Former Tennessee quarterback and current USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin confirmed to Trojans Insider’s Scott Schrader that he was contacted by his alma mater for a coaching position during the Vols’ search, but was only interested in a head coaching position, rather than take a lateral job as the team’s offensive coordinator.
“It was a situation where if I was going to go back to Tennessee, it was to be as the head coach, not as coordinator,” he said. “I made that message very clear. I was out of that discussion, so they moved on to do what they had to do.”
Tennessee instead hired Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, which led to Martin staying with the Trojans, despite an outpouring of support from Vol fans during the coaching search.
Earlier this month, new UT AD Phillip Fulmer, who coached the quarterback during his college career, reportedly reached out to the USC coordinator and had a “very positive” conversation, according to multiple reports.
Sources indicated that Martin, who led the Vols to a national championship in 1998, would have accepted the position if offered.
Martin also acknowledged the Vol fans shown campaigning for his coaching service during USC’s 31-28 victory over Stanford in the Pac-12 championship earlier this month.
The 39-year-old has quickly risen up the ranks as a young assistant with a bright head coaching future, having been named as a Broyles Award semi-finalist in November.