Rocky Shock: Tennessee Coach Heads to California

Published on 15-Apr-2014 by Stacey Mickles

Basketball - NCAA Mens    NCAA Basketball Daily Update

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Rocky Shock: Tennessee Coach Heads to California

Tennessee got a shocker today when it was announced that head hoops coach Cuonzo Martin has left the program for California.

For most of the season, Martin was on the hot seat. Reports were swirling out there that if he didn't get the Vols to the NCAA Tournament this year,he'd lose his job.

Well, Martin indeed got them there, carried them to the Sweet 16, and was thisclose to the Elite 8:

But apparently, Martin didn't care for how closely he'd sailed into the wind at Knoxville and has tacked sharply. As in toward another port.

He had just announced two weeks ago that he wanted to stay at Tennessee, and everyone thought that was that.

“Tennessee is where I want to be. That has never changed. I have said many times over the past three years that I believe we have the resources and support to be the last team standing, and that belief has never been stronger."

Well, something changed. Maybe it's because -- even with the Vols' run in the Big Dance -- there were still some fans who wanted him gone, preferring to replace him with former head coach Bruce Pearl, who's now at Auburn.

Speaking of Pearl, I wonder what he thinks about all of this? It's no secret he loved Knoxville and remains popular with Vol fans.

If they came a-knockin', would Pearl listen? Gonna be interesting to see how this plays out in the coming days.

And if I'm an Auburn basketball fan, I'd be slightly nervous. Pearl wouldn't pull up stakes before he ever blew a whistle there, would he?