South Carolina on Monday fired coach Frank Martin after 10 seasons, the school announced.
Martin spent the last two seasons on the hot seat, surviving last spring and even receiving a two-year contract extension. And despite South Carolina finishing 18-13 overall and 9-9 in the SEC this season, the school opted to move on from Martin after a decade in Columbia. The Gamecocks made just one NCAA tournament during Martin’s 10 seasons in charge, but that trip to the tournament in 2017 resulted in the school’s first Final Four appearance.
In Martin’s time as coach, South Carolina was 171-147 overall. The Gamecocks finished in the top half of the SEC in three of the last four seasons, but were above .500 in conference play just four times in 10 seasons.
Martin went to South Carolina after five seasons as the head coach at Kansas State, where he went to four NCAA tournaments and won at least one game in each tournament — including an Elite Eight run in 2010. Prior to taking over the Wildcats, he was an assistant coach at Kansas State, Cincinnati and Northeastern. Martin, a Miami native, started his coaching career as a high school coach in the Miami area.
The NCAA tournament appearance was South Carolina’s lone trip to the Dance since 2004, when Dave Odom was still in charge.
Potential replacements include Cleveland State’s Dennis Gates, Murray State’s Matt McMahon, Chattanooga’s Lamont Paris and former South Carolina star BJ McKie, now an assistant coach at Wake Forest. Another possible candidate is Oklahoma State’s Mike Boynton, who spent five seasons as an assistant coach at South Carolina under Darrin Horn. However, Boynton’s buyout is believed to be prohibitive.
According to sources, South Carolina had been considered the favorite for top-10 recruit GG Jackson, a Columbia native in the 2023 class. Martin’s firing could impact his recruitment; Jackson’s other finalists are Duke, North Carolina, Georgetown, Auburn and the G League.
“Our expectation is to compete for Southeastern Conference and national championships,” athletic director Ray Tanner said. “We have great facilities, a passionate fan base and we provide our student-athletes an outstanding experience at the University of South Carolina. We will hire someone with a winning coaching history, who has the energy, passion, and commitment to excellence in all areas of the student-athlete experience.”