Tennessee Vols football assistant Tee Martin and women’s basketball head coach Kellie Harper both won national titles for the Volunteers in the 1990s.
They were both with the Tennessee Vols during the glory days of the 1990s. Tee Martin won a national championship with Tennessee football in 1998, and Kellie Harper was a three-time national champion as a Tennessee Lady Vols guard from 1996 to 1998.
Now, they are both in their first year back on Rocky Top as coaches, trying to restore their respective programs to those memorable days. Martin is coaching wide receivers with the football program, and Harper has replaced Holly Warlick as the women’s basketball head coach. So it only makes sense that they would have a connection to each other.
Martin and Harper were on video riding around campus in a golf cart talking about those days on Wednesday. They both reminisced about what UT was like, and then they enjoyed time from the 1990s in general. This was all tweeted out on the Lady Vols basketball account.
As you can hear in the end, they were singing karaoke to some prominent 90s hip hop songs during that time. Martin and Harper played ‘Rosa Parks’ by Outkast and then ‘Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down’ by Diddy (then Puff Daddy) and Mase.
‘Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down’ was released in early 1997. Harper said the team would get pumped out to that song before games after it came out, which clearly worked as they won it in 1997 and 1998. But they did win it in 1996, before it came out.
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‘Rosa Parks,’ meanwhile, came out in the summer of 1998. It was right after Harper and the Lady Vols had captured their third straight national title and right before the football team would go 13-0 and win the national title under Martin.
Simply put, these were the perfect songs to sing for anybody on Rocky Top trying to bring back the 90s glory days. It was also, after all, considered part of the glory days of hip hop. So Martin and Harper clearly showed they had a taste for the time.
By the way, if you want to know just how great things were for the Tennessee Vols at the time, men’s basketball was even in the midst of a four-year NCAA Tournament run with Jerry Green and Tony Harris, and they started the 1998-1999 season ranked in the top 10. They also swept the Kentucky Wildcats that year.
Simply put, it was a time of titles for the Tennessee Vols, and Harper and Martin are the perfect people to help bring the programs back. Men’s basketball is now ahead of both of them with Rick Barnes, as is baseball with Tony Vitello and obviously softball. But football and women’s basketball are the points of pride. So it’s on them to bring it back.