Monday, March 28, 2011

A New Sheriff in Town: Andy Taylor or Barney Fife?

The past year has been a rough one for the Volunteers of Tennessee.

Thinking back to the 2010 season, I saw a program that was on the rise. It was coming off its first Elite Eight ever and had a coach that knew what he is doing and was bringing in big time recruits. Bruce Pearl was on the verge of building a powerhouse program... So we thought.

A year has passed and all those dreams are out the window for now, and that so called coach that knew what he was doing, didnt. Those big time recruits were now going to other schools.  What happened you ask? NCAA allegations happened. Bruce lied to the NCAA about some recruiting violations and brought more shame to a athletic department that was going through the same allegations as the football team, thanks to the snake that is Lane Kiffen. So at the start of the 2011 season,  Pearl's job was up in the air. The season started with a bang; 7-0 ranked 7th in the country, with wins over Villanova and Pittsburgh.  It was all down hill from there.  The Vols barely got into the Tournament as a 9 seed and got blown out by Michigan on the second day of the Tournament.  Two days later, Bruce Pearl was removed from all duties as head coach.

Now what does a program like Tennessee need?
1) A new fresh face.
3) An Andy Taylor, and not a Barney Fife!!!

Everyone knows when Andy Taylor is running the great small town of Mayberry, North Carolina, things run smoother than water off a duck's back. But when good ole' boy Barney Fife takes over, things get out of hand... and in a hurry. He means well but usually ends up creating a bigger mess than the mess he is trying to clean up. Andy, on the other hand, is as harmless as could be and always has the right heart and mind to deal with any situation. Cuonzo Martin may not be Andy Taylor, but in time he could be. Here is why..

On Monday, March 28, 2011, Cuonzo Martin was hired to be the 18th basketball coach at the University of Tennessee.  This is a little bit of information about Martin-

  • Born: September 23, 1971 in Illinois; has a wife named Roberta and 3 kids.
  • Was a standout player at Purdue University, playing in 127 games and scoring 1666 points in 4 seasons
  • Drafted in 1995 by the Atlanta Hawks and played 4 seasons in the NBA
  • In 1997, he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and had a tumor between heart and lung but a year later he was in full remission
  • Worked under Gene Kaity and Matt Painter as an a Assitant coach at Purdue
  • Named 2011 coach of the year in the Missouri Valley Conference at Missouri State.
Now, he's the head coach of a mess of a team and program. I believe he can turn it around. The video at the top of the page is his acceptance speech for the Coach of the year in the MVC. His passion and honesty for the game is exactly what Tennessee needs.  He may not be the big name, but I don't think the Vols need that right now. Look at the football program. After Kiffen abandoned them,  they hired Derrick Dooley.  He's not a big name, but he is going to build his program the right way. I believe Coach Martin will do the same.

So congratulations Coach Martin and family,  welcome to ROCKY TOP!!!!!

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