Vols basketball coach Cuonzo Martin leaving UT for California - WKRN News 2

Vols basketball coach Cuonzo Martin leaving UT for California

Posted: Updated: April 15, 2014 3:00 PM CDT
Tennessee basketball coach Cuonzo Martin has accepted a job at California. (Courtesy: UTSports.com) Tennessee basketball coach Cuonzo Martin has accepted a job at California. (Courtesy: UTSports.com)
Cuonzo Martin with California AD Sandy Barbour (Courtesy: Twitter.com) Cuonzo Martin with California AD Sandy Barbour (Courtesy: Twitter.com)
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -

Head basketball coach Cuonzo Martin is leaving the University of Tennessee for California.

UT Athletic Director Dave Hart made the announcement in a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Martin was hired by Tennessee in March 2011 to replace Bruce Pearl.

During his three seasons in Knoxville he led the Volunteers to a 63-41 record and an appearance in the NCAA Sweet 16 this past season.

However, prior to the Vols' Sweet 16 return, almost 40,000 fans signed a petition to have Martin fired and replaced by Pearl.

There were also reports that boosters revoked Martin's use of private jets for recruiting.

Martin's players at Tennessee are coming to his support on Twitter.

Jeronne Maymon tweeted, "Not even surprised… It was just a matter of time! #RESPECT"

Jordan McRae also hit Twitter, tweeting, "Can't treat people any kind of way and expect good in return."

Hart said he did not know Martin was involved with Cal search until Tuesday morning.

He also said Martin was offered a two-year contract extension and a $500,000 raise to stay at Tennessee.

At California, Martin replaces Mike Montgomery, who retired last month.

Athletic Director Sandy Barbour planned to officially introduce him as their new head coach later on Tuesday.

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