Tennessee's Cuonzo Martin will be California's next head coach

Cuonzo Martin (USATSI)
Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin is headed to Cal. (USATSI)

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Tennessee's Cuonzo Martin has agreed in principle to become the next head coach at California, a source confirmed to CBSSports.com early Tuesday. Cal made the move official in a news conference later on Tuesday. AD Sandy Barbour said the deal is for five years.

"I think it has a chance to be special here," Martin said. "I think that's the most intriguing thing to me. It's a place I could spend the rest of my life."

Martin just finished his third season at Tennessee. He led the Vols to 24 wins and a trip to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, and was subsequently considered a candidate at Marquette before Steve Wojciechowski got that job. Martin then publicly stated that he planned to stay at Tennessee, but that changed when California offered.

Tennessee AD Dave Hart told the Associated Press he didn't know Martin was talking to Cal about its coaching position until they spoke to each other Tuesday morning.

"We did have a conversation. He was very emotional," Hart said. "The bottom line is he said in his heart he believed this was best for [him] and his family."

Mike Montgomery, 67, had been California's coach the past seven years. His Bears finished 21-14 overall this season, 10-8 in the Pac-12.

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Gary Parrish is an award-winning college basketball columnist and television analyst for CBS Sports who also hosts the highest-rated afternoon drive radio show in Memphis, where he lives with his wife... Full Bio

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