KNOXVILLE — One of the voices Cuonzo Martin will have in his ear during timeouts next season will be a familiar one.
Tennessee’s new basketball coach hired Jon Harris, an assistant for three seasons with him at Missouri State, as the first full-time member of his new staff, a university official confirmed on Wednesday.
Prior to joining Missouri State's staff, the 30-year-old Harris, who was in Knoxville for Martin's introductory news conference on Monday, spent five seasons as an assistant at Wisconsin-Green Bay.
A four-year letterman and two-year captain during his playing career at Marquette (1999-2002), Harris played a season with current Miami Heat star Dwayne Wade and was an assistant on the Golden Eagles team that reached the 2003 Final Four.
“He's well-spoken, he's tough, he knows a ton about basketball and he works as hard as anyone I've been around,” Missouri State center Will Creekmore told the Springfield News-Leader earlier this week. “He's a little more outgoing, I think, than Coach Martin, but at the same time he has a lot of the same toughness that coach Martin has.”
Martin said on Monday that he would “definitely” bring some of his staff to UT with him from Missouri State. Both Kent Williams and Steve Woodberry, Martin's two other Missouri State assistants, expressed interest the Bears' head-coaching vacancy, according to the News-Leader.
Harris won't know his official title until Martin's staff is completed.
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 ...