NCAA Football Tennessee VolunteersUSC Trojans

Tee Martin Turns Down Tennessee

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


Tee Martin might be a Tennessee man at heart, but he’ll be back on the sidelines at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum next season after declining an offer to join the Vols’ staff.

Martin was the quarterback on UT’s 1998 National Championship team. He broke some hearts in Knoxville last offseason when he joined former Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin‘s staff at USC.

Martin is the wide receivers coach for the Trojans, and he also handles recruiting in the southeast region.

After he was hired last week, new Vols’ head coach Butch Jones reached out to Martin about returning to his roots and becoming part of the new staff Jones has assembled at UT.

Five assistant coaches followed Jones from Cincinnati, and he retained UT running backs coach Jay Graham. The only remaining opening on staff is the wide receivers coach job that was being held for Martin.

Martin and his family traveled to Knoxville this week to take a visit with Jones and the other members of the staff, and while he said the visit went well, Martin ultimately decided to stay in L.A. for now.

“I made a commitment to my players at USC. It feels great to be wanted, but I feel like we are doing something special where I am and I do believe we have a bright future,” Martin told

Trojans’ fans were getting anxious about Martin’s future with their program following the reports of Martin’s positive meeting with Tennessee.

On Monday, the coach told The Tennessean: “Things went really good. 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.”

Martin spoke with local reporters on Monday evening while attending his son’s basketball game. Martin, who traveled to Knoxville for the visit with his wife, Toya, and their two children, has a son in Tennessee 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 told The Tennessean, causing Trojans’ fans to wonder if family ties would encourage him to take the UT job.

It won’t be a surprise if Martin ends up coaching for the Vols’ down the road, but for now, he’s sticking with cardinal and gold.