NCAA Tournament

Frank Martin had a model in rebuilding South Carolina hoops — Bill Snyder

South Carolina head coach Frank Martin cut down the net after beating Florida 77-70 in the East Regional championship game.
South Carolina head coach Frank Martin cut down the net after beating Florida 77-70 in the East Regional championship game. The Associated Press

When South Carolina basketball coach Frank Martin joined the Kansas State staff with Bob Huggins for the 2006-07 season, Ron Prince was just starting as the Wildcats’ football coach.

Three years later, Martin was into his second year as head coach, Prince was fired and Kansas State rehired Bill Snyder to lead the football program.

Martin, the young head coach, took advantage of the opportunity of working in the same athletic department with the veteran Snyder.

“That’s one of the luckiest things in my life, that I consider coach Snyder a friend, that we stay in contact,” Martin said. “I went back to Manhattan last spring, spent three days with him. He’s an unbelievable human being.”

Once Martin got to Columbia to begin a rebuilding task, he reached out to Snyder, who built K-State into a national power from scratch when he became the coach for the 1989 season, and again upon his return for the 2009 season.

“I asked him to reminisce on how he got through the first couple of years at K-State where they didn’t win a lot of games,” Martin said. “And coach walked me through it, really helped me understand a lot of his visions, how he did it.

“Didn’t mean I did it the same way. But it helped stimulate my mind to figure out how I wanted to do it and more than anything give me the patience that you have to have whenever you’re going through a complete rebuild, which is what we’re doing here, and obviously what coach had to do at Kansas State.”

Blair Kerkhoff: 816-234-4730, @BlairKerkhoff

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