While Derek Dooley‘s immediate coaching future was determined in late November, the futures of the nine assistants left behind have remained in limbo for the better part of three weeks.
Unfortunately for the vast majority of those, it appears their immediate coaching future has been determined as well.
According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, running backs coach Jay Graham is likely to be the only Dooley assistant Butch Jones retains. Jones was officially hired earlier this week as Tennessee’s new head coach, leaving Cincinnati after three seasons that included shares of two Big East titles.
It’s expected a significant portion of Jones’ Vols staff will have a definitive Bearcat lean. One who might have a past lean toward Rocky Top? Tee Martin.
Like Graham, Martin is a former Vols players, the ex-quarterback who led UT to its last national championship in the first year post-Peyton Manning. He spent 2012 as the wide receivers coach at USC — on ex-Vols head coach Lane Kiffin‘s staff — following two years in the same position at Kentucky.
At his introductory news conference Friday, Jones was asked about the possibility of adding Martin to his first UT staff. Somewhat surprisingly, Jones bluntly, well, Tee’d off on an answer involving an assistant currently employed by another school.
“Obviously, he’s a great coach,” Jones said Friday. “We all understand what he’s meant to this football program.
“Obviously he would be an individual we reach out to, but we’re going to reach out to a lot of individuals.
Of course, adding Martin would likely be wildly popular among the UT faithful, from both the ex-player-coming-home and outstanding-young-coach perspectives. Poaching him from Kiffin’s staff at the same time? Some very, very delicious icing added to that karmic cake.