South Carolina led by third-year head coach Frank Martin.
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Frank Martin was named the head men's basketball coach at the University of South Carolina on March 27, 2012, becoming the 32nd head coach in the history of the South Carolina program, which enters its 110th season as a varsity sport in 2017-18. Martin owns a 213-128 (.624) overall record as a head coach, entering his 11th season overall, and a 96-74 (.564) record entering his sixth season at South Carolina. Martin was named the 2017 Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year after leading the Gamecocks to the best season in school history during the 2016-17 campaign, as the squad advanced to the program's first Final Four and recorded a school record 26 wins.
Since his appointment as head coach in Columbia, Martin, 51, and his wife Anya, have become fixtures in the community. He has spoken at numerous events, including Gamecock Club chapter events, numerous community council and rotary club events, coaching clinics, the Fathers and Families Decades of Dads event and the Heroes in Blue Knight of Honor Gala, among others. Martin has also been honored with several community awards, including being named a 2016 Fatherhood Champion at the Palmetto State Fatherhood Awards Breakfast and Fundraiser.
The Martin's have hosted the "B-Ball of the South," an event in conjunction with the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), and the American Cancer Society, benefitting "Coaches vs. Cancer," during their time at Carolina. The first "B-Ball of the South," held in May 2013, raised $140,000 from charitable donations and a live auction to benefit the "Coaches vs. Cancer" initiative. Year two saw continued success, as the Kentucky Derby themed event raised $129,470 and year three saw the event raise $145,735. For his outstanding efforts for the "Coaches vs. Cancer" initiative, Martin was honored with the 2016 Champion Award from the organization at the 2016 Final Four in Houston.
Martin has spent time with USA Basketball during his tenure at Carolina, as he was selected as a court coach for USA Basketball in June 2012, assisting then-Florida head coach Billy Donovan with the Men's U18 National Team training camp in Colorado Springs, Colo., at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. The camp was used to determine the 12-member roster that represented the United States at the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship in late June.
Martin had another stint with USA Basketball during the summer of 2013, serving as an assistant coach for the United States on Davidson head coach Bob McKillop's staff alongside Michigan head coach John Beilein for the U.S. Men's World University Games team. The squad spent time in Colorado Springs at training camp, before embarking on a two-week journey to Kazan, Russia, in early July, for the event. He furthered his international coaching experience as head coach of the USA East Coast team during the summer of 2014, which represented the United States at the Tallinn Cup in Estonia.
Martin took on another leadership role within basketball when the NABC announced in September 2016 that Martin would be joining its Board of Directors.
"I'm honored that I have been asked to be on the NABC board of directors," Martin said at the time of his appointment. "I am extremely excited to do everything I can to continue to help basketball help people around the world."
Each summer since 2014, Martin and his team have held a community outreach initiative, the "8K In 8 Days" campaign, which sets forth a goal of reaching 8,000 fans through community outreach events throughout the Midlands and the state of South Carolina over the course of eight days. The squad has visited military members and their families at Fort Jackson in Columbia, the group visited the Palmetto Children's Hospital, spent time with children from My Brother's Keeper, visited the Dorn VA Medical Center and has hosted events with Special Olympics at Colonial Life Arena, among the many events they have participated in. The initiative continues to be a great success and Martin and the team continued to strengthen their bond with the community again in 2017.
During his first season (2012-13) in Columbia, Martin led his squad to a 14-18 record, which included a 4-14 mark in SEC contests. The Garnet and Black captured the Hoops For Hope Classic tournament crown after posting a 4-0 record with home victories over Milwaukee and Rider, before defeating Missouri State in overtime, and UALR in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, over the Thanksgiving holiday. Freshman forward Michael Carrera was honored after the conclusion of the regular season with selection to the 2013 SEC All-Freshman Team, as voted on by the league's head coaches. During the spring of 2013, the Gamecock coaching staff signed seven freshmen, while welcoming Villanova transfer Ty Johnson to the team, a recruiting class that ranked No. 23 in the nation according to ESPN.com.
Martin's second season (2013-14) leading the Gamecocks saw the squad win four of its final six games of the year, including two games in the SEC Tournament, marking the first tournament wins for the Gamecocks since the 2008 campaign. Martin and his staff put together a non-conference schedule that challenged his team to prepare for the rigors of the SEC. The Gamecocks posted several quality victories, including a win versus Saint Mary's at the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic in December, and home victories versus Alabama, Vanderbilt and an upset win over No. 17 Kentucky to name a few.
Martin tutored his second SEC All-Freshman Team honoree in as many seasons, as rookie guard Sindarius Thornwell led all freshmen in the SEC in league games in points (15.6) and assists (4.0) to earn a spot on the postseason team. Thornwell also garnered three SEC Freshman of the Week awards, and was named the Feb. 18 Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week.
South Carolina put together a 9-3 non-conference record in 2014-15, entering SEC play receiving votes in both the Coaches and AP Top 25 polls for the first time since 2006 and 2009, respectively. Martin led his Gamecocks to a thrilling upset win over No. 9/9 Iowa State at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Jan. 3, marking Carolina's first win over a top-10 opponent since the 2009-10 campaign. The Gamecocks ranked as high as fourth in the nation in opponent field goal percentage during the season, and finished the campaign holding opponents to just 38.7 percent shooting from the field, which ranked 13th nationally. Sophomore guards Duane Notice and Sindarius Thornwell each picked up an SEC Player of the Week honor during the campaign, and for the second-straight season, the Gamecocks won four of their final six games and won two contests in the SEC Tournament, advancing to the quarterfinal round.
Carolina posted a final record of 17-16 for the 2014-15 campaign, which marked the first winning season for the squad since the 2008-09 season, while Carolina's six SEC wins marked the highest since 2010 as well. Martin also announced during the summer, that his team had completed its fifth-straight semester with a cumulative team GPA of 3.0 or above in the spring. For its classroom achievements, South Carolina was honored with the NABC's Team Academic Excellence Award, the only SEC team to be named to the list. Individually, three Gamecocks were named to the NABC Honors Court, in juniors Laimonas Chatkevicius and Mindaugas Kacinas, and senior, Austin Constable, who was on his second Honors Court list. South Carolina saw 12 student-athletes named to the SEC Winter Academic, and the SEC First-Year Academic Honor Rolls for the year.
In Martin's fourth season leading the Garnet and Black (2015-16), Carolina put together one of the top seasons in its history, matching a school record for wins with a 25-9 overall record on the year. The Gamecocks reached double-digit SEC wins for just the fourth time since joining the league, posting an 11-7 mark in conference contests. The SEC finish was Carolina's highest since the league combined its East and West Divisions prior to the 2012 season. South Carolina began the season 15-0, its best start since the 1933-34 campaign and went on to post a school-record 24 regular-season wins.
Early season success saw the Gamecocks capture the 2015 Paradise Jam championship in St. Thomas, USVI, in mid-November, before the team returned home to post a six-point road win at Clemson, a neutral site victory over St. John's in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Shootout in Uncasville, Conn., and a home win over perennial NCAA Tournament participant Memphis to conclude the non-conference slate. The Gamecocks won their SEC opener at Auburn, and their home league opener versus Vanderbilt, before a loss at Alabama halted the winning streak. South Carolina posted a 7-2 record in home games in league play coupled with a 4-5 mark on the road. Carolina's top road win of the league campaign came in a thrilling 81-78 victory at No. 8/8 Texas A&M in early February. Junior guard Sindarius Thornwell flirted with a triple-double in the contest, narrowly missing the mark with a team high 25 points to go along with six rebounds and nine assists. That win marked the first Gamecock road win over a top-10 opponent since a win at Florida in 2006.
The Gamecocks received votes or were ranked for 15 weeks in the USA Today Coaches Poll, rising to as high as 15th, and for a total of 14 weeks in the AP poll, rising to as high as 19th, during the season. Carolina advanced to postseason play for the first time since 2009, making their 12th appearance in the Postseason NIT as one of the top four seeds in the event. The Gamecocks posted a win over High Point in the opening round, before suffering a season-ending loss to visiting Georgia Tech on March 21.
Three Gamecocks were honored with postseason awards by the SEC coaches, with senior forward Michael Carrera earning First Team All-SEC accolades, junior guard Sindarius Thornwell was named to the All-Defensive Team and junior guard Duane Notice was named the league's Sixth Man of the Year. Carrera went on to earn honors from several organizations following the best season of his career. Carrera, Notice and Thornwell each reached the 1,000 career-point plateau during the season as well.
Martin's Gamecocks continue to excel in the classroom. The spring semester of 2016 saw Carolina post a cumulative team GPA of 3.0 or higher for the sixth time in the last seven semesters, and six student-athletes were named to the SEC Winter Academic Honor Roll and four to the SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll. Additionally, seniors Mindaugas Kacinas and Brian Steele were named to the NABC Honors Court for their academic accomplishments. Also on the rise, attendance at home games. Carolina ranked 31st in the nation in average home attendance, which ranked fifth in the SEC, while in total attendance, the Gamecocks were 22nd nationally and third in the league.
Prior to the record-setting 2016-17 campaign the Gamecocks embarked on a six-day foreign tour in Costa Rica. The Gamecocks held 10 days of practice in Columbia before traveling to San José, Costa Rica, in early August, facing the Costa Rican National Team twice, while also holding two clinics in the region, including one for Special Olympics.
The 2016-17 campaign would go on to be the best season in school history, as the Gamecocks set a school record with 26 wins, advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004, posted the first program win in the NCAA Tournament since 1973, and advanced to the school's first-ever Final Four, falling by just four points, 77-73, to Gonzaga in the national semifinals in Phoenix. South Carolina captured back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since a string of three-straight 20-win campaigns from 2003-2006, and the Gamecocks posted double-digit league victories for just the fifth time since joining the SEC in 1992.
South Carolina was ranked in the AP poll for nine weeks and in the coaches poll for 10 weeks during the regular season, and the Gamecocks were ranked No. 6 in the final USA Today Coaches Poll following the Final Four run. Carolina rose to as high as 16th in the AP Poll, which was its highest rank since the Gamecocks were ranked 14th in the final poll of the 1997-98 season.
South Carolina would win its first eight games, and finish the early non-conference portion of its season with a 10-3 mark entering league play. Once again known for its tenacious defense, the Gamecocks held Michigan and Syracuse to just 19.2 percent and 31.8 percent, respectively, in back-to-back wins over the Wolverines and Orange in late November. During the first portion of the season, Carolina's defense forced 15.9 turnovers per contest, and the Gamecocks began SEC action ranked third in the country in field goal percentage defense, as opponents hit just 35.9 percent from the field during non-conference play.
Carolina would win nine of its first 10 SEC contests, including road victories at Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri and LSU, before falling in a record-breaking four overtime contest against Alabama in Columbia in early February. Eventual SEC Player of the Year Sindarius Thornwell would score a career high 44 points -- the most points in a game by a Carolina player since 1979 -- and collect 21 rebounds -- the most by a Gamecock since 1993 -- while also setting an SEC record for made free throws in a game with 25 versus the Crimson Tide. The Gamecocks would rebound in the following game, clinching their 10th win of the conference season at Mississippi State, a victory that also marked the fifth road win of the season in SEC action, the most since 1997.
South Carolina claimed home wins over Tennessee and Mississippi State for 12 SEC wins, which would tie the Gamecocks for third place in the final league standings earning them the No. 4 seed in the SEC Tournament in Nashville. Prior to the tournament's start, league awards were announced, and Sindarius Thornwell became the first Gamecock to ever earn the distinction of SEC Player of the Year by the coaches. He was also honored on the All-SEC First Team and the All-Defensive Team for his outstanding play during league action. Thornwell led the SEC in scoring in conference games at 22.1 per outing, while he was sixth with 7.5 rebounds per league game and first with 2.4 steals.
Carolina's name was called on Selection Sunday for the first time in the Frank Martin era. The Gamecocks earned a No. 7 seed and traveled just 90 miles to face 10th-seeded Marquette in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament in Greenville, S.C., at Bon Secours Arena. Thornwell would score 29 points and pull down a game high 11 rebounds, and sophomore guard PJ Dozier would add 21 points, propelling Carolina to its first NCAA Tournament win since 1973. South Carolina would go on to defeat perennial national power No. 2 seed Duke in the second round, behind another 20-point effort from Thornwell. After trailing by seven at the half, the Gamecocks exploded for 65 points in the second half versus the Blue Devils, thanks to 71 percent shooting (20-28) from the field.
South Carolina then traveled to New York, a city with rich Gamecock tradition, for the NCAA East Regional and a meeting with Baylor in the Sweet 16 at Madison Square Garden. It would be Thornwell and the lockdown defense again, as the senior would lead Carolina with 24 points, two blocks and two steals, and the Gamecock defense would hold the Bears to just 30.4 percent in the game. Carolina sailed past Baylor, 70-50, and looked ahead to a meeting with SEC rival, Florida, in the Elite Eight.
Thornwell would earn NCAA East Regional Most Outstanding Player accolades after a 26-point effort to pace the Gamecocks in the historic win over the Gators. In a back-and-forth game the entire way, Carolina would use a late run, and key steals from Thornwell and Dozier in the final minute to clinch a berth in the Final Four, continuing the magical run through March.
South Carolina arrived in Phoenix and prepared to face Gonzaga in the national semifinals on a grand stage at the University of Phoenix Stadium. In front of a capacity crowd of 77,612, the Gamecocks battled back from a double-digit deficit in the second half to take a late lead after a 16-0 run, but the Bulldogs were able to seal the victory with a pair of free throws with just 2.2 seconds remaining.
Thornwell would go on to earn several other postseason accolades, including being named a First Team All-American by CBS Sports, and a Third Team All-American by Basketball Times. Martin was also honored at the end of the season, as he was named the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year by CollegeInsider.com.
After the magical season, it would be announced that school records for total attendance and average attendance were set at Colonial Life Arena during the 2016-17 season. Nationally, the Gamecocks ranked 15th in total attendance, as 241,126 fans saw Carolina in action at home during the season, an average of 13,396 fans per game, which ranked 21st nationally.
Carolina continued to make strong marks in the classroom as well, as TeMarcus Blanton was named to the NABC Honors Court, while he, PJ Dozier, Jarrell Holliman, Duane Notice and Chris Silva were all named to the SEC Winter Academic Honor Roll, and four newcomers -- Hassani Gravett, Khadim Gueye, Maik Kotsar and Christian Schmitt -- were all named to the SEC First Year Academic Honor Roll. In May, all three Gamecock senior student-athletes -- Justin McKie, Duane Notice and Sindarius Thornwell -- graduated with their degree as well.
More excitement came for the Gamecocks during the summer of 2017, as Sindarius Thornwell became the first Carolina player selected in the NBA Draft since 2006 when he was chosen as the No. 48 pick by the Milwaukee Bucks. He was immediately traded to the LA Clippers, and went on to star for the squad in the NBA Summer League. PJ Dozier, who left South Carolina after his sophomore campaign for the NBA Draft, signed a free agent deal with the LA Lakers for the Summer League, and was signed by the Dallas Mavericks just before the NBA Preseason.
Prior to his appointment in Columbia, Martin spent the previous five season as the head coach at Kansas State University, leading the Wildcats to the NCAA Tournament four times, including a trip to the Elite Eight, during the 2009-10 campaign when the squad won a school record 29 contests. Martin's Wildcats won at least 21 games in each of his five seasons at the helm, as the program compiled a record of 117-54 (.684) under his direction. During that time, Kansas State posted a 50-32 (.609) record in Big 12 Conference games, finishing fifth or higher in each season, with three season finishes of third or better.
During his first season as a college head coach during the 2007-08 campaign, Martin's squad posted a 21-12 overall record and finished third in the Big 12 with a mark of 10-6 in league contests. The third-place finish by the Wildcats marked the program's best finish since the inception of the league. The squad advanced to the NCAA Tournament and Martin led his team to the program's first NCAA Tournament victory since the 1988 campaign with an 80-67 win over Southern California in the event's opening round.
During that season, Martin tutored rising star Michael Beasley, then just a freshman, to one of the best seasons by a rookie in NCAA history, as the standout posted 26.2 points and 12.4 rebounds per contest to earn National Player of the Year accolades from CBSSports.com and Rivals.com. Beasley was also named a consensus first team All-American and was named the Big 12 Player and Freshman of the year by the league's coaches that season. Freshman Bill Walker, also a standout for the Wildcats in 2007-08, earned third team All-America honors following the campaign. Beasley (No. 2 pick) and Walker (No. 47 pick) were both selected in the 2008 NBA Draft.
Success continued for the Wildcats during the 2008-09 season. The squad compiled an overall record of 22-12 and finished tied for fourth in the Big 12 with a 9-7 mark, propelling Kansas State to an at-large bid to the Postseason NIT. Under Martin's leadership, the Wildcats continued to shine, as junior Denis Clemente earned the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year award and was named to the all-conference squad, joining honorable mention honoree, sophomore guard Jacob Pullen.
Martin's 2009-10 team posted a school-record 29-8 overall mark and finished tied for second in the Big 12 with a record of 11-5 en route to the school's first NCAA Tournament Elite Eight appearance in over two decades. During the regular season, KSU earned its first win over a No. 1 ranked opponent since the 1994 campaign with a 71-62 win over top-ranked Texas. The Wildcats finished the season ranked in the nation's top 10 in both major polls, including a No. 7 ranking in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Top 25 Poll. Kansas State earned a No. 2 seed in the 2010 NCAA Tournament, the highest seed in school history. KSU recorded three wins in the Tournament, defeating North Texas, BYU and Xavier.
Martin was the runner-up in the Associated Press' National Coach of the Year award in 2010, while he was a finalist for the Naismith Men's College Basketball Coach of the Year and the CollegeInsider.com's Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year awards. He earned Big 12 Coach of the Year honors that season from the league's coaches, the AP and Sporting News among others. Pullen earned All-Big 12 First Team honors, while Clemente was named to the second team and rising star, sophomore Jamar Samuels was selected as the Big 12 Sixth Man Award winner. Pullen and Clemente both earned All-America honors following the historic season.
The 2010-11 team posted the fourth 20-win season under Martin, as the squad collected an overall record of 23-11, including a 10-6 mark in league play (tied for third). The team also advanced to the NCAA Tournament's third round, the squad's third appearance in the Tournament under the fourth-year head coach. The team struggled through the early portion of the Big 12 campaign, dropping five of its first seven league contests. The squad rallied to close the season, however, posting wins in nine of its last 11 regular-season games.
The Wildcats earned several marquee wins during the 2010-11 campaign, including a victory over No. 1 Kansas, marking the second-straight season the Wildcats earned a win over a top-ranked team. Pullen concluded his career as the school's all-time leading scorer with 2,132 points and earned All-American honors at the conclusion of the season. The team finished the season ranked among the nation's Top 25 in both major polls.
Martin's 2011-12 squad posted an overall mark of 22-11 and once again advanced to the NCAA Tournament Third Round. The NCAA selection marked KSU's school-record sixth-straight season with a berth in the postseason, and fifth under the direction of Martin. The Wildcats posted a 10-8 mark in Big 12 play to finish fifth, which saw Kansas State join cross-state rival Kansas as the only Big 12 schools to receive a bye into the quarterfinals of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship in each of the previous six seasons (five under Martin). Junior Rodney McGruder was selected to the All-Big 12 squad, while he and junior Jordan Henriquez, who ranked among the nation's top 40 in blocked shots per game, were named to the All-Defensive team. Samuels also earned All-Big 12 honorable mention honors.
Before his appointment as head coach at Kansas State, Martin served one season as the top assistant and recruiting coordinator at the school for then-head coach Bob Huggins during the 2006-07 campaign. He helped coach two all-conference players that season and helped KSU post one of the nation's top recruiting classes in 2006, as the group was ranked No. 1 by Scout.com and Rivals.com. The class included the No. 1 recruit in Beasley and No. 6 recruit in Walker.
Martin first joined the Kansas State staff after spending two seasons as an assistant coach at Cincinnati. He first served as an assistant for Bob Huggins during the 2004-05 campaign, and then for Andy Kennedy in 2005-06. The Bearcats advanced to the postseason in both of those seasons, including a trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2005. Martin's first college coaching position came as an assistant at Northeastern (2000-2004), where he helped coach eight all-conference players.
Prior to his time on the sidelines in the college ranks, Martin spent 15 years in high school coaching in Miami, Fla., including the last seven as a head coach. He was part of five state championships as an assistant at Miami Senior High School (1985-93), before earning two titles as the program's head coach (1995-98). Highlighting Martin's stint as the head coach of the program were consecutive 30-win seasons and consecutive Florida 6A State Championships in 1996 and 1997, with his 1997 squad earning a 36-1 overall record and ranking No. 4 in the USA Today Top 25 Poll. He helped develop 14 players that went on to play NCAA Division I basketball, while all 21 of his players graduated with 19 of those attending college. When he left in 1999, Miami Senior was one of only 12 Nike Elite High School programs.
He also served as the head coach at North Miami Senior High School (1993-95) and one season at Booker T. Washington High School (1999-2000).
A native of Miami, Fla., Martin earned his bachelor's degree in physical education from Florida International in 1993. He and his wife, Anya, have three children, Brandon, Amalia and Christian.
Miami Senior High, 1985-93
Varsity Boys' Assistant Coach
Junior Varsity Boys' Head Coach
North Miami High, Head Coach, 1993-95
Miami Senior High, Head Coach, 1995-98
B.T. Washington High, Head Coach, 1999-2000
Northeastern, Assistant Coach, 2000-04
Cincinnati, Assistant Coach, 2004-06
Kansas State, Assistant Coach, 2006-07
Kansas State, Head Coach, 2007-12
South Carolina, Head Coach, 2012-present
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