Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area Sports

April 17, 2014

OH GOOD GRIEF: Martin out as Vol hoop coach

CROSSVILLE — The University of Tennessee's beleaguered head basketball coach, Cuonzo Martin is gone. Martin resigned Tuesday to become the head coach at the University of California, which won the 2010 PAC-10 championship under retiring coach Mike Montgomery.

Martin was on the hot seat early in the season, but coached his team into the NCAA tournament, losing in the Sweet 16 to Michigan.

Martin, who was offered a $500,000 raise and two-year contract extension at Tennesse, will apparently receive a five-year contract. Martin was 63-41 in three seasons on the Hill, including two NIT appearances and this year's NCAA appearance, and has an overall coaching mark of 124-82.

He withdrew his name from consideration to be the new coach at Marquette and then returned to Tennessee discuss his future with Tennessee.

The Vols graduate four seniors and are losing Janell Stokes to the NBA, which needs to work with the NCAA on the "one and done" issue. That's another story in itself.

Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart has his work cut out for him. He must find someone to rebuild a program, which has some talented young men returning next season; however, how many of those players will return? They could ask to be released from their scholarship and transfer somewhere, making the new coach's task even tougher.

According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press Tuesday, there were five members of the 2014 recruiting class — Larry Austin, 6'1"/160, point guard, from Springfield, Il; Phil Cofe,  6'8"/205, post/forward, Fayetteville, GA; Kingsley Okoroh, 7'1"/250, center, from Watford, England; C.J. Turman, 6'9"/235, post/forward, Madison, GA; and Jordan Cornish, 6'6"/215, guard, New Orleans, LA. Cofer and Turman signed in the fall.

Will the unsigned players de-committ and will the two who signed ask to be released from the scholarship? Okoroh announced he will follow Martin to California.

Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart has his work cut out to find someone to take the job and convince the recruits and returning players to remain with Tennessee.

The Knoxville News-Sentinel listed some potential candidates in Wednesday's edition — Tad Boyle (Colorado), Rick Byrd (Belmont), Mick Cronin (Cincinnati),  Chris Mack (Xavier), Archie Miller (Dayton), Tim Miles (Nebraska), Richard Pitino (Minnesota), Shaka Smart (Virginia Commonwealth), Donnie Tyndall (Southern Mississippi), Ben Howland (formerly at UCLA) and Gregg Marshall (Wichita State).

The Chattanooga Times Free Press mentioned some other potential candidates — Tubby Smith (Texas Tech) and Mark Turgeon (Maryland).

These are high profile coaches who have taken their teams to the post-season over the years and are probably making more money that Martin made at Tennessee, who is going to have to open its wallet pay one of these gentlemen big bucks to coach the Vols.

I never saw this coming. After the Vols run into the NCAA, I figured he would have accepted the raise and contract extension, and stated on the Hill. Those 37,000 fans or so who signed the petition to bring back Pearl got what they deserved. Martin is gone to California, where the grass is apparently greener.

Now is the time for Hart to bring in a Pearl-type coach who can unify the disheartened and disenchanted basketball fans to put Tennessee back into the national championship picture. If something isn't done soon, the Vols are going to have a long season in 2014-15.

(Ed Greif is the Chronicle sports editor and his column appears regularly.)

Text Only
Area Sports
  • Past champions.jpg Women's Open under way through Saturday

    The 16th annual Golf Capital of Tennessee Women's Open Championship is under way through Saturday at Stonehenge Golf Club; however, activities kicked off Wednesday evening at the Fairfield Glade Conference Center with a dinner for the players and volunteers.

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • Clay Crushers team.jpg Clay Crushers bring home two medals from national competition

    The Cumberland County Clay Crushers/Cumberland County Youth Shooting Sports competed in the Scholastic Shooting Sports Federation (SSSF) National Championship at the World Shooting and Recreation Complex in Sparta, Ill July 14-19 and came away with two gold medals in trap.

    July 31, 2014 4 Photos

  • 1st place, 1st flight.jpg 16 under par claims Steinmann tournament victory

    Twenty-two teams enjoyed beautiful weather Saturday afternoon at Lake Tansi to support the annual Mike Steinmann/Salvation Army Golf Tournament.

    July 29, 2014 4 Photos

  • Golf Capital of Tennessee Women's Open Championship gets under way Thursday

    The 16th annual Golf Capital of Tennessee Women’s Open Championship is set for July 31-Aug. 2 at Stonehenge Golf Club in Crossville. This season marks the 11th anniversary for the event to be hosted in Crossville and the sixth consecutive year that the championship will be at Stonehenge, accoring to the Tennessee Golf Association.

    July 29, 2014

  • CCHS opens golf season

    The Cumberland County High School golf teams opened the 2014 campaign by splitting their matches with District 6AAA foe Rhea County Monday at Dayton Country Club.

    July 29, 2014

  • SMHS golf opens season

    The Stone Memorial Panther golf teams opened the 2014 season with two matches over the last week.

    July 29, 2014

  • Kendall Martindale.jpg Former champs headline Women's Open

    Two former champions headline the 108-person field for the 16th annual Golf Capital of Tennessee Women's Open hosted by the Tennessee Golf Association July 31-Aug. 2 run at Stonehenge Golf Club in Fairfield Glade. There are 35 professionals and 73 amateurs listed in the tournament pairings released by the Tennessee Golf Association last week.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • Elementary jamboree set Aug. 9

    The Cumberland Elementary football jamboree will be played Aug. 9 at Jet Stadium. There will be four quarters of action with several activities scheduled for halftime.

    July 28, 2014

  • Register now for Tansi POA club championship

    The annual Lake Tansi POA club championship will be held Aug. 9-10 for both men and women.

    July 28, 2014

  • Mullinax.jpg Mullinax crowned champ, brings home awards

    Carys Mullinax, 11, of Crab Orchard, competed in two karate tournaments over the last four weeks — the KFCI World Championship June 14 in Pigeon Forge and the 19th annual Gold Bar Challenge in Atlanta, GA, July 19.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar