Since his appointment as head coach in Columbia, Martin, 48, has become a fixture in the community. He has spoken at numerous events, including Gamecock Club Fan Fests, numerous community council and rotary club events, coaching clinics, and the Fathers and Families Decades of Dads event, among others. He was also selected as a Court Coach for USA Basketball in June 2012, assisting 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 USA at the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship in late June.
Martin was honored again during the summer of 2013, serving as an assistant coach for the United States on 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 USA East Coast during the summer of 2014, which represented the United States at the Tallinn Cup in Estonia.
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 competing in the event 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 which 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 campaign. 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 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.
During the summer of 2014, Martin and his team held a community outreach initiative, the "8K In 8 Days" campaign, which set forth a goal of reaching 8,000 fans through community outreach events throughout the Midlands and the State of South Carolina. The squad visited military members and their families at Fort Jackson in Columbia, the group visited the Palmetto Children's Hospital, participated in a session of Cocky's Reading Express at the Richland County Public Library, and hosted a Special Olympics event at Colonial Life Arena, among the many events they participated in. The initiative was a great success and Martin and the team continued to strengthen its bond with the Columbia community.
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 8," 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 Martin's 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-American 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 8" 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 team rallied to close the season, however, posting wins in nine of its last 11 regular-season contests.
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 last 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 Michael Beasley and No. 6 Bill 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 (1995-99). 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.
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.
Coaching Experience: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
All-Time Record, Conference Record (finish), Postseason: