Mar 1, 2014; Knoxville, TN, USA; Tennessee Volunteers head coach Cuonzo Martin during the first half against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Thompson-Boling Arena. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Today On Rocky Top: Why Martin Left The Vols

From The Tennessean

Cuonzo Martin, who was introduced as California’s new men’s basketball coach Tuesday, explained his reasoning for turning down a Tennessee contract extension, shed light on the timeline that led to his departure and gave his parting thoughts to UT players and fans during a 12-and-a-half minute radio interview with Hallerin Hilton Hill of News Talk 98.7.

Martin said Cal first contacted his representation (his agent is Buddy Baker of Exclusive Sports Group) after the Vols (24-13) loss to Florida in the SEC tournament semifinal on Feb. 11. He said he plans on taking his entire coaching staff with him to Cal in some capacity. He said multiple times his decision to leave UT after three seasons was tied to neither money nor the online petition that called for the rehiring of previously fired coach Bruce Pearl, which surfaced before the Vols jumpstarted a disappointing season into a Sweet 16 run.

Read more at The Tennessean


From USA Today

Say this much for Dave Hart: Self-confidence is not an issue.

Hart has appointed himself as a one-man search committee charged with selecting Cuonzo Martin’s replacement as Tennessee’s basketball coach. Search firm? Who needs a stinkin’ search firm.

Hart is on the case. He’ll make the phone calls, do the interviews, negotiate the contract and ultimately sign someone on the dotted line.

Yes, it’s an old-school way of conducting business, but what’s wrong with that? You can pay a search firm six figures to make preliminary contact and supply a list of possible candidates, but if you already have an idea of the direction you’d like to go, why not keep it all in-house?

Read more at USA Today


From The Times Free Press

The University of Tennessee football program finished its second spring practice under Butch Jones last weekend, and the Volunteers now move into the next phase of the offseason.

For players, it’s finishing the spring semester, reviewing practices and preparing for the summer program.

For the assistant coaches, it began with the spring recruiting evaluation period this week, which features plenty of travel.

Once the summer months — and the rest of Tennessee’s touted 2014 recruiting class — arrive, the Vols will start what Jones called a “critical” phase of development for this season’s team.

“This is where I really believe teams are born, in the summer months, with your leadership,” the coach said after last Saturday’s Orange and White Game. “It becomes a player-led football team.

Read more at The Times Free Press

From Twitter

Vol basketball commit Jordan Cornish is still contemplating his future with the Vols.


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