The University of Tennessee’s search for Bruce Pearl’s replacement did not take long.
Cuonzo Martin, who went 61-41 in three seasons at Missouri State, was announced as the new coach of the Volunteers on Sunday. His official introduction was scheduled for a Monday afternoon press conference in Knoxville.
He is a finalist for two national coach of the year awards this season after he guided his team to a 26-9 record and the Missouri Valley Conference regular season title. The Bears lost in the conference tournament final and were relegated to the NIT, where they defeated Murray State and then lost to Miami (Fla).
“Cuonzo is among the most promising young coaches in the game, and we are excited about the coaching ability, toughness and energy that he brings to our program,” UT Director of Athletics Mike Hamilton said in a release announcing the move. "He has a proven track record of success as a head coach. … His Missouri State program improved from 11 wins to 26 in just two seasons, and they won the regular season conference championship this year.”
Martin. 39, is a cancer survivor whose playing career was cut short by the illness. He was in Italy in November 1997 when he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. He received his last treatment in April 1998 and the disease was classified as “in full remission.”
"Cuonzo has an inspiring personal story, and we look forward to his impact on Tennessee basketball,” Hamilton said. “We welcome Cuonzo, his wife Roberta, their sons Joshua and Chase, and their daughter, Addison, to the Tennessee family.”