Former Tennessee quarterback and current USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin may have taken a jab at his alma matter following news of his contract extension with the Trojans on Friday.
Martin, who agreed to a new multiyear deal, said he was “excited” to stay at USC and continue working with head coach Clay Helton, despite offers for other positions this offseason, which he referred to as “lateral jobs.”
“I’m just excited to be here at USC, where the future is so bright, and working for somebody the caliber of Clay Helton,” Martin told ESPN. “There were some other opportunities, but you don’t leave USC for a lateral move. I want to help us get to that next level, and everything is in place here to do that.”
It’s been reported that new Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden reached out to Martin regarding an offensive assistant position earlier this month. However, the comment may have actually been directed at Tennessee, who reportedly only conducted talks with Martin about its then-vacant head coaching position more than a month into its search.
While it hasn’t ever been confirmed, there is a chance that new head coach Jeremy Pruitt attempted to reach out to Martin about the offensive coordinator position upon his hiring, especially considering the Vols ended up with former USC quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator Tyson Helton instead.
That would explain the “lateral job” comment, along with the praise for Helton and state of the USC program, as Tennessee continues to find its way under another new head coach. Then again, it could just be typical “coach talk” from a coordinator grateful for a new extension.
Either way, it seems that Martin is happy to continue his tenure in Southern Cal for the time being and will have a nice payday coming to him.