Tee Martin couldn’t garner much traction for a job at his alma mater Tennessee, but he has played a technical role in an NFL coaching hire.
Tuesday afternoon, Jon Gruden, long the apple of Rocky Top’s eye and the object of Vol Nation’s ofttimes unhealthy desire, was officially introduced as the new head coach of the soon-to-be Las Vegas Raiders. The Grumors connecting the Monday Night Football analyst to the job stretched back to late last year and was all but official last week, although the NFL club still had to satisfy the Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview at least one minority candidate for a head coach opening before officially filling the position.
As it turns out, there was a collegiate connection to the Raiders’ compliance with the rule.
The 39-year-old Martin, who was on Oakland’s roster for one season in 2003 and appeared in two games for the Raiders, has been an assistant at USC since 2012, serving as the Trojans’ offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach the past two seasons. Given the fact that he was the starting quarterback on UT’s last national championship team and his head coach, Phil Fulmer, was named athletic director in the midst of a coaching search, it was thought that Martin would be a candidate for the job; instead, he never formally interviewed for a job that ultimately went to Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.