Tennessee’s coaching search has been so full of rejection that Vol Nation has subconsciously resorted to wanting hires that went against their initial philosophies when the search began.
For example, once Butch Jones was fired, if you polled every Tennessee fan, I guarantee the majority of them would NOT have wanted a coach with zero head coaching experience. However, because this search has been derailed by tireless social media campaigns, USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin is now considered a viable option.
But why? It can’t be because he’s an accomplished offensive coordinator — he has Sam Darnold at quarterback, who is a clear Clay Helton project (Helton is the de facto quarterback coach). It can’t be because he’s a proven head coach — he’s never once been a head coach, and certainly has never expressed interest from a Power 5 program.
It’s because he’s a VFL. It’s because he won a National Championship, despite not coming close to being a key reason why. It’s not because he’s a worthwhile candidate for the job.
Is that really the standard fans want now?
That’s the standard John Currie has set. Say what you want about Greg Schiano, but he transformed an atrocious program into one that was attractive enough for the Big Ten. After a failed stint in the NFL, he became Ohio State’s defensive coordinator in 2016, where he’s developed numerous NFL-caliber players and recruited like hell.
He’s more accomplished right now than Martin could ever dream of.
That’s ultimately why Currie won’t call Martin. He’s justified in his thinking — you don’t want to follow the worst season in program history by hiring an unproven commodity.
“But David, Tee would unite the fan base!”
Aren’t the fans already united? Didn’t it unite against Greg Schiano? And Dave Doeren? The fan are more united than they’ve ever been.
“But David, Tee wants the job!”
Of course he wants the job. He’s an alum and a legend. He obviously has a goal of one day being a head coach.
However, just like nearly every other coach, he has to pay his dues. Just look at Scott Frost — he won a National Championship with Nebraska (ironically over the Peyton Manning-led Tennessee Volunteers in 1997), was an offensive coordinator under Chip Kelly at Oregon, and eventually tested the head coaching waters at UCF.
Obviously, his future in college football is bright — he took over a winless team and turned them into an undefeated team in only two seasons.
Nebraska hasn’t officially snagged Frost yet, but it’s more probable than not that it happens during the upcoming days.
Vol Nation, be patient with Tee Martin. You’ve been patient for the past decade and yearn for a competent football program. That’s understandable.
However, it won’t happen with Martin in 2018.