Cuonzo Martin to Tennessee; Mooney Signs Extension | Zagsblog
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Tuesday / June 25.
  • Cuonzo Martin to Tennessee; Mooney Signs Extension

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    Cuonzo Martin is the new head coach at Tennessee.

    The school announced Sunday the hiring of the Missouri State University head coach as the successor to Bruce Pearl, who was fired March 21. Martin will be introduced at a press conference Monday.

    The 39-year-old Martin is a Purdue graduate who posted a 61-41 (.598) record in three seasons at Missouri State from 2008-11.

    This season’s Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year, Martin’s team finished 26-9 and won the school’s first-ever Missouri Valley Conference regular season championship. The team’s 15-3 mark in MVC games set a school-record for conference wins in one season.

    “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 AD 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.”

    “Cuonzo has an inspiring personal story, and we look forward to his impact on Tennessee basketball. We welcome Cuonzo, his wife Roberta, their sons Joshua and Chase, and their daughter, Addison, to the Tennessee family.”

    Torrel Harris, father of Tennessee freshmen Tobias Harris, declined comment on the hiring.

    He previously indicated his son, a 6-foot-8 freshman, would test the NBA waters.

    “Yeah, he’s gonna test the waters,” Torrel said the day Pearl was fired. “He’s one of the best in the country. Why wouldn’t he?”

    Martin is a finalist for two national coaching awards this season: the Hugh Durham National Coach of the Year Award, presented annually to the top mid-major coach in Division I college basketball, and the Ben Jobe Award, presented annually to the top minority head coach in Division I. Both awards are to be presented during Final Four weekend.

    Martin scored 1,666 points at Purdue.

    During his four playing seasons, Purdue posted a 90-37 record, including a combined 54-12 mark in his last two seasons and two Big 10 titles in 1994 and 1995.

    In his senior season in 1994-95, he averaged 18.4 points while leading Purdue to the second of three consecutive Big 10 championships, earning First Team All-Big Ten honors.

    Martin was selected with the 57th pick in the 1995 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks and played professional basketball for four years, including NBA stints with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Vancouver Grizzlies. He also was the team captain and leading scorer with the Grand Rapids (Mich.) Hoops of the Continental Basketball Association for three seasons and was the leading scorer for the Felize Scandone team in Avellino, Italy in 1997.

    In November of 1997, Martin was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and returned to the United States for treatment of a malignant tumor between his heart and lungs. He received his last treatment on April 20, 1998, and is now in full remission. He now promotes awareness of cancer research and supports cancer charities.


    **Richmond Coach Chris Mooney, a hot name in recent years on the Coaching Carousel, has signed a 10-year extension. Read the release here.

    (UT Athletics contributed)


    **Tobias and Tyler Harris both without a coach

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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