Coach Frank Martin, who has spent five years with the Kansas State Wildcats, has confirmed to ESPN that he’s accepted a position as head coach at South Carolina.
The news comes just days after Martin denied the rumors that have been swirling around a move, telling CBS, “The stuff that gets out these days, I look at it as a compliment that we’re doing our job the right way at Kansas State that these sort of things get out.”
The deal–which could be worth an estimated $2 million–will send Martin to a school which has struggled over the years, leading some to believe he’s moving backwards.
BigLeadSports‘ Jason Lisk said, “Frank Martin flirted with Miami last year, which was understandable since he coached high school basketball there and had ties to the area, even if the job was not as attractive. But make no mistake – leaving Kansas State for South Carolina would be a step back.”
But Martin says he’s interested in the school because of their current staff–which includes a national champion baseball coach–and because he likes the idea of taking on the challenge of getting the Gamecocks to the SEC.
Martin has been in the news recently because of his statements regarding paying former students to play, and speculation is that his out-of-the-blue decision to take the job may be related to the recent suspension of Wildcat Jamar Samuels, who missed the NCAA tournament game in which Kansas State lost to Syracuse because he took money from a former coach to use for incidentals. Martin was outraged over the suspension, saying, “They don’t have an option. It’s not like they can work while they’re in college. They can’t find ways to make money. When there is no money at home, who is going to help these guys?”
Martin defended Samuels:
Fans are upset about the move:
#kstate administration “phenomenal”. Then why did u leave???Frank Martin calls
Dear John Currie,
You were not more important to Kansas State than Frank Martin. You should’ve let him know how valuable he was. #$$$
Unless K-State hires some sort of dinosaur ninja, it will pale in comparison to Frank Martin.