USC Sports

USC promotes Tee Martin to offensive coordinator

Tee Martin

USC assistant Tee Martin shouts instruction to  wide receivers group during practice.

(Shotgun Spratling / Los Angeles Times)

As a college quarterback, Tee Martin adeptly executed plays and won a national title. As a USC assistant coach, he helped Trojans receivers learn offensive systems.

Now he will call plays for the Trojans.

USC Coach Clay Helton announced Friday that Martin has been promoted from receivers coach to offensive coordinator.

“He has a unique ability to lead, organize, recruit, teach, game plan and call plays,” Helton said of Martin in a statement. “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, 37, will continue to coach receivers while serving as offensive coordinator.

USC opens practice for the Dec. 30 Holiday Bowl on Saturday. After the workout, Helton is expected to address whether Martin will call plays against Wisconsin, which ranks first nationally in scoring defense and third in total defense.

Helton, who became head coach before the Dec. 5 Pac-12 Conference title game after serving seven weeks as interim coach, has been the Trojans’ offensive coordinator for three seasons. He said after the 41-22 defeat by Stanford that he would give up play-calling duties next season so that he could attend to all facets of the team.


Martin played in college at Tennessee and led the Volunteers to the 1998 national title. He played for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders in the NFL and also had stints in the Canadian Football League and NFL Europe. He coached receivers at Kentucky for two seasons before joining then-coach Lane Kiffin’s USC staff, and also has coached at New Mexico and Morehouse College.

Martin has worked with Trojans receivers such as Biletnikoff Award winner Marqise Lee, Robert Woods, Nelson Agholor and JuJu Smith-Schuster, who has a team-best 85 receptions and averages 106.8 yards receiving per game, which is seventh nationally.

Martin’s promotion fills one major spot on a staff that is in transition following Helton’s firing of defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox, defensive line coach Chris Wilson, defensive backs coach Keith Heyward and offensive line coach Bob Connelly.

Wilson reportedly was hired by Missouri.

Linebackers coach Peter Sirmon will serve as USC’s defensive coordinator for the Holiday Bowl.

Former Trojans defensive end Kenechi Udeze, an assistant strength coach, will oversee the defensive line.

Graduate assistant Mike Goff, who played 12 NFL seasons as an offensive lineman, will handle the offensive line.

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