Tee Martin comments on changes at Tennessee, his future
It has been a busy January, to say the least, for the Tennessee football program. While some staffers were dismissed at the same time as Jeremy Pruitt, Tee Martin was one of the assistant coaches who remained on staff while Kevin Steele was interim head coach.
This week, Martin was back in his hometown of Mobile, Alabama as his son participates in the Senior Bowl. He spoke with Lee Shirvanian and AL.com’s Mark Heim of “The Opening Kickoff” on WNSP-FM 105.5 about the changes at UT, his future and more.
“For us as a staff, it was a time of not knowing,” Martin said of the period following Pruitt’s firing. “Kevin Steele was hired as an interim head coach. He came in and was doing a really good job. There were staff members let go, so there weren’t many people around. For those of us around, we were taking care of the players and picking up tasks.”
Martin added that the football coaching staff did not know where the coaching search was going under new athletic director Danny White.
“We really didn’t know much. Danny did a good job of keeping things close to the vest, best he could,” Martin added. “We know how those searches can go with speculation. He made the hire he felt was best for Tennessee, so we are moving forward.”
It’s uncertain if Martin will remain on Heupel’s staff. The veteran assistant said he has spoken to the new Volunteers head coach.
“We’re talking right now,” Martin told the show Friday. “Nothing is definite right now. We’ll have another talk this evening to try and get to a conclusion.
“As of now, I really don’t know. I don’t want to misspeak here. Coach Heupel and I spoke yesterday, but it was about the team and players. He’s getting his feet on the ground. The main focus is on the players right now. We have yet to start tackling the staff yet.”
Whether he remains part of the UT coaching staff or moves on, Martin still has long-term goals of climbing the coaching ladder.
“My goal is to be a college head coach, to be an NFL coach, and that’s where I’m headed,” Martin said. “That’s where my focus is right now.
“I’m full speed ahead. I know that I’m prepared and ready to be a head coach. We’ll get there, and I won’t stop until we do.”