Frank Martin was introduced yesterday as the new basketball coach at South Carolina. Martin leaves Kansas State after a five-year run. His record was 117-54 and he led the Wildcats to a regional final in 2010.
Martin will be missed in the Big 12 Conference. The colorful, fiery coach built a solid program at Kansas State. Martin received a big break when Bob Huggins left after one year at Kansas State to take the job at West Virginia. Martin, Huggin’s assistant, was then elevated to the top job.
Rumors persisted that Martin and the Kansas State athletic administration were at odds. The talk was Martin wanted to depart Manhattan, Kansas. Both sides denied the so-called rift. Whether it was truth or fiction, Martin is gone to the Southeastern Conference.
Martin must enjoy a challenge. South Carolina went 2-14 in its league and 10-21 overall last season. The term, NCAA tournament, is a foreign concept. Yes, Martin has plenty of work to do.
I wrote a January blog about Martin’s anger issues. Apparently, it didn’t scare off South Carolina. The Gamecocks need some fire and a culture change.
Martin claims his fiery nature is only in his coaching life. That he tried to tame it down over his Kansas State term.
Regardless, I’ll need to pay a little closer attention to the Gamecock program now. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. I’m sure I’ll miss Martin’s stare and glare from his Kansas States days, so I better catch a South Carolina game or two on television.