‘CATS MOVE ON AFTER MARTIN'S DEPARTURE

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State's Kirk Schulz and John Currie were giving thanks to Frank Martin Tuesday morning, acknowledging internet rumors about a riff between Currie and Martin, and then talked of the future of Wildcat basketball.

Saying, "Some people run away from challenges, but I run to them. I always have," Frank Martin accepted the head coaching position at the University of South Carolina on Tuesday morning.

He goes in to repair a program that won just 10 games in 2011-12, and a program had has gone 3-24 in its last 27 Southeastern Conference Games. In five seasons at K-State, Martin's Wildcats went 117-54, advancing into postseason play each year.

Martin, 45 years of age, will reportedly receive a six-year deal calling for $2.05 million per years, which is well above the $1.45 million he was receiving at K-State.

On the K-State campus Tuesday morning, there was a tone of "it's time to move forward," when Kansas State University President Kirk Schulz and athletics director John Currie held a joint press conference Tuesday morning in Bramlage Coliseum concerning Frank Martin's departure for the University of South Carolina.

Schulz praised the efforts of Martin with the K-State basketball team, and how through five consecutive seasons of at least 20 wins, and an unprecedented five consecutive trips into the postseason for a coach in his first five years "… brought national media to our university."

Currie acknowledged that South Carolina athletics director Eric Hyman first contacted K-State for permission to talk with Martin last Friday afternoon. That evening, Martin initiated contact with Currie indicating that " … his representatives had been in touch with South Carolina, that he wished to speak with South Carolina, and that he would indeed take the position if it was offered to him."

On Monday that took place, with the official announcement coming Tuesday morning.

Currie, who met with KSU team members on Monday night, also gave his appreciation to Martin for providing the "… foundation and platform for basketball success at K-State."

He went on to say, "We are committed to success in men's basketball at the highest level as the core intent of our model intercollegiate athletics program. We will focus our search on candidates whose personal values and integrity reflect those of our university and our citizens of the state of Kansas."

Schulz said he understood "… the anger with us losing a very popular coach. We have a passionate and dedicated fan base that has certainly exercised their will to express themselves a lot over the last several days."

But he asked for the K-State fans to rally around whoever the new coach would be. He pointed out the "terrific situation" that the new coach would be walking into with an $18 million basketball training facility being the latest example of the university's commitment to men's basketball.

The President praised the efforts of Currie while at K-State, and added, "While there are disagreements at times, he has done a great job at moving us forward and insuring that we can be successful. Many of the things that have been posted about John not being the advocate that the coaching staff needs, I think, is simply not true."

Schulz promised that K-State is prepared to pay "a very competitive salary" and emphasized that this is a great situation to come into. "You have people who care about basketball here. We want to bring in a coach who will continue our winning tradition and continue to build a great program."

Currie declined to mention any possible candidates to replace Martin. Instead, he said, "There will be no predetermined parameters in our search. This task will have my sole attention until it is completed."

He added that he would not be making comments or updates until the coach is announced. He did say that K-State will be in touch with each of the current recruits and the families of the student-athletes.

"Any reports other than those originating from our office are simply not correct," said Currie. "It is time to focus our energy on the future of K-State basketball. Every K-State fan, and the collective passion of the K-State nation, will play a crucial role in the success of this search, and the success of our next men's basketball coach."


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