When we talked to USC head coach Clay Helton on Wednesday in San Diego we got the impression that Helton already had his next offensive coordinator in mind. It turns out that he did because two days later Helton officially promoted wide receivers coach Tee Martin to offensive coordinator.
After being named the permanent head coach by Pat Haden on November 30, Helton announced that he would no longer call the offensive plays. Helton had a wide variety of options to hire a replacement for the role he held at USC, including a pair of current staff members, Martin and quarterbacks/tight ends coach Marques Tuiasosopo.
When it came down to it, Helton felt Martin was the right man for the job.
“I am fortunate to have been around many good coaches throughout my career, but I have never been around a coach quite as complete as Tee Martin,” Helton said in a statement released by USC. “He has a unique ability to lead, organize, recruit, teach, game plan and call plays. In the second half of this season, Tee took on a greater coordinating role in game planning and play calling and I was very impressed with the job he did. I am beyond confident in his ability to lead our offense to new heights.”
Martin has coached wide receivers at USC since 2012 and he has been the team's passing game coordinator since 2014. In addition to his new role as offensive coordinator, Martin will continue to coach the Trojan wide receivers.
Here are some of Martin's accolades from the statement released by USC:
In 2014 under Martin, wide receiver Nelson Agholor made All-American first team and All-Pac-12 first team while catching 104 passes (third most in USC history) and he was a NFL draft first round selection, while Smith-Schuster was a Freshman All-American first teamer. USC was 15th nationally in passing offense. He was named the 2014 Scout.com Pac-12 Recruiter of the Year.
In 2013, wide receiver Marqise Lee became USC’s career receiving yardage leader and was an NFL second round pick.
In 2012, Lee won the Biletnikoff Award and was an All-American first teamer, plus he was a finalist for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award and Hornung Award and was the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year as he set Pac-12 season records for receptions (112) and receiving yards (1,680) while leading the Pac-12 in receptions, receiving yards, all-purpose yards and kickoff returns. Wide receiver Robert Woods was a second round pick in the 2013 NFL draft.
Before coming to USC, Martin was the wide receivers coach at Kentucky for 2 years (2010-11). He also served as the passing game coordinator in 2011. In 2010, Wildcat wide receiver Randall Cobb was an All-American first teamer and NFL second round selection, while wide receiver Chris Matthews tied for the Southeastern Conference lead in touchdown catches.
Martin was a 4-year (1996-99) letterman quarterback at Tennessee. After serving as Peyton Manning’s backup his first 2 years, he led the Volunteers to a 13-0 record in 1998, capped by the national championship following a Fiesta Bowl win over Florida State. He led Tennessee to another trip to the Fiesta Bowl in 1999 and was named All-SEC first team. He set NCAA game (23 versus South Carolina) and season (24) records for consecutive completions in 1998.
He was selected by Pittsburgh in the fifth round of the 2000 NFL Draft, beginning a 6-year pro career. After 2 seasons (2000-01) with the Steelers, he went to NFL Europe in 2002, when he led the Rhein Fire to a league-best 7-3 record and a berth in the World Bowl. He returned to the NFL with the Oakland Raiders in 2003, then moved to the Canadian Football League and spent the 2004 and 2005 seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
He and his wife, Toya, have 2 sons, Kaden, 11, and Cannon, 3, and 15-year-old twins, daughter A'Yadra and son Amari.