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Vols hire Missouri State's coach

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee hired Missouri State's Cuonzo Martin on Sunday to take over a Volunteers program facing punishment by the NCAA for recruiting violations.

Martin, 39, replaces the popular Bruce Pearl, who was fired March 21, a month after being charged with unethical conduct for lying to NCAA investigators.

Martin was hired in 2008 by Missouri State after eight years as an assistant at Purdue and went 61-41 in three seasons. He was this season's Missouri Valley Conference coach of the year after the Bears finished 26-9 and won the program's first MVC regular-season championship.

"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 athletic director 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."

A news conference to introduce Martin was scheduled for this afternoon.

SPIDERS EXTEND COACH: Richmond coach Chris Mooney signed a 10-year contract extension after leading the Spiders to this year's Sweet 16. Mooney, 38, received an extension for the third straight year, this one after Richmond won a school-record 29 games, topping the mark of 26 set last season. Richmond won the Atlantic 10 tournament for the first time in 10 years.

Vols hire Missouri State's coach 03/27/11 [Last modified: Sunday, March 27, 2011 9:05pm]
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