USC OC Tee Martin 'disappointed' not to get interview with Tennessee

During the wild ups and downs of the Tennessee coaching search, one name that continued to circulate as a curious omission from the list of candidates was USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin. 

Martin was interested in the possibility of taking over at his alma mater as head coach, but told reporters earlier this month that he was not interested in joining another coach's staff as an offensive coordinator. 

"It was a situation where if I was going to go back to Tennessee, it was to be as the head coach, not as coordinator," Martin explained after a bowl practice, according to Scott Schrader of "I made that message very clear. So I was out of that discussion, so they moved on to do what they had to do."

Martin apparently was questioned again at media day for the Cotton Bowl, with Ohio State beat writer Bill Rabinowitz reporting that the former Vols' quarterback was "disappointed" not to get an interview for the head coaching job. 

"Whether it's fair or not, that's debatable," Martin said. "For me, it's all about timing and the right timing and the places."

Additionally, he voiced support for Greg Schiano, the coach that Tennessee had all-but-signed until an overwhelmingly negative reaction from the fan base led then-athletic director John Currie to back out after a signed memorandum of understanding. 

"It was a tough deal," Martin said. "I have a lot of respect for Greg and what he's done in his career as a football coach. When his name came up, I thought, 'Wow, he's a really good football coach.' I thought it would have been a good fit.

"Obviously, it didn't happen and it kind of took its path of however that happened. It is what it is. I can't really speak too much to what went into that. But when the name initially got announced, I was like, 'that's a heckuva coach.' "

After Currie was relieved of his duties, Phil Fulmer led the search that eventually hired Jeremy Pruitt to a six-year contract that will pay him $3.8 million annually.

CBS Sports Writer

Chip Patterson has spent his young career covering college sports from the Old North State. He's been writing and talking about football and basketball for CBS Sports since 2010. You may have heard him... Full Bio

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