The day after visiting Knoxville, TN, presumably interviewing for a position with the Tennessee Volunteers, USC wide receiver coach Tee Martin reportedly declined the job.
Tennessee Sports Radio broke the news on Twitter early Tuesday morning:
Breaking: Tee Martin has declined the Tennessee Job.
— TN Sports Radio (@TNSportsRadio) December 11, 2012
Despite having personal ties to the Volunteers–Martin led the team to a victory in the first ever BCS national championship in the 1998 season–he wil remain apart of Lane Kiffin’s squad for 2013.
This is good news for the Trojans, as the loss of Martin could have ultimately spelled the further losses of recruits Jalen Ramsey and Jason Hatcher. Coach Tee is the recruiting coordinator for the Tennesee/Kentucky region, and has been integral in securing commitment from these highly-coveted seniors. We have seen players de-commit to follow their specific position coaches before (see: Tosh Lupoi leaving Cal for Washington), and it would have been entirely possible that Ramsey and Hatcher did the same.
With Martin staying, a huge blow to the 2013 recruiting class has been avoided.
Coach Tee has had much success thus far with the Trojans on the field as well, such as developing Marqise Lee into a Biletnikoff Award winner and an All-American. There was some talk that he was unhappy with some of his duties as outlined by head coach Lane Kiffin, and the fact that he was not able to attend the College Football Awards Ceremony with Lee, but in spite of that, Martin did not jump ship. 2013 will be the first year he gets to develop the talent he recruited, and it will be interesting to see if the Trojan wide receiver corps continues to grow and flourish as it has in the past few years.
Coach Tee has not yet given word as to why he turned down the Tennessee job as he had not released an official statement as of the writing of this post.
With him staying on staff, USC can now focus its efforts on finding a defensive coordinator and (possibly) a new offensive coordinator as well.