Frank Martin Introduced as Head Coach
Frank Martin Introduced as Head Coach
“Thank you all, I appreciate you coming again today. Obviously, these past two days have been very challenging for us very difficult. But, we are pleased to be here before you today to introduce our new head coach, Frank Martin. I think that anytime you have an opening for a head coach, you have to step back and take a look at what needs the program has. Obviously, we’ve hired a few head coaches since I’ve been here, and I think they’ve been different people because each situation is different. I will be the first one to admit to you that this was a rather unique set of circumstances for us. In fact, I kind of referred to it as a little bit of a perfect storm for us in terms of trying to understand all the dynamics and doing what was right, first and foremost, by our kids, secondly, what gave us the best chance to be successful and, yes, I do mean win. There’s not doubt that certainly in football and basketball, the success that we have on the floor and on the field is very important to us. We wanted to make sure we made a decision that gave us the best chance to succeed and also that one that our fans and those that have supported us this past year would continue to feel good about the direction of our basketball program. As we stepped back for roughly 24 hours to look at all the options and talked with a number of people that had interest in the job and considered pros and cons, we felt like the best decision for us and the one that made the most sense was to make Frank Martin our head basketball coach.”
On his philosophy of releasing scholarship athletes...
“My philosophy has been pretty consistent in that the university spends a lot of resources recruiting student-athletes, boarding those student-athletes, scholarships, the staff that we employ, and when we make those kinds of investments, we want to do everything we can to protect those investments. This day and age, especially with what has happened with the APR and some of the issues we face that we didn’t face a few years ago, I think the release issue is even more important for us.”
On other candidates...
“I think I mentioned that we would be talking with Eddie Fogler, and we did. So, we knew that we had some other choices out there. We kind of balanced all of them up and looked at the pros and cons of existing head coaches and other assistant head coaches, but I think we kept coming back to the issue of that we have somebody here in Frank that understands what happened this past year. As he keeps referring to, the only thing that didn’t happen that we had hoped would happen is that our head coach would stay. Everything else was as we had hoped it would be. That’s a different situation to look at than if it was a long season and we had only won six games or something like that. Then I think it would have been a more difficult thing for us to suggest that somebody on the staff was the right person for us. When you balance everything out, it really was a decision that we felt like was a fairly easy one for us to make for both the short- and the long-term.
On the end of Martin’s high school coaching career...
“We talked about that. I will tell you that Frank mentioned David Flores. We’ve had a year with Frank and we know that he embraces and understands the commitment we have at
University President Dr. Jon Wefald
“I’ve been here a long time and anytime you hire a head football coach or a head men’s basketball coach, I’m always amazed at how much interest that generates with fans, faculty, staff and students. That’s true at BCS universities from
“We are hiring our assistant coach Frank Martin to be our new head men’s basketball coach. I think he’s had quite a bit of experience. He was a very fine assistant coach for Bob Huggins at
Head Coach Frank Martin
“This reminds me a lot of 1993 when I accepted my first head coaching job at
“First thing, I can’t tell you how thankful I am for this opportunity that is being presented to me. I have spent 22 years coaching on the sidelines. I started when I was 19 years old. I started at
“Saturday morning, after sleeping about three and a half hours, we were sitting in this gym in
“Then, two things happened, the first was that my mother called. Everything was such in a rush that I forgot to talk to my mother Friday night. She called and she could not even speak, all she could do was cry. That was the first thing. The second thing was I got a text message from Anthony Grant, the head coach at
“The reason it does that is that I have taken a different path to get here. I have been working every day of my life since I was 12 years old. My first job was in the neighborhood restaurant washing pots and pans so I could make money to help my mom raise our family. It was not a big family, but that was the way I started. I started working at that age and I have been working every year of my life since then. That is something that I take a lot of pride in. My uncle and my high school basketball coach, who were the two male figures in my life, they were my father figures, they were guys that worked, and they did not make excuses. When things were good, when things were bad, they got up and went to work. The guys that I have worked for in college basketball, Ron Everhart, Rudy Keiling, and obviously Bob Huggins, two of those guys come from the coal mines of West Virginia where they like to say, It don’t matter what the weather is, you are going to work the next day.’ As a kid growing up, as a man working, those are the type of people that I have been around. So that is not going to change, that will continue.”
“I am going to say it right now, our future is very bright. The future of
“Pertaining to the state of our program, I have met with every family, and every incoming recruit that is signed, and everything indicates right now that all those guys are staying. No one is going anywhere. I have met with assistant coaches, with the staff; obviously, Dalonte Hill made my life a lot easier when he chose to stay. Not for the obvious reasons but because I trust him as a man. Him and I, along with the other guys that are staying on the staff have been through the grinder. We believe in each other, and we trust each other. I can’t tell you how proud I am of Dalonte for making this decision which was a hard decision for all of us. Brad Underwood, who bled the purple as a player here, sacrificed his career by taking an operations position here just to come home. He has spent 10 years as an assistant coach at the division-one level, and seven years as a head coach in the junior college ranks. He sacrificed his career because he believed in
“The foundation for this program has been laid. We are moving forward and building up, not knocking down. We will continue to build up and there is no doubt in my mind that we will succeed. It will happen and it will be a fun ride for everyone involved.”
“There are times for change when there is failure, and there is time for change when there is success. When you have change during success, I believe in continuity. I am grateful that this administration for agreeing with that.”
“Let’s talk a little about
“I also want to talk about the job that Tim and this school has done as far as putting certain people and certain departments together. Phil Hughes and the job that they do with academic advancement is just amazing. At the three universities that I have been at, I have never seen people work so intently in making sure that our student-athletes get degrees and have an incredible experience while they are here. I want to talk about David Flores and compliance. As the recruiting coordinator for the last year, it was my duty to work with him on a daily basis, make sure that we communicated, make sure that while you are out there recruiting that everything is being done properly. David Flores’ phone is available 24-hours a day for us. And then our administration, I understand that I am new around here but I like to look at the history of the decision making of this university. As far as its successes academically, as a university, and athletically, I have a hard time believing that this administration has made bad decisions.”
“And finally, I want to talk about the kids. Coaching college basketball is an opportunity to lead kids. It is an opportunity to prepare kids to be men when they fulfill their experience here to go out in life and succeed. It is not about coaching people to go to the NBA for a couple of years. It is about coaching players that, if they are good enough to go to the NBA, to go and make a career out of it. If they are not good enough to go to the NBA, it is about going into life and being a successful human being. It’s about going out and holding a job, it’s about raising a family, being responsible for your family, and those are the things that we will teach our guys to be. We will hold them accountable and make sure they are doing all the things they need to be doing. At the end of the day, what we like to have happen, as Tim says, is for every kid to have a ring and a degree. Those are the two things that we want to make sure happens. When the whole thing is over, 20 years later they will be sitting on their couch at home and they will still have a lot of pride in being part of
Question: When did you find out that Bob Huggins was leaving, and what were your thoughts?
“Thursday at about 11 a.m. It was an interesting three-day period there. I felt very comfortable that if I was approached, I was the right person for the job.”
Question: What will be the biggest challenge?
“Transition. And the most important part is the recruited players, the current players, and the people you have to deal with on an everyday basis. It is a matter of everyone having to pull in the same direction. I was one of the voices in the background that was pushing in that direction, now it will be my voice leading in that certain direction.”
Question: How was the message of continuity put to the recruits?
“We recruited them. We obviously went into their homes and we sold Bob Huggins, but at the end of the day we sold
Question: How confident are you that Michael Beasley will not leave?
“I feel pretty good about that.”
Question: You are known to be a little fiery on the sidelines, can you talk about where that came from?
”Who me? I’ve been a fighter my whole life. I’ve followed a different path to get here, like I’ve said. I wasn’t blessed to be a great player or to have a great college career. Even growing up, my family worked to make ends meet. Our family dinner was every two weeks when my mom collected her paycheck and we went out to Burger King or some fast-food establishment. That was our family dinner out. I’m a fighter. I’m not a passive person and I understand that. But, I can also tell you I spent 16 years as a head basketball coach. My fiery edge has never been an issue before and I don’t expect it to be an issue now. It’s a lot more difficult for me to be an assistant coach. I was one for nine years at the high school level and for seven years at the collegiate level. As an assistant coach, all you can do is provide energy to the players and suggestions to the boss. It’s difficult because I like to make decisions. As a head coach, I’m on a constant decision-making process during the game. So, when I’m making decisions, I can’t expend energy on silliness, for lack of a better term. It’s easier for me to be a head coach, because I’m experienced at it, than it is to be an assistant when you’re sitting down and every time a referee walks by and says to sit down, I have to sit down and get back up when they’re not looking.”
Question: What were your thoughts when you were addressing the students before the
“I never want to leave here. It was unbelievable. That’s the thought process I had when I sat in front of those kids.”
Question: Were you disappointed or surprised when Bob Huggins decided to leave?
“Both. Up until Wednesday night, I honestly did not think he was going to go. Obviously, when he told me that he had made that decision, I was disappointed because he was a friend for 20 years and he will continue to be a friend. I looked forward to working with him for a long time and I was granted that opportunity. I knew at that time that I wanted to do everything in my power to show our administration that I could be the next guy here. I kind of felt like my days of working for him were over, but I also knew he would hire me if I needed a job. Again, I was disappointed he was leaving because I knew how hard we worked collectively to make this happen here. I know how much he liked it here. I knew how much his family liked it here and I understand what a hard decision it was for him so I’m surprised he took the job and disappointed that he left.
Associate Head Coach Dalonte Hill
On the incoming recruiting class ...
“Everyone I’ve spoken to have said they were coming. So, I feel very confident in that.”
On the perception he was kept on staff to keep Michael Beasley...
“Well, I did a lot of the work to recruit him, along with Dominique (Sutton) and Jacob (Pullen) as well. So, I can take that. I also know that if they decide to leave, it will be my fault as well. But, that comes with recruiting. I’m ready to accept that.”
On what the recruits said to him after the departure of Bob Huggins...
“As kids that I’ve dealt with for a long time, they said, why don’t you try to get the head coaching job?’ I had to explain to them that it’s a process. Guys have worked longer than me and Frank is more experienced. He’s an older guy that’s been in the business longer than I have. I said that if Coach Martin gets the job, then I’m glad to stay and keep this thing rolling.”
On how confident he is that Michael Beasley is staying...
“He told me he was and he has not asked for a release, so I’m pretty confident that he is staying.”
On if he’s ready for this type of position...
“I think I’m ready. I get to do a lot more. As an assistant, you have to play your role. Frank was a coach Huggins guy and has worked with him, so you kind of sit back and you have to suggest through him. Frank and I have built a relationship that I can suggest anything to him because we built that relationship last year. I think I’ll do a good job and I think the fans have a lot to look forward to.”
On his expectations for next year...
“To win, obviously, and win at a high rate. I think we have the players and the staff here that we should be able to obtain that.”
Freshman Forward Bill Walker
On the past week...
“It’s been a real crazy week, but I’m just happy for Frank. I’m looking forward to help jump-start his career.”
On Bob Huggins leaving for
“I understand why he left. That’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for him. I was just disappointed that he left, but at the same time I have to be mature enough to know that things happen in life. I don’t blame him for leaving, but I was very disappointed that he did leave.”
On if this was the right choice...
“This was the right choice. I’m obligated to
On if he has talked with Michael Beasley about Frank Martin...
“I haven’t talked to Mike yet, but I plan on talking to him. I’ll tell him what I think about Frank. I think he’s a great guy. He’ll take over and do an even better job than Bob did.”
Junior Forward David Hoskins
On if he felt betrayed by Bob Huggins...
“I don’t. I don’t think there was another job he would have taken. This job came open and he’s getting older so he can’t wait around forever. I’m not mad at him at all. It’s just the decision that was made.”
On Frank Martin...
“I’ve never seen his X’s and O’s, but I’m sure he’s fine in that department. He brings intensity everyday. I think he’s a little more fiery than Coach Huggins. He works with the big men, so he has to get through to them somehow.”
On if fiery is a good thing for this team...
“It’s going to have to be because that’s what it’s going to be. I think it will be because we have a lot of different guys coming in and a lot of different egos, so he’ll set everybody straight early.”
On if Tim Weiser talked with the team...
“We had a meeting and he said what his intentions were. He planned on trying to keep the staff intact so, we knew what direction it was going in and we’re thankful he got it done.”