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Tennessee to modify Martin's contract

The SportsXchange

Tennessee announced Tuesday that it is working on adjusting the contract of coach Cuonzo Martin after he led the Vols into the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament this year.

Martin had spoken with Marquette about his head coaching vacancy but withdrew from consideration, saying it is his intention to remain in Knoxville.

"Tennessee is where I want to be," he said. "That has never changed."

Martin has a 63-41 record, including two NIT berths and the 2014 NCAA Tournament appearance, in three seasons at Tennessee. The Vols lost to Michigan 73-71 in a regional semifinal on Friday night.

His current contract through the 2015-16 season and pays him $1.35 million per year, which ranks among the bottom half of coaches in the Southeastern Conference.

"We are working on modifications to Cuonzo's current contract and will release details of those adjustments when finalized," Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart said.

Marquette hired Duke assistant Steve Wojciechowski to replace Buzz Williams, who left for Virginia Tech.

"We are proud that Cuonzo Martin will continue to lead our men's basketball program," Hart said. "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."

Martin took the job in 2011 in the wake of an NCAA investigation and the departure of successful coach Bruce Pearl.

"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," Martin said. "I appreciate the unrivaled passion of this fan base 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."

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