Martin Named Big 12 Coach of the Year

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State head coach Frank Martin was rewarded for guiding the Wildcats to their best season in more than 20 years on Sunday, as he was selected Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year by both the league coaches and The Associated Press.

Martin has guided K-State to a 24-6 overall record and an 11-5 mark in Big 12 play this season, which includes a tie for second place in the league standings and the No. 2 seed in next week's Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship at the Sprint Center.  The 24 wins and 11 conference victories are the most in the Big 12 era and the most since the 1987-88 squad posted a school-record tying 25 wins to go with 11 in Big Eight play.  The second-place finish is also the best since the inception of the Big 12 and the best since the 1987-88 season.  The 24 wins ties the 1958-59 team for the most wins in a regular season, while the victory count ties the 1976-77 and 1980-81 squads for the fourth-most victories in a single-season.

"I couldn't be more proud of the job Frank and his staff have done with the team this season and this honor for him is well-deserved," athletics director John Currie said.  "I think we all knew that we had a pretty special group of guys, but Frank did a tremendous job of getting them to realize their potential, and I know that we are in store for an exciting postseason."

Martin has also helped the Wildcats to their highest ranking in more than 50 years at No. 5 in both major polls.  It is the highest ranking in The Associated Press poll since the Wildcats were ranked third on March 7, 1962, while it continues to be the highest ranking in the Coaches' poll since USA Today took over ownership of the poll in 1993-94.  The Wildcats have now been ranked among the nation's Top 25 in both polls for 12 consecutive weeks, which is the longest stretch since the 1972-73 season.

Martin has posted a 67-30 (.691) overall record in three seasons at K-State, including a 30-18 (.625) mark in Big 12 play.  His 67 wins are the most by a K-State head coach in his first three seasons, while he is the first coach to have three consecutive 20-win seasons to start a career.  He has guided the school to four wins over Top 25 teams, which is the most-ever by K-State in a regular season, including just its third-ever over a No. 1 team and the first since 1994 with its 71-62 win over Texas on Jan. 18.

Martin is the first K-State to earn conference Coach of the Year honors since Dana Altman in 1993.  Overall, he is fifth coach to earn the distinction following Tex Winter (1958, 1959, 1960), Cotton Fitzsimmons (1970), Jack Hartman (1975, 1977) and Altman.

K-State begins play at the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship on Thursday when the Wildcats play the winner of Wednesday's first round contest between No. 7 seed Oklahoma State (21-9, 9-7 Big 12) and No. 10 seed Oklahoma (13-17, 4-12 Big 12) at 6 p.m. at the Sprint Center.