Big Orange fans react to Coach Martin leaving

Big Orange fans react to Coach Martin leaving

Posted:
"We have a lot of band wagon fans. Everybody didn't like him during the season and you know he finally did something good getting us to the Sweet 16. So I really don't blame the guy, he deserves a place where he's going to get fans that want him there." "We have a lot of band wagon fans. Everybody didn't like him during the season and you know he finally did something good getting us to the Sweet 16. So I really don't blame the guy, he deserves a place where he's going to get fans that want him there."
Coach Martin after the Iowa win. Coach Martin after the Iowa win.
Former UT Basketball Coach Cuonzo Martin taking pictures with fans and signing autographs before the team departed for the Sweet 16 game against Michigan. Former UT Basketball Coach Cuonzo Martin taking pictures with fans and signing autographs before the team departed for the Sweet 16 game against Michigan.

By LAURA HALM
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Vol nation is shocked by the announcement Coach Cuonzo Martin leaving for California.

Some fans were calling for a coaching change months ago, of course that was before Cuonzo Martin guided the vols to the Sweet 16.

Big Orange fans say the move is unexpected and bittersweet. In fact, they say it was a rough start this season, though Coach Martin did a great job building the team and improving players.

Fans add that they have a lot of respect and like his coaching style, so hearing the news Coach Martin is leaving for California is a disappointment.

"I do think it's too soon. I think if he would have stayed a little bit longer he could have developed a team into something that's a lot more than it could be, maybe the Elite 8 next season," said fan Richard Schmidt.

"He had a really good season, which you can't look past. But the recruiting is just not where it needs to be and I think we need to move in a different direction," said Zach Austin.

"I'm sure he had a lot of time to think about this and there was probably some other reasons why he left. But I'm confident UT will find another coach that's just as competent if not better," said Roger McKinney.

UT student Tanner Lowery says he doesn't blame Coach Martin for moving west saying, "We have a lot of band wagon fans. Everybody didn't like him during the season and you know he finally did something good getting us to the Sweet 16. So I really don't blame the guy, he deserves a place where he's going to get fans that want him there."

Now it's a ways away, but fans say they're looking forward to the first match up on the court between the teams at Thompson-Boling.

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