Tee Martin still hasn’t been officially announced as part of Tennessee’s coaching staff. But that hasn’t stopped him from getting to work.
Tennessee hasn’t made an official announcement about Martin’s hiring because there isn’t technically an opening on UT’s coaching staff for him to fill. All 10 of Tennessee’s main on-field coaching roles are currently taken, leaving Martin waiting for an opening.
Martin was able to hit the road recruiting for Tennessee because safeties coach and special teams coordinator Charles Kelly was taken off the road after it looked like he was set to accept the defensive coordinator position at Maryland.
Now, however, Kelly has turned down that position and is still with UT’s staff. That leaves Martin still without an official role to fill at Tennessee. But he’s still very excited to be back at the university he won a national title with over 20 years ago.
Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports and The Athletic was able to catch up with Martin briefly, and the former Tennessee quarterback told him returning to Tennessee felt “natural” and “right.”
“It just felt natural to put those colors (Tennessee orange and white) back on,” Martin told Feldman. “It just feels right.”
Martin was Tennessee’s starting quarterback during the 1998 season in which the Vols went undefeated and won the first ever BCS National Championship. The Vols were carried by a stout defense and rugged run game, but Martin was a play-maker himself and help spur Tennessee on to victory on multiple occasions.
In his junior season in 1998, Martin completed 57.3 percent of his 267 pass attempts for 2,164 yards, 19 touchdowns, and six interceptions while also running for 287 yards and seven scores on 103 carries. He would start for the Vols in 1999 as well, and he finished his tenure at Tennessee with a 22-3 record as a starting quarterback.
Martin’s position on Jeremy Pruitt’s staff has yet to be officially announced, but it’s expected he’ll coach Tennessee’s receivers. Martin has coached wide receivers at Kentucky and USC, and he also served as the Trojans’ offensive coordinator or co-offensive coordinator the last three seasons.