UT's new basketball staff includes two assistants with experience as head coaches

Tuesday, April 5, 2011 at 11:53pm
Staff reports

New Tennessee men’s basketball coach Cuonzo Martin didn’t take long to compile his staff.

Martin, who was hired just more than a week ago, filled out his five-person staff on Tuesday, including hiring two who have had head coach experience.

Houston Fancher, who coached at Appalachian State from 2000-09, will serve as director of basketball operations. The 45-year-old Fancher, a native of Newport who went to Middle Tennessee State, spent the last two seasons as coordinator of video scouting for Tennessee and was named interim coach following Bruce Pearl's departure.

Martin also hired Tracy Webster. The 39-year-old was at Nebraska this past season, but the year before he served part of the 2009-10 campaign as DePaul’s interim head coach. He has also made stops at Ball State (2001-03), Purdue (2003-04), Illinois (2004-07) and Kentucky (2007-09). While at Illinois, he helped guide the Fighting Illini to the 2005 national championship game.

Martin brings assistants Kent Williams and Jon Harris over with him from Missouri State, where Martin spent the last three years as head coach.

Williams, 29, spent the last three years at Missouri State. Prior to that, he was the supervisor of basketball operations from 2005-08 at Purdue — also with Martin, who was an assistant for his alma mater for eight seasons.

Harris, 30, was also at Missouri State for the previous three seasons. He came there from Wisconsin-Green Bay, where he coached for five seasons. His first coaching stint was in 2002-03 with his alma mater, Marquette.

“I’m excited about the coaching staff we have put in place,” Martin said. “These are honest, hard-working with a passion for the game of basketball. They’re all excellent at coaching on the floor, recruiting, scouting, teaching and developing young players.”