Mar 23, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; Wichita State Shockers head coach Gregg Marshall yells from the sideline against the Kentucky Wildcats during the first half in the third round of the 2014 NCAA Men

Today On Rocky Top: Vols Coaching Rumors

From Bleacher Report

Within hours of Cuonzo Martin’s announced departure for Cal, the University of Tennessee has already crafted a wish list for its next men’s basketball coach.

Braden Gall of Athlon Sports reported the Vols already had a top-five list in place, headlined by current Wichita State head coach Gregg Marshall:

Vols, Hart top options from what I’m hearing: 1. Gregg Marshall 2. Ben Howland 3. Archie Miller 4. Donnie Tyndall 5. Mike White.

— Braden Gall (@BradenGall) April 15, 2014

Marshall, 51, has built the Shockers program from perpetual doormat in the Missouri Valley Conference into a burgeoning national power. Wichita State was the first team since 1992 to go undefeated through the regular season and conference tournament in 2013-14, eventually losing to national finalist Kentucky in the round of 32.

Read more at Bleacher Report


From Husker Corner

Despite being the college football offseason, some Husker fans are getting jittery. Not about a quarterback tearing an ACL, but whether or not Nebraska basketball head coach Tim Miles will entertain any advances by Tennessee.

New California Golden Bears’ head coach Cuonzo Martin bolted Rocky Top after saying Knoxville was the place to be only two weeks ago. CBS Sports studio host Tim Brando had some prompt advice for the Volunteer brass.

Read more at Husker Corner


From Rocky Top Talk

So while we waited for new contract details to emerge after Martin turned down Marquette, I’d love to hear how those conversations were actually going between Hart and Martin.  Cuonzo missed the NCAA Tournament by inches in his first two seasons, under-performed in the regular season this year but then over-performed in March, taking the Vols from the play-in game in Dayton to the Sweet 16, two points and a bad call away from the Elite Eight.  The ballad of Bruce Pearl around here is well known, but also important was the fact that Martin was a Mike Hamilton hire, not a Dave Hart hire.

The guy after Bruce was always going to have a difficult time if he didn’t win like Bruce, who won at unprecedented levels for six years in Knoxville.  Cuonzo did a good job, but not a good enough job for some, and the space between has a lot to do with where we are right now.

The most important question for Tennessee going forward:  will it commit to a winning basketball program?

Read more at Rocky Top Talk



Last we heard from Tennessee AD Dave Hart he was in contract negotiations with Cuonzo Martin. Now Hart is looking for Martin’s replacement.

Cuonzo Martin resigned at Tennessee and accepted the head coaching position at the Cal.

In three years Martin lead the Vols to a 63-41 record including a 32-20 SEC record. In his one NCAA Tournament appearance he led the Vols to the Sweet-16.

His name began to pop up in coaching searches all over the nation. Two weeks ago Martin met with Marquette who was pursuing him but a day later he pulled his name out of that search and began negotiations with Tennessee and Dave Hart.

Hart said Martin had an offer on the table at UT worth $1.8million a year with a two year extension. It was a $500,000 raise that would have made Martin the third highest paid coach in the SEC.

Hart said, “what we offered Cuonzo would have made him a top-30 paid coach in the country. One man’s opinion, I don’t think Cuonzo’s decision was driven by dollars or number of years, I don’t. It was a tough year, I don’t wanna speak for Cuonzo but it was a tough year for Cuonzo and Roberta (his wife.) A lot of distractions, you know what they were, you reported on them.”

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