Frank Martin Leaves Lasting Impression

It’s not always about the winner.

South Carolina head coach Frank Martin was staring at the ceiling as his players answered questions about losing to Gonzaga 77-73 in the National Semi-Final Saturday night here in Glendale. He appeared to be 100’s of miles away in deep thought. When it came his time to reflect on the loss and the remarkable run by his team, it wasn’t easy.

Martin took a team that wasn’t expected to do much in March and brought them within a couple of baskets from playing in the last game in entire tourney. “The dumb in me” Martin would say afterwards when talking about a moment in the game that he would’ve liked to have had back. This is a former short-order cook, dishwasher, and school teacher that kept scratching and clawing to become a basketball coach. “I’ve never tasted easy, I don’t know what easy is all about.”

While Martin was emotional after the loss(to be expected), he also bristled when asked about losing to a team like Gonzaga. “This isn’t 1997, they aren’t a Cinderella, they are as high a major, as a high major can be>”

His team finished the season with a school record 27 wins. His players spoke in the locker-room about the life lessons that they had learned from Martin. You get the idea that when this team has a 20 year reunion that they will have more than just basketball to talk about.

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