Congrats, Tennessee fans. You just ran off a coach that took your team to the Sweet 16, because I guess you’re misdirecting your anger over the football team’s run of mediocrity the past few years. Cuonzo Martin was announced as the new Cal head coach today, leaving Tennessee beat writers yet another coaching search to cover (bless it).
Once upon a time, kids, UT was a football school. It still is at its heart, just without all the wins and prestigious bowl games. So fans have looked to the hoops program for their happiness, and the school actually has a good basketball tradition. But when 36,000 fans signed a petition to have Bruce Pearl rehired – that’s the man who preceded Martin, the man who broke NCAA rules, the man who’s now head coach at Auburn – it told you that Martin could do little to make Vol Nation happy.
So after just three seasons, he’s gone west. Good move. Let’s see what the Twitterverse has to say about this.
Cuonzo Martin fired his fans.
— Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops) April 15, 2014
Can’t treat any way you want too then expect good to come back to you Congrats coach wish you the best! @CuonzoMartin
— Chris Cook (@Ccook35) April 15, 2014
— Jesse Booher (@jlbooher3) April 15, 2014
Based on early returns of UT fan expectation, #Vols will replace Cuonzo Martin w/ Billy Donovan and Gregg Marshall as acting co-head coaches
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerCBS) April 15, 2014
Still can’t believe @CuonzoMartin left without addressing the players.It’s a shame this is our last memory of him at UT,thought he had class
— Aaron Phillips (@aphil_12) April 15, 2014
Cuonzo Martin so long sucker. Face it out team stunk and made a lucky run in the NCAA. You sir are not a #VFL
— Benji Wilson (@BenjiWilson5) April 15, 2014
No longer upset @CuonzoMartin left once I figured out the man was too much of a coward to tell his players he was leaving to their faces…
— Khari Butler (@butler_khari) April 15, 2014
I don’t blame @CuonzoMartin for leaving UT for California A vocal minority of Tennesseans want a lying snake oil cheerleading salesman back
— BrianHornback.Com (@Shockand_awe) April 15, 2014
Wow…. VOLS Cuonzo Martin just pulled a Lame Kiffin…. #MartinMovesOn
— Daniel Burton (@aMANinMANHATTAN) April 15, 2014
So as you can see, some mixed reactions there. You’ve got your share of butthurt fans, including those making the ridiculous Lane Kiffin comparison. But this should be noted: Tennessee’s players aren’t upset. Being on the inside – unlike the fans – they get why Martin left. SB Nation has a good roundup of their reactions.
Godspeed, Cuonzo. As for Tennessee fans, it’s your loss, but I doubt you’ll figure that out.