A new head coach and newfound optimism weren't enough for Tee Martin to return to Rocky Top.
Martin, the former Tennessee quarterback who led the Vols to the 1998 national championship, turned down an offer to coach the wide receivers.
After meeting with coach Butch Jones on Monday in Knoxville, Martin decided to stay at USC with Lane Kiffin, who famously bolted from Tennessee after one year as head coach.
“It was great to get an offer and have the chance to return to my alma mater,” Martin told Volquest.com. “I wanted to see what the feeling would feel like and look in coach Jones’ eyes and see what he had planned for Tennessee. That’s why I came across the country. In the end, I just couldn't leave my situation at USC.”
Martin, 34, just wrapped up his first season with the Trojans. He mentored Marqise Lee, who earned the Biletnikoff Award last week as the nation’s top receiver.
Prior to USC, Martin spent two years at Kentucky, where he helped groom dual-threat Randall Cobb, now with the Green Bay Packers.
Wide receivers coach is the only position left to fill for Jones, who has hired eight assistants. He is brining five from Cincinnati and is retaining only running backs coach Jay Graham from Derek Dooley’s staff.
“I just feel like we have a bright future,” Martin said about USC. “I made a commitment to my players at USC. It feels great to be wanted, but I feel like we are doing something special where I am and I do believe we have a bright future.”