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Martin set to lead Gamecocks

The Gamecocks have a new basketball coach. Former Kansas State head coach Frank Martin will leave his post in Manhattan, Kan., to take over a floundering South Carolina program that finished at the bottom of the Southeastern Conference this season.

A source confirmed with TheBigSpur.com late Monday morning that Martin will take over. TheBigSpur.com reported on March 19 that Martin had heavy interest in the job and on March 20 that Martin was the leading candidate. On Friday, March 23, TheBigSpur.com reported that Martin contract negotiations were underway and Martin was set to become the next head coach.

The University Board of Trustees scheduled a special meeting for 10 a.m. on Tuesday morning to discuss a contractual matter.

Martin, who was in the first head coaching stop of his career with the Wildcats, posted a 117-54 record over five seasons. He made it to the postseason all five years, including four NCAA Tournaments, and now he’ll bring his résumé and his intense demeanor to Columbia.

Martin, who was in his first year as an assistant at KSU at the time, took over at Kansas State after the resignation of Bob Huggins on April 6, 2007. He led the team to its first NCAA Tournament berth since 1996 during his first year leading the program. He earned Big 12 Coach of the Year honors during the 2009-10 season.

Prior to his arrival at Kansas State, he was an assistant coach at Cincinnati from 2004-06. His first college job came as an assistant at Northeastern from 2000-04. He began his coaching career in the high school ranks serving at four different schools beginning in 1985.

This past season, Martin guided the Wildcats to a fifth-place finish in the conference, but also a 22-11 overall record. The eighth-seeded Wildcats made it to the third round of the NCAA Tournament before losing to top-seed in the bracket Syracuse 75-59 on March 17.

Martin was an in-studio host for the Elite Eight broadcasts on Saturday and Sunday. He was asked about the job at South Carolina but skirted the question.

The South Carolina job came open after four years under former head coach Darrin Horn. The Gamecocks finished 10-21 on the season, including 2-14 in conference play.

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