The details of Tee Martin’s contract at Tennessee have been revealed, though it’s still unknown what exactly his title and duties will be on Jeremy Pruitt’s staff.
Martin, the former National Championship-winning quarterback for the Vols, has agreed to a two-year contract worth $450,000 annually according to UT’s memorandum of understanding that was obtained by the Knoxville News Sentinel on Tuesday. Martin joins Pruitt’s staff after serving as USC’s offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach the last three seasons. USC doesn’t have to release their salaries for their assistant coaches, so it’s unknown publicly what Martin was making at USC last season.
Charles Kelly, the assistant coach who left UT’s staff on Saturday to go coach at Alabama, earned $350,000 last year at Tennessee. Kelly was Tennessee’s safeties coach and special teams coordinator.
If Tennessee were to fire Martin without cause before the end of his contract, they would owe him the remainder of the salary left on his contract. If Martin himself leaves UT before February 1st, 2020, he would owe Tennessee a buyout equal to one-third of his remaining salary on the deal. If he leaves on that date or after, his buyout decreases to just $50,000.
Before joining Jeremy Pruitt at Tennessee, Martin coached at USC for seven seasons from 2012-18. He started as the Trojans’ wide receivers coach, then he added the passing game coordinator title in 2014. In 2016, he was promoted to offensive coordinator while also still coaching receivers. He was let go from USC’s staff following this past season as head coach Clay Helton made wholesale changes to his coaching staff.
Prior to coaching at USC, Martin was Kentucky’s wide receivers coach from 2010-11. He coached quarterbacks for a season at New Mexico in 2009.
Martin was voted the Recruiter of the Year by 247Sports in 2016, and he was named the Pac-12 Recruiter of the Year in 2014 by the conference. He was also a semifinalist for the Broyles Award — the award given annually to college football’s top assistant coach — in 2017.
Based off last year’s salary information for Tennessee’s assistant coaches and new offensive coordinator Jim Chaney’s three-year contract, Martin is projected to be the seventh-highest paid assistant coach on UT’s staff. Chris Weinke, Terry Fair, and Brian Niedermeyer all earn less than what Martin will be paid.
It’s also worth noting that Martin will be receiving buyout money from USC over the next two years, which is the length of his contract with Tennessee. USC owed him the remainder of his salary on his deal with them, and they will have to pay him over the next two seasons.