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Tee Martin: toughest decision he’s ‘ever had to make’

Tee Martin

After Butch Jones openly acknowledged during his introductory press conference that he’d be open to bringing Tee Martin back to Rocky Top… after Martin acknowledged he’d been offered a spot on the coaching staff at his alma mater Tennessee… after all the will he/won’t he, the last player to quarterback the Vols to a national championship declined a return.

In his initial comments on the decision, Martin cited “a commitment to my players at USC” as part of the reason behind eschewing a return to his collegiate home.

In a statement released Tuesday night through USC, where he has served as wide receivers coach for the past year, Martin expounded on the decision.

“I was very honored to be offered a position on Coach Jones’ Tennessee staff. I truly believe he will do an outstanding job with the Vols program. My decision to remain at USC was the toughest I have ever had to make because Tennessee is such a special place to me.

“At the end of the day, I am a man of my word. I promised Coach Kiffin when I was hired at USC that I had goals I wanted to accomplish here. We still have work to do here to reach those goals. I see a great future at USC with the players on our roster and the recruits we have coming in.

“I have so much love and respect for Tennessee. But at this time, the right decision was to continue at USC and I am looking forward to doing that.”

In the end, Martin made a commitment to not only USC but to the players he recruited, and to the families in whose living room he sat all along the recruiting trail.  And, after some very real and understandable heart-tugging back toward where he came from, actually stuck to that commitment.

That’s very rare these days.  And immensely commendable and admirable.

(Photo credit: USC athletics)

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16 Responses to “Tee Martin: toughest decision he’s ‘ever had to make’”
  1. effjohntaylornorelation says: Dec 12, 2012 7:05 AM

    I wonder if admirable will be the word used to describe Martin when he leaves all those kids to become an OC or HC?

  2. chazsunderland says: Dec 12, 2012 7:09 AM

    Too bad he would had been great in Knoxville. But I wish him no luck at USC with Lame Kitten. Go Vols.

  3. raiderufan says: Dec 12, 2012 7:23 AM

    I think the fact that this is a lateral move and leaving Southern California for Tennesee played heavy in this decision. Nothing against Tennessee and I’m not sure if he has started a family but if he has thats a LONG move to not be stepping up at all.

  4. mhalt99 says: Dec 12, 2012 7:31 AM

    Too bad he would had been great in Knoxville. But I wish him no luck at USC with Lame Kitten. Go Vols.

    hahahah….so kiffin left you to kinda go back home….yet martin wouldn’t leave to go back home. ouch!!!!!!!!!! hey at least you are in the SEC, so I guess you got that going for you VandESSE

  5. dryzzt23 says: Dec 12, 2012 7:55 AM

    I hope he’s a better coach than he was a QB….

    I am glad to see that TM is not a hypnotized SEC-crazy fool that would jump at any SEC job just b/c it’s a job in the SEC.

  6. hor2012 says: Dec 12, 2012 8:31 AM


    I wonder if he was some other coach would you be so cynical about is decison to stay

  7. mogogo1 says: Dec 12, 2012 11:05 AM

    I admire him for thinking of the players. Because his boss would have left there in two seconds if he liked the sound of a job someplace else better.

    But Martin may get the chance to make this decision again following next season, because another disappointing year could be the end of the Kiffen era at USC. I’m surprised there isn’t more talk about dumping Kiffen now, because “trendy pick to make national title game” to “5 losses with a shot at a sixth in the bowl game” doesn’t make for much job security.

  8. wabbitslayer says: Dec 12, 2012 11:55 AM

    LOL at the Vols….you know your program is bad when even the alumni don’t want to coach there!

  9. sisqsage says: Dec 12, 2012 12:00 PM

    You mean there’s a coach at USC who has integrity?

  10. whitdog23 says: Dec 12, 2012 12:09 PM

    Zzzzzz seriously…thIs is a story? you make it seem like coaches can only coach in their hometowns or at their alma maters. so kids from small-town USA can’t dream big??

  11. packattack95 says: Dec 12, 2012 1:00 PM

    What will T do when Kiffin is fired after next season? I would think he would jump at an opportunity with his alma mater. He would at least have 2 years at UT compared to 1 at USC.

  12. cleekk says: Dec 12, 2012 2:28 PM

    Amazing that Kiffen inspires loyalty when he has so little. Tee would have been great for Tennessee – he was a good recruiter for the school when he was still enrolled there.

  13. bigbadbills says: Dec 12, 2012 2:57 PM

    If I recall UT only won the NC game because of a horrible pass interference call against Syracuse earlier in the year.

  14. quitcrying says: Dec 12, 2012 5:00 PM

    @dryzzt23 – He went undefeated as a starter at UT & won the National Championship so the credibility of your comment is in the toilet.

  15. vols84 says: Dec 12, 2012 6:03 PM

    I respect his decision, but I’d be packing the bags come next November after Kiffin is given the old heeve-ho by Pat Hayden.

  16. minibull says: Dec 12, 2012 9:38 PM

    The rumor around the streets of Knoxville was that his wife, a professional singer, balked at the idea of moving from LA to TN. Staying in LA makes sense for her career. I think playing the ‘being loyal to his players’ card sounds better than ‘my wife won’t let me…’ :-)

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