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Chaney is “Tickled to Death” Tee Martin is at Tennessee

Photo by Nathanael Rutherford/RTI

Jim Chaney has been around the block a few times. It takes a lot to impress a man who has been coaching in college football for over 30 years and spent three years in the NFL. But one of Tennessee’s other coaches on staff has really stood out to Chaney in his return to Knoxville.

Tee Martin not only quarterbacked the Vols during their 1998 National Championship season, but he’s now been hired on as their wide receivers coach, assistant head coach, and passing game coordinator. Before joining UT this offseason, Martin has coached quarterbacks, wide receivers, and has served as an offensive coordinator.

In short, Martin can do a little bit of everything. And Chaney is thrilled to have him on board at Tennessee.

“The question is, what he can’t do?” Chaney said to reporters on Friday after practice when asked what all Tee Martin can do as a coach. “Tee is a bright guy and has been around a lot of football. He brings a lot of good input. He’s a fantastic recruiter and fun-loving guy.

“Heck, I’m tickled to death that he’s here.”

Martin has coached at the high school and collegiate level both. He’s been coaching at the FBS level since 2009, and Tennessee marks the fourth different school he’s been to. He’s been named National Recruiter of the Year while at USC and has coached multiple NFL draft picks at wide receiver at both Kentucky and USC.

All of that experience makes Martin a great conversation partner for Chaney.

“He’s a great sounding board for me to talk about the passing game all the time with,” Chaney continued. “He knows what he’s doing, and he’s an exceptional coach. We’re becoming very close friends, so I’m enjoying my time with Tee.”

Both Chaney and Martin spent four seasons with Tennessee prior to returning this offseason. Chaney spent four years as the Vols’ offensive coordinator under both Lane Kiffin and Derek Dooley from 2009-12, and Martin was a quarterback for Tennessee from 1996-99 and started both the 1998 and 1999 seasons.

Now, both men are together at UT for the first time, and both have returned after time away from Knoxville. They’ll be in charge of making sure Tennessee’s offense improves and flourishes this season and beyond.

Though the two men have never coached together before, they both understand how important football is to Knoxville and to Vol fans. That mutual understanding as well as over 40 years of combined coaching experience is helping these two coaches become good friends and colleagues. Fans hope that their relationship will help lead to more wins this season and in the future for the Vols.

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