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Oct. 15, 2014


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COLUMBIA, S.C. – As the start of the 2014-15 campaign draws closer, takes a look at some notable moments in South Carolina basketball history by the tens, detailing notables every 10 days until the week of the season opener versus North Florida (Nov. 14), when we will have a daily post. We’ll look at certain eras in Gamecock history and we’ll revisit great games, great moments and Gamecock greats throughout the feature.

The countdown to the start of the season has reached 30 days, so we take a look back through the career of head coach Frank Martin, who is entering his 30th year as a basketball coach.

Martin’s coaching career began at a young age, before he had even received his high school diploma.

“My senior year in high school I was asked by a club at the high school to coach their intramural team and I did it,” Martin said. “That was only four or five games and it was classmates and we had fun.”

This was just the beginning for Martin who, soon after graduating from high school, took a job as an assistant coach at Miami Senior High School and found immediate success. Martin was a part of five state championships during his time as an assistant and had begun to make a name for himself in the industry.

In 1993, he left the school to take a head coaching position at North Miami Senior High School, where he coached for two years. Martin then returned to Miami Senior, taking the head-coaching job at the school that had given him his first opportunity. In 1996 and 1997, Martin posted consecutive 30-win seasons and consecutive Florida 6A State Championships.

Martin took his first job among the college ranks in 2000, when he accepted an assistant coaching position at Northeastern. He spent four years with the Huskies before taking a similar position at Cincinnati, where he worked under head coach Bob Huggins.

“I’ve known Frank since his early days as a high school coach in Miami,” Huggins said at the time of Martin’s hiring at South Carolina. “I hired Frank because I was impressed with the way he conducted practices, his enthusiasm for the game and his ability to make adjustments during games.”

Martin followed Huggins to Kansas State University in 2006, where he worked as an assistant. He landed his first head coaching position just one year later when he took over for Huggins, who resigned from his position as head coach of the Wildcats to take the head coaching position at his alma mater, West Virginia.

“When he was a high school coach, I knew he had the ability to be a superior coach at the collegiate level,” Huggins continued. “Frank has proven me correct.” In five years at Kansas State, Martin led the Wildcats to four NCAA Tournament appearances and helped send a number of players to the NBA. In 2012, Martin accepted the head-coaching job at South Carolina, where he has spent the last two years.

Through all his years of coaching, Martin says that his continual focus on improvement, as well as the dedication to working hard is what has helped get him to this point.

“The one consistent theme with me from that day [early days of coaching] to today is that I never put too much emphasis on the result of the previous day,” Martin said. “I put the emphasis on the consistency of the person that’s doing the work.”

Dating back to his early days of high school coaching, Martin recalls channeling an inner-competitiveness and sense of pride, instilled in him through those he grew up with, to take him and his teams to the next level.

“I always felt the guys that we had on our team were good enough to go beat whoever was on our schedule and it was a thought and feel that I had from day one,” Martin said. “That just comes from the people in my life as I was growing up. That continues today.”

Martin says that success in the coaching industry requires persistence through the inevitable challenges and faith in your own abilities.

“Believe in yourself,” Martin said. “Don’t ever think that the guy on the other sideline is better than you. Work, get better, and challenge yourself everyday to try and do your job to the best of your abilities.”

The Gamecocks continue their preparation for the 2014-2015 season this Friday October 17, when they will hold an open practice from 6-7 p.m. ET at the team’s practice facility.

Feature by Media Relations student assistant Jackson Filyo