Cuonzo Martin smiles as he speaks to reporters during a news conference Monday, March 28, 2011 in Knoxville, Tenn. after being named the new men's head basketball coach at the University of Tennessee, replacing Bruce Pearl. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)
KNOXVILLE — Cuonzo Martin’s first full staff at Tennessee is now complete.
The Volunteers’ new basketball coach announced Tuesday the hiring of Marco Harris and Mark Pancratz to the final two positions on his full-time staff.
Harris, who grew up with Martin in East St. Louis, Ill., will be UT’s student-athlete welfare coordinator. Pancratz, who’s been on staff under former Vols coach Bruce Pearl, was named coordinator of video scouting.
“Mark’s been a mainstay in this program for the past five years,” Martin said in a UT release. “He’s done a great job building relationships, assuming administrative roles and helping assistant coaches with video preparation. He brings a contagious energy, enthusiasm and work ethic to our office every day. I know he’ll be very successful.”
Following his successful playing career at Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Pancratz came to UT as a graduate assistant in 2006. He spent the 2008-09 season as the Vols’ video coordinator and he past two seasons as the assistant to the head coach.
Along with Pearl and the rest of his staff, Pancratz was fired in March, but he remained in Knoxville with his wife, a native of Greeneville, Tenn., and their 9-month-old daughter. He was not implicated in any of the NCAA violations committed by the former staff.
Harris played baseball for one year at Southern Illinois before transferring to play point guard at Southwestern Oklahoma State (1992-94). He coached at Tulsa’s Booker T. Washington High School in addition to jobs as an AAU coach, athletic director and owner of a Subway Restaurant in Sand Springs, Okla.
“Marco and I grew up together, and he’s like a brother to me,” Martin said. “He’s got a genuine passion for developing young men and making sure they reach their full potential on and off the court. His years of experience working in public school systems demonstrate that he’s drawn to helping young people meet life’s challenges and overcome adversity.”
Harris, who isn’t related to assistant coach Jon Harris, will be responsible for supervising players in the classroom and in the community.
Vols add linebacker
Linebacker is one of UT’s biggest needs for its 2012 recruiting class, and the Vols’ efforts in addressing that need already have produced results.
Khalid Henderson, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound linebacker from Pebblebrook High School in Austell, Ga., committed to UT on Tuesday after earning a scholarship offer with his performance at last week’s camp in Knoxville. Multiple attempts to reach Henderson were unsuccessful, but he wrote on his Twitter account: “It’s truly a blessing to be a part of Vol Nation! [I want to] leave a legacy at Tennessee.”
Henderson had scholarship offers from Air Force, Connecticut and Louisville, and he intended to attend camps at Clemson and Georgia Tech in the coming weeks.
Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...