Monday, April 3, 2017

The Coach | Frank Martin


I'd never heard of Frank Martin before the Baylor men's basketball team played South Carolina in the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA tournament. Although I was cheering for the Bears and was disappointed after their loss, I later learned why the Gamecocks' head coach captured the hearts of so many basketball fans. Frank Martin started his coaching career as the head coach of Miami High School's JV team in 1985. After eight years with the team, Martin was named the head coach of North Miami High School's varsity squad, where he stayed for two years. When he returned to Miami High School, Martin led the team to three consecutive state championships in 1996, 1997 and 1998. After a one year stint at Booker T. Washington High School, Martin attempted a career in the collegiate ranks. He became an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Northeastern University from 2000-2004. Martin coached at Cincinnati from 2004-2006 before moving to Kansas State under (now West Virginia head coach) Bob Huggins from 2006-2007. After Huggins resigned, Martin was appointed head coach of the Wildcats where he accomplished many a noteworthy event. His greatest accomplishment at Kansas State was when he led the team to their first NCAA tournament run since 1998. Martin was named head coach at South Carolina on March 27, 2012 and in his fourth season, he led the Gamecocks to their first win since 1973. After South Carolina beat No. 2 Duke, they advanced to their first Sweet Sixteen in program history. They continued their history-making run by beating my beloved Bears (tears) to continue on to their first Elite Eight run in program history, followed by a victory over Florida to advance to their first Final Four in history. Although the Gamecocks lost to Gonzaga, 73-77, in the Final Four, they made history and Frank Martin has become a basketball household name. I saw his final press conference where he shed tears over his love for his players and I immediately became a fan. Now I guess I have to add South Carolina to my list of non-Baylor favorite sports teams!

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