JOEY?

Joey

December 12th, 2012
4:02 pm

Well, if you are really asking a question (in lieu of readying an insult), because Bobo’s doing fine in Athens. And he will get the UGA job when Richt retires from coaching.

It’s down the road, but I predict Bobo will be a good HC, because he is a great QB Coach, great recruiter, and he will add some fire, down on the sideline.

I also think a Bobo offense would be more dynamic and less predictable than Richt’s.

Paddy

December 12th, 2012
4:03 pm

There is a chance that Kiffin will be out of a job soon!

Joey

December 12th, 2012
4:09 pm

Paddy, I read where Pat Haden said Kiffin will definitely be back next year. But it’s probably just a matter of time – he was right in the middle of the Reggie Bush deal when he was an assistant for Pete Carroll, and got UT in all kinds of trouble. Kiffin is so shady, it almost makes you wonder about Haden . . .

Jim

December 12th, 2012
4:55 pm

Can anyone tell me why we are discussing this. Why care?

Next Vols Coach Should Be

December 12th, 2012
4:56 pm

I said in an earlier post that Tee Martin should have been offered the head coaching job, Hell I’m glad he turned them down for a WR coach, I’m just upset he was so nice and turned them down easy…

@Frank

December 12th, 2012
5:23 pm

Frank, what SEC city would someone want to live in? Is there more to do in Athens, Tuscaloosa, Oxford, etc., than in Knoxville? I understand LA vs Knoxville, so if you are saying why would anyone leave LA for ANY SEC school, I would understand. However, if you are a UGA, ALA, AUB, or FL fan, I don’t think you have any room to talk.

Uh, Bobo is not the USM coach...

December 12th, 2012
5:43 pm

…because they hired someone else, Todd Monken…

And, Joey, Kiffin did not lie when he said UGA would never beat UT, now did he?

frank

December 12th, 2012
5:45 pm

Auburn, Athens, Gainesvill, > knoxville

Just to name a few. I reckon knoxville is better than Fayetteville, Ar-Kansas if that makes you feel better.

Not a hard decision

December 12th, 2012
7:48 pm

Knoxville vs Southern California. That decision would take me about 5 seconds to make.

Bernie Matt

December 12th, 2012
11:05 pm

He won a national championship at QB and they offered him the WR coach position. He already has that at USC and they don’t owe him anything. UT on the other hand for all their worship of Manning, owe him much more, so it’s not hard to figure out why he turned them down.