Jarrett Guarantano Welcomes “Legend” Tee Martin

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    Photo by Anne Newman/RTI

    Tennessee’s current starting quarterback is excited to see a former UT starting quarterback return to Knoxville.

    Rising redshirt junior quarterback Jarrett Guarantano reacted to the news this morning that Tennessee is hiring former Vol quarterback and former USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin to coach at Tennessee. Martin’s official title hasn’t been released yet, but it’s expected he’ll coach wide receivers instead of quarterbacks since he’s coached the receiver position over the last nine years.

    Guarantano welcomed Martin back to Tennessee by calling him a “legend” and welcoming him “home.”

    Martin, who hails from Mobile, Alabama, was Tennessee’s starting quarterback in the 1998 season in which the Vols went undefeated and won the first ever BCS National Championship. Martin also started for the Vols in 1999 as their QB. He earned a 22-3 record as UT’s starting quarterback and completed 55.4 percent of his 588 pass attempts for 4,592 yards, 32 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions in his four years as a Vol. He also ran for 614 yards and 16 touchdowns on 204 carries.

    Since leaving a brief stint in the NFL and CFL, Martin has been coaching. He started in the high school ranks and coached in the Atlanta area. He was hired on at New Mexico in 2009 to be their quarterbacks coach, and he left there to take a job as Kentucky’s wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator in 2010. Martin stayed on Kentucky’s staff till after the 2011 season and went to the west coast to take the wide receivers position at USC.

    Martin coached receivers at USC from 2012-18 and had several titles added to his work load in the meantime. He was given the passing game coordinator title in 2014 and then was promoted to a co-offensive coordinator role in 2016. He served as USC’s main offensive coordinator in 2018 before head coach Clay Helton made wholesale changes to his coaching staff after a disappointing season for the Trojans.

    Guarantano likely won’t be directly coached by Martin, but it stands to reason that the redshirt junior quarterback will ask for Martin’s advice and guidance since he won at the highest level at UT as their starting QB.

    When Guarantano took over as the starting quarterback for the Vols midway through the 2017 season, he became the 17th different quarterback to start for Tennessee since Martin last played in 1999.

    In his two years on the field as a Vol, Guarantano has earned a 6-12 record as a starting quarterback and has completed 62.1 percent of his 385 pass attempts for 16 touchdowns and just five interceptions.

    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.