Martin Named Passing Game Coordinator, Signed to Contract Extension

Tee Martin signed a contract extension with Kentucky.

Tee Martin signed a contract extension with Kentucky.

Jan. 29, 2011

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Tee Martin, University of Kentucky wide receivers coach, has signed a contract extension and been named passing game coordinator, Coach Joker Phillips announced Saturday.

Martin joined the staff a year ago and made great contributions during his first season.   Under Martin's guidance, Randall Cobb earned first-team All-America honors and consensus All-Southeastern Conference accolades while Chris Matthews tied for the SEC lead in touchdown catches and was named second-team All-SEC. Sophomore La'Rod King also emerged as a playmaker as the team's third receiver.   In addition, he has made a significant impact on the recruiting trail.

Here are some quotes from Phillips and Martin, who made the announcement at a news conference at Rupp Arena before UK's men's basketball game vs. Georgia.

Joker Phillips Quotes

Opening Statement:
“First thing I would like to say is the commitment of Mitch Barnhart and our athletic department has made to this program. Yes, we have been to five straight bowl games, and that is fine, but we want to start talking about playing for titles. That is what we are about here at Kentucky. Our athletic department has made a huge commitment also in helping us keep our assistant coaches here. This is probably one of the biggest recruits to land before recruiting (signing day) is Tee Martin. We have been working with Tee and his contract since the season ended in December, because of the impact he has made on this program on the field and mentoring his kids off the field, as well as in the recruiting arena. There have been questions (a year ago) about him never coaching or playing wide receiver, but that has nothing to do with it. We needed to find a guy who is a great teacher and a great communicator and a guy that has passion for this game, which is the reason we hired Tee Martin last year at this time. I commend Mitch Barnhart and  Dr. Todd for doing whatever it took to keep Tee Martin here. He has made a huge impact on this program and they made the necessary commitment to keep him with us here, which is a huge lift for us. When you hire good people, there are going to be schools that come after our people. We don’t have a good staff; we have a great staff here. Our staff has a lot of energy and a lot of juice. They have great communication skills and (are) relentless recruiters. I made the comment that when we get a recruit here on campus, we are like piranhas; we are all over them. I like the enthusiasm that comes when we have a recruiting weekend, so we have to be able to try to keep our coaches here and Mitch Barnhart made a huge commitment in keeping Tee Martin here.”



On Tee Martin’s position and extended contract…
“We have been working on extending his contract and got that done. He will be a passing game coordinator, and he has done a lot of those things this past year, we just wanted to give him that title. He has worked really close with (offensive coordinator) Randy Sanders, who he has been working with us since he was 18. They have a good working relationship, so we thought it was time for Tee (Martin) to have that title. He has done a lot this past year in breaking down the opponents’ coverages and coming up with different schemes, so we thought it was time to give him that title.”

On if there was a pay raise…
“Yes, we did what we have to do to keep our coaching staff intact, especially guys that have been a huge impact here which Tee (Martin) has been, so yes there was a pay raise.”

On how vital Tee Martin is to moving this team forward…
“Very vital. We want to get this program to a championship level, and to do that we have to keep guys like Tee Martin in this program. He understands this league, he has great communication skills, and he has passion for this game. He is a relentless recruiter, but I don’t want him labeled as a recruiter. He is also a great scheme guy who understands protections from playing quarterback and route combinations. Tee Martin can coach any position on our team. I have heard it last year that he has never coached this position.

On the importance of having a passing game coordinator…
“He will come up with different schemes and combinations, and he is a guy who will be a coordinator in time. He will be a guy who is running his own program soon. We felt that for him to continue to progress his career, it was time for us to give him the title of passing game coordinator.”

Tee Martin Quotes

Opening Statement…
“First of all, I want to say thank you to Mitch Barnhart and Coach Phillips for the opportunity to come here last year. I am elated. I’m so emotional and so excited about the feeling of being wanted and the respect of these individuals.  (They are) guys that I have a tremendous amount of respect for, who reached out and said 'You’re a young coach and we’re going to give you an opportunity' and by showing their appreciation and what they think of me, to want to keep me around. That’s the blessing in all of this and I look forward to it. To me, the work begins right here. When you come here you have to prove yourself. You have to prove yourself every day, so right now with the opportunity and the extension, I understand what that means. We want to take our program to a championship level. Everything Coach Phillips has said, that’s what we’re about, so work begins here and I look forward to it.”

On other teams showing interest…
“People called, people called around showing interest but I remained loyal to my boss (Phillips). It wasn’t one of those situations where we were out of the loop in terms of our communication. The moment I heard something, he heard what I heard and he was on the phone with Mr. Barnhart and that’s the respect that we have. I’m loyal to him and he is loyal to me and I will fall on a sword for that guy. He said ‘Hey we're going to do what we can to keep you here.’ I said I wanted to be here and we got it done. To me it was a no-brainer. Every day I come to work, I’m excited about coming to work. Coach Phillips is a tremendous coach to work for. He’s great with our players and as a staff, I have a staff of guys I believe in, not just Coach Phillips but our whole staff is great. I think that is a key point in recruiting. That’s what helps us in recruiting and spending time with us, we’re a family. They feel that love and that passion we have to take this program to the next level.”

On the teams he talked with…
"I never went to an interview, we talked on the phone but it never went that far. I talked to a couple schools but I’m not going to mention names and get that out there because we are in a critical time with our recruiting right now and I didn’t want to hurt our class here at Kentucky. This is a special class that you guys would be very proud of and we didn’t want to mention names. We didn’t want to go that far. Coach Phillips gave me his commitment. He said we were going to get this thing done and Mr. Barnhart and Dr. Todd got it done and we are here today. I won’t mention any names of schools but the point right now is I am happy to be at Kentucky.  I am proud of the work that has been done this past season and this begins where we want to take this program."

On what his extension shows about the program…
“It talks about the passion and the desire Mr. Barnhart has for taking Kentucky football to that next level. It’s a commitment thing. It is wanting to get it done. People can say what they want to about Kentucky football. Kentucky football is headed in the right direction. We’re headed up and this is just one piece of the puzzle. We have to have great players, we have to coach them up and all that stuff, but it shows the commitment we have in taking this program to where we want it to be and that is to the championship level.”

On how he was approached about the extension…
“We had been talking about it with our staff, Coach Phillips and Coach (Randy) Sanders have a longstanding relationship and it is something they had been talking about before and brought it to my attention, but that is the way we work as a staff. We don’t really make decisions without talking to all of us. Coach Sanders doesn’t make a decision without talking to the whole offensive staff and it was something that we all had discussed at some point throughout the year and after the season and it got done. The way we prepare, the way we coach our guys, the system we run is the same. My job will continue to be the same, and that’s to have the best set of wide receivers out there in the SEC and try to bring the best players that we can here at Kentucky.”

2015 National Signing Day Commonwealth Stadium