OFFICIAL: UMass hires Frank Martin

 University of Massachusetts director of athletics Ryan Bamford announced the hiring of Frank Martin as the head men’s basketball coach on Friday afternoon. Martin brings 15 years of head coaching experience to Amherst after most recently spending 10 seasons as the head coach at South Carolina, where he led the Gamecocks to the program’s first ever NCAA Final Four in 2017.

“We are thrilled to welcome Frank, Anya ’98 and the Martin family back to the Commonwealth to lead our proud basketball program,” said Bamford. “This is an exciting time for Massachusetts basketball, our university and all who follow and support the Minutemen. First and foremost, Frank is a tremendous person. He is a proven winner and a highly respected coach and mentor who has forged deep relationships with the young men in his program, resulting in inspiring competitive success and a rewarding student-athlete experience. Under Coach Martin’s leadership, the future is bright for Massachusetts basketball.” 

Martin began his 10-year run in Columbia, S.C. prior to the 2014-15 season and went on to match the program’s record for wins in a season as his team finished the 2015-16 campaign with a 25-9 record. The squad rose to as high as 15th in the USA Today Coaches Poll following the Gamecocks’ best start since the 1933-34 season. Under Martin, South Carolina broke the record for wins in a single season with 26 in 2016-17 on the way to the best NCAA Tournament run in program history. Martin led the Gamecocks to their first NCAA Tournament win since 1973 and to the program’s first-ever Sweet 16, Elite Eight, and Final Four appearance while earning the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year honor.

“Anya and I have never been more excited to call a place home like we are with UMass,” said Martin. “It is evident that there is tremendous alignment in place to win and do it the right way. We cannot wait to be in Amherst and represent that community and our incredible University. Let’s all get on this ride together, let’s dream big and let’s be relentless at making our dreams a reality. Let’s win! Go UMass!” 

Martin got his first head coaching opportunity at Kansas State in 2007-08 and brought the Wildcats to the NCAA Tournament in four of his five seasons at the helm. He guided the Wildcats to their first win over rival and No. 2-ranked Kansas since 1983 and took the team to its first NCAA Tournament since 1996. In 2009-10, Martin led Kansas State to a 29-8 record and an Elite Eight appearance. He was recognized as the Big 12 Coach of the Year.

A Miami, Fla. native, Martin began his coaching career in the high school ranks in Miami, earning his first head coaching job at North Miami High School before moving to Miami Senior, where he led the team to three straight state championships. His first collegiate coaching job came in 2000 as he was named an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Northeastern University. From there, he joined Bob Huggins’ staff at Cincinnati and was part of Huggins’ coaching staff at Kansas State during the 2006-07 season.

A fixture off the court and in the community, Martin and his wife, UMass track and field alumna Anya (nee Forrest), have hosted numerous philanthropic events and have been key investors in the UMass women’s track and field program. In 2019, Martin was introduced into the Naismith Coaches Circle that was created by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to recognize coaches who have impacted their communities, players, other coaches, and society in a positive manner.

“I would like to acknowledge the remarkable support our athletic department has received from President Meehan and Chancellor Subbaswamy throughout the search process,” said Bamford. “The University’s commitment to Massachusetts men’s basketball will allow Coach Martin to build a program that competes for championships, instills pride throughout the region and returns UMass to national prominence.”

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