Ex-Vol Tee Martin is content seeing blue

UK names receivers coach

mstory@herald-leader.comFebruary 10, 2010 

Tee Martin says he hasn't yet let himself contemplate what it will be like standing on the visiting sideline in Neyland Stadium.

Now that Joker Phillips has named Martin wide receivers coach at Kentucky, the quarterback of Tennessee's undefeated 1998 national champions will find out Nov. 27.

"I haven't been on that side of (Neyland) Stadium — ever," Martin said Tuesday night. "I don't know how that's going to feel. But now, I'm a Kentucky Wildcat, and we're going to do our best to win every Saturday."

UK made official Tuesday what had already been widely reported: Martin, 31, has given up the job as quarterbacks coach at New Mexico to come to Lexington.

At Kentucky, he will be reunited with UK offensive coordinator Randy Sanders, who was first the quarterbacks coach and then the offensive coordinator at Tennessee when Martin wore the Orange.

"He was my quarterback when I first started calling the plays (at Tennessee)," Sanders said. "I've seen him grow up. In some ways, we grew up together."

Though Martin's playing and coaching experience involves the quarterback position, he expressed confidence that he has the know-how to coach receivers. Last year at New Mexico, Martin said, he was QB coach and passing-game coordinator.

"Our receivers coach stepped down," Martin said. "So I had the opportunity to help with the wide receivers as well as the quarterbacks. I feel like I am more than ready to help with the (Kentucky) wide receivers and coach them."

Martin joins Mike Sommers (offensive line) and David Turner (defensive line) as new coaches Phillips has hired since replacing Rich Brooks.

Phillips said he had long been impressed with Martin but was really sold on bringing him to UK last Oct. 16. That night, Phillips and Martin were among a horde of college coaches in suburban Atlanta to see Georgia high school powerhouses Stephenson (with Kentucky recruit Raymond Sanders) and Martin Luther King play.

"I feel like I'm pretty big in knowing everybody in Atlanta," Phillips said. "Well, when Tee walked in the stadium, it was like every little kid, every coach, every media person knew who Tee Martin was. That moment right there, I thought, 'this is a guy we need to be looking into pretty heavily, and we need to try to attract to our place.' "

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