Last week, I put together a list of potential replacements for Tennessee Vols wide receivers coach Tee Martin.
Martin’s contract at Tennessee expires on January 31. There have been some rumblings that the former Vol won’t return to Jeremy Pruitt’s staff in 2021. When you combine those “rumblings” with the fact Martin hasn’t received a new contract, it’s easy to see why there’s a legitimate feeling that he won’t be back as Tennessee’s wide receivers coach next season.
Of course, one question is where would Martin land if he left UT?
That question might have been answered on Saturday.
Steve Sarkisian was named the head coach at Texas on Saturday and he has plenty of history with Martin.
Sarkisian coached Martin in the NFL when both were with the Oakland Raiders (Sarkisian was the Raiders’ quarterbacks coach in 2004).
Martin joined Lane Kiffin’s staff at USC in 2012. When Sarkisian was hired to replace Kiffin, he retained Martin and promoted him to passing game coordinator.
Vol fans probably won’t like hearing this, but I tend to think Martin is a better fit with Sarkisian than he is with Pruitt.
Martin and Sarkisian clearly have a connection together that works. USC went through a lot of turnover last decade, but all of their coaches came from the same coaching tree (Kiffin, Sarkisian, and Clay Helton). Martin was the one constant through all that turnover. It feels like he’s a better fit in Sarkisian’s culture than Pruitt’s.
Martin still thinks highly of Sarkisian, too.
“Steve’s a motivator. He’s very high energy and very creative,” said Martin in late 2017 (via AL.com). “If Sark wants to take a shot – and he likes it – he’ll do it more than one time. If it’s a trick play and it’s something he believes in, then he’s going to punch the button. You like that in a play-caller.”
It’s certainly possible that Martin decides to stay at Tennessee (his son Kaden is currently a junior at Knoxville Catholic), but it wouldn’t shock me if he leaves to join Sarkisian’s staff at Texas, either.
Featured image via UTSports.com