UT names Cuonzo Martin basketball coach

By: Rick Russo / Wes Boling / Daryl Hobby Email
By: Rick Russo / Wes Boling / Daryl Hobby Email

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT / UTSports.com) - Cuonzo Martin of Missouri State has been named the new men's basketball coach at the University of Tennessee.

Martin will be introduced in a press conference at 2:30 p.m. Monday at Thompson-Boling Arena.

"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," Tennessee Director of Athletics Mike Hamilton said.

"He has a proven track record of success as a head coach at Missouri State and an assistant at Purdue as well as an outstanding career as a college basketball player. His Missouri State program improved from 11 wins to 26 in just two seasons, and they won the regular season conference championship this year."

According to the Missouri State Bears website, Cuonzo - pronounced CON-zoe - became Missouri State's 16th head men's basketball coach on April 1, 2008. He just completed his third season with the Bears.

A native of East St. Louis, Ill., Martin was a star player at Purdue from 1991-95 for coach Gene Keady and then played four years professionally. He coached at Purdue for eight years under Keady and current Boilermaker head coach Matt Painter.

During his last two seasons, Martin was 179-for-390 (.459) from three-point range to lead the Big Ten, according to missouristatebears.com. He was fourth in the league in scoring as a senior and helped the Boilermakers to their second of three consecutive Big Ten titles. He also was named to Dick Vitale's All-Defensive team in 1995.

Martin replaces Bruce Pearl who had been with the Vols for the past six years.

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