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Tee Martin Addresses His Future With Tennessee Football Program

Tee Martin on the basketball court.

KNOXVILLE, TN - JANUARY 19: Tee Martin of the Tennessee Volunteers introduced during a break in the game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Tennessee Volunteers at Thompson-Boling Arena on January 19, 2019 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Tennessee won the game 71-68. (Photo by Donald Page/Getty Images)

The Tennessee football program is shrouded in uncertainty as it heads into 2021.

Earlier this month, a weekslong internal investigation of alleged recruiting violations led to the termination of head coach Jeremy Pruitt and eight other members of the Volunteers coaching staff. Assistant coach Tee Martin was one of the few coaches kept on under interim head coach Kevin Steele.

After the hire of UCF's Josh Heupel earlier this week, Martin was reportedly heartbroken over the news. The former national championship-winning Vols QB was hoping to get his shot at the job.

Now, he may not even retain his assistant job.

During an appearance on “The Opening Kickoff” on WNSP-FM 105.5 on Friday, Martin highlighted the uncertain times this offseason has in store.

“For us as a staff, it was a time of not knowing,” Martin said. “Kevin Steele was hired as an interim head coach. He came in and was doing a really good job. There were staff members let go, so there weren’t many people around. For those of us around, we were taking care of the players and picking up tasks.”

The Tennessee changing of the guard didn't stop at the coaching level.

After long-time athletic director Phil Fulmer announced his retirement at the end of a disappointing 3-7 season, the Volunteers hired new AD Danny White. Martin said the switch in management made the coaching transition all the more cloudy.

“We really didn’t know much. Danny did a good job of keeping things close to the vest, best he could,” Martin said. “We know how those searches can go with speculation. He made the hire he felt was best for Tennessee, so we are moving forward.”

Now with a new AD and head coach, Martin's future as an assistant is called even further into question. Heupel has yet to confirm if the former Tennessee star QB will remain on the coaching staff in 2021.

“We’re talking right now,” Martin said. “Nothing is definite right now. We’ll have another talk this evening to try and get to a conclusion.

“As of now, I really don’t know. I don’t want to misspeak here. Coach Heupel and I spoke yesterday, but it was about the team and players. He’s getting his feet on the ground. The main focus is on the players right now. We have yet to start tackling the staff yet.”

Stay tuned for updates on the developing situation in Knoxville.