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Archive for Saturday, April 7, 2007

Kansas State promotes aide Martin

April 7, 2007

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— Kansas State moved quickly to replace Bob Huggins as men's basketball coach, promoting assistant Frank Martin to the top job Friday.

The Wildcats also retained Dalonte Hill, another Huggins assistant, as associate coach.

The two were to be introduced at a news conference Monday.

"I'm elated," Martin said in a statement. "I've worked 22 years with the dream of one day earning this type of opportunity, and I'm indebted to this university for believing in me.

"It's been proven in a short period of time that Kansas State can be very successful in men's basketball, and we fully intend to continue moving in that direction."

The quick hiring, one day after Huggins resigned to become coach at West Virginia, seemed designed to help Kansas State hang onto a recruiting class ranked as the nation's best by Rivals.com.

It will be Martin's first head-coaching job at a Div. I school.

The 41-year-old was an assistant at Cincinnati for two years, one under Huggins and one under Andy Kennedy, before joining Huggins in Manhattan. Before that, he was an assistant for four seasons at Northeastern and the Huskies' recruiting coordinator from 2002-04.

Martin, a graduate of Florida International University, was a high school coach in his native Miami for 15 years before breaking into the college ranks. He was fired as a high school coach in 1998 for violations the Florida High School Athletic Association deemed "more excessive than any school ever investigated."

Martin denied any wrongdoing.

"We feel Frank was an integral part of the growth and success of Kansas State basketball this past season and deserves the opportunity to lead this program and continue to build on the foundation that has been established," athletic director Tim Weiser said in the school's statement.

Hill's hiring could go a long way toward helping Kansas State keep forward Michael Beasley, the centerpiece of the four-player recruiting class.

Hill has a close relationship with Beasley and was the main factor in the 6-foot-9 prep star's decision to choose Kansas State. Beasley has said he considers Hill like an older brother.

The recruiting class also includes point guard Jacob Pullen and shooting guards Fred Brown and Dominique Sutton. Weiser said Thursday he would not consider releasing them from their letters of intent until a new coach was hired.

But even before Martin was promoted, Sutton's high school coach said he was likely to stay with the Wildcats.

"I don't really want to go into it, but as of right now, he'll still be going to Kansas State," said Chris Chaney, Sutton's coach at The Patterson School in Durham, N.C. "Obviously we'll wait and see what happens with the next coach, but as of right now, he's still going to K-State."

Forward Bill Walker, whose freshman season ended after only six games because of a knee injury, told the Cincinnati Enquirer he intends to return to Manhattan.

"I have an obligation to fulfill with Kansas State, and I'm prepared to go back," Walker said. "It's not worth transferring and having to sit out a year."

Walker, the former North College Hill High School star, said he has no hard feelings toward Huggins but also said the move was "bad timing."

Walker was asked if he felt let down by Huggins' move.

"Not at all," Walker said. "He talked to me before he made the decision. He's getting older, and that was going to be his last shot at going to his hometown. I wish him all the success in the world. It was just bad timing for it to happen the way it did."

Walker said the rehabilitation of his knee is going well, and that he hoped to be playing basketball again by June. He said he should be ready for the 2007-08 season at K-State.

Comments

Bobo Fleming 7 years, 8 months ago

replace experienced sleezebag with inexperienced sleezebag. All my friends in Ohio told me this was going to happen. Cant roll around in the sewer without getting a little on you.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 8 months ago

Pretty much every big-time basketball coach has a bit of an a$$hole streak. In big-time, big-money sports, coaches are expected to throw public screaming fits that would be totally unacceptable in any other situation. Even the good ones like Roy and Bill do things that no other college professor (and isn't that what they're supposed to be on some level?) could get away with with their students.

And even the squeakiest clean programs do things that either push the limit of acceptablity, rule-wise, or flat out break the rules knowing that they either won't get caught, or that punishment will be minimal if they are caught. KU is minus one scholarship right now, which is having zero effect on recruitment of blue chippers.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 8 months ago

Acutally, the Big 12 has zero national championships in basketball.

But the fact is, in a single-elimination tournament with 65 teams, luck is as big a factor as skill or talent in winning it. KU has had both the skill and talent-- just not the luck.

dthroat 7 years, 8 months ago

If anyone is interested, Jason Whitlock, has had 2 interesting columns on this situation in the K C Star. (available on line)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 8 months ago

They hired these guys (it was a package deal for the two assistant coaches, I would bet) hoping to keep the #1 recruiting class coming to K-State. I'm guessing that Martin is probably a decent coach, even if he's less than scrupulous, so with good players, they might have a good year next year.

If Martin doesn't blow up in their face, success would make it easy to ignore his shortcomings. Worked for Huggins and Knight.

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