Tee Martin gets multi-year extension to stay with USC Football

Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy
Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy /

Tee Martin signed an extension with USC Football, staying on as offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach despite other opportunities.

USC Football has already lost a couple of assistant coaches from the 2017 staff, but the Trojans won’t be losing their offensive coordinator.

Tee Martin flirted with other opportunities, interviewing the Tennessee and the Oakland Raiders, but he’s set to stay put at USC after signing a multi-year extension with the university, per Chris Low of ESPN and Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports.

Low spoke to Martin on Friday evening saying, “There were some other opportunities, but you don’t leave USC for a lateral move.”

Martin was promoted from wide receivers coach to offensive coordinator when Clay Helton was promoted to head coach for the 2016 season. He has served in that role since, helping guide the Trojans to a Rose Bowl victory and a Pac-12 title.

The USC offense has put up impressive numbers in that span, leading the Pac-12 in total yardage in 2017 while producing All-Pac-12 first teamers in quarterback Sam Darnold and running back Ronald Jones II.

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However, Martin’s tenure hasn’t been without criticism. The Trojans averaged 32.6 yards per game this past season despite a wealth of talent in the run and pass game. Many fans blamed Martin’s playcalling for handcuffing the offense, while rumors swirled that playcalling duties were split between Martin and others on the offensive staff.

With quarterbacks coach Tyson Helton leaving USC to take the offensive coordinator job at Tennessee, questions over Martin’s control of the offense going forward should be lessened. The contract extension could also be seen as a vote of confidence from Clay Helton, as he moves into the critical third year of his tenure as USC’s head coach.

Even though Martin loses the services of both Darnold and Jones II, as he told ESPN, “I want to help us get to that next level, and everything is in place here to do that.” The Trojans return four of five starting offensive linemen, budding wide receiver stars Tyler Vaughns and Michael Pittman and exciting young running back Stephen Carr.

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Expectations for the offense may be lowered with a new starting quarterback in place, but USC has more than enough talent for Martin to prove his worth as an offensive coordinator by limiting the drop off, or even improving the offensive output.