KNOXVILLE, TN (WRCB) -- Less than 24 hours after pulling his name off the table in terms of the Marquette job, Cuonzo Martin confirms he is staying at Tennessee.
Sources say Martin met with UT Athletic Director twice on Monday.
Hart released a statement today saying, "We are proud that Cuonzo Martin will continue to lead our men's basketball program. His three Tennessee teams have finished in the upper echelon of the SEC, and each of those teams entered the month of March in contention for an NCAA Tournament bid. His third team excelled in the postseason.
"We have high standards and expectations for continued improvement and results in every sport in our program. Having said that, our strong finishes within the conference the past three years, prioritizing academics, representing the University with class and operating within the parameters dictated by the University of Tennessee and the NCAA matters greatly. Additionally, the social culture of the men's basketball program has vastly improved under Cuonzo's leadership.
"We are working on modifications to Cuonzo's current contract and will release details of those adjustments when finalized."
Hart and Martin are in contract negotiations. Martin is under contract through the 2015-2016 season. He led the Vols to Sweet Sixteen after landing in the NIT his first two seasons. Martins current contract at $1.3million a year makes him the 10th highest paid coach in the SEC.
In the same release from UT, Martin said, "The past three seasons here at the University of Tennessee have been extremely rewarding for me, my family and my staff. We accepted some unique challenges when we took over this program in 2011, but our recent run to the Sweet Sixteen proves that our blueprint for achieving excellence both on and off the court can generate tremendous results.
"Just as our players have `bought in' and made a commitment to doing things the right way in all aspects of their lives, my staff and I feel a strong commitment to them and their continued growth as men.
"Tennessee is where I want to be. That has never changed. I have said many times over the past three years that I believe we have the resources and support to be the last team standing, and that belief has never been stronger. I appreciate the unrivaled passion of this fanbase and feel the responsibility to make those fans proud. I also appreciate the commitment that the university and athletic department leadership have shown to this staff. I am excited about the future and remain honored to be the head basketball coach at Tennessee. Go Vols!"
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