Martin Named Assistant Coach

Erik Martin, a former professional player and all-conference performer at Cincinnati, has been named assistant basketball coach at West Virginia University, head coach Bob Huggins announced today.

"Erik brings the same confidence in coaching as he did as a player," says Huggins. "Erik was an outstanding student and was an outstanding student of the game. That's enabled him to make his transition into coaching easier."

Martin comes to West Virginia after spending last season as an assistant at Kansas State with Huggins. Prior to his stint at Kansas State, he spent two years as an assistant coach at Cincinnati State and Technical College in Cincinnati for head coach Andre Tate from 2004-06.

"I'm so excited to be coaching here at West Virginia," says Martin. "I've heard so many good things from Coach Huggins about the school and the state. I'm really looking forward to getting settled in and getting right to work."

In 2005-06, he helped the Surge post a 26-9 overall record en route to winning the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference and NJCAA Region XII District 7 tournament titles. The program advanced to the NJCAA Division II championship where it lost to eventual national runner-up Kirkwood (Iowa) Community College to finish fifth nationally.

Martin helped coach a number of outstanding players at Cincinnati State, including Cincinnati signee John Williamson, who was named a first team NJCAA All-American and the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference Player of the Year. Williamson was one of four players to move on to the Division I level from CSC, including Steve Horton (Ball State), Jarelle Redden (Ball State) and T.K. Washington (Detroit). In addition, the school produced four all-conference and three all-district honorees. Martin jumped into the coaching ranks at Jacobs Center High in Cincinnati, where he served as the junior varsity coach and assistant varsity coach from 2003-04.

A standout power forward, Martin was a two-year lettermen and one-year starter for Huggins at Cincinnati from 1991-93. He signed with TCU out of high school and redshirted as a true freshman in 1989-90. Martin transferred to Santa Ana (Calif.) Community College for one season before moving to Cincinnati the next two seasons. Martin helped guide the Bearcats to a combined 56-10 overall record en route to Final Four and Elite Eight appearances and back-to-back Great Midwest conference regular season and tournament championships from 1991-93.

Playing with All-American Herb Jones and future NBA stars Corie Blount and Nick Van Exel, Martin averaged 6.3 points and 4.0 rebounds as a junior in helping Cincinnati to a 29-5 overall record and the 1992 NCAA Final Four. In his senior year, Martin guided Cincinnati to the NCAA tournament where the fourth-ranked Bearcats lost in overtime to eventual national champion North Carolina in the East Regional finals.

The team's leading rebounder (6.7 rpg) and second-leading scorer (13.5 ppg), Martin led the Great Midwest conference in field goal percentage (60.3) en route to being named to the all-conference second team. He was a member of the league's all-tournament squad after guiding Cincinnati to its second straight title with a combined 36 points and 20 rebounds in just two contests. Martin continued his stellar performance in the NCAA tournament, where he was named to the East Regional all-tournament team after averaging 17.5 points and 9.3 rebounds while shooting 57.4 percent from the floor in UC's four NCAA tournament games.

Following his playing career at Cincinnati, Martin spent nine years playing professional basketball around the world, including a four-year stint with various franchises in the Continental Basketball Association and five years overseas. He played in the CBA with franchises in Boise (Idaho), LaCrosse (Wisconsin), Omaha (Nebraska) and Yakima (Washington). Martin competed internationally in Chinese Taipei, Dominican Republic, Japan, Korea, the Philippines and Spain.

In addition to his professional experience, Martin has also spent time with the U.S. National team, helping the squad to a silver medal at the 1995 Pan American Games in Argentina. The team leader in blocked shots with 10 in seven games, he averaged 7.7 points on 75.8 percent shooting with 3.9 rebounds for USA. Martin also assisted USA in winning the gold medal at the 1997 Tournament of the Americas. Martin, 35, earned his associate of arts degree from Santa Ana Community College in 1990 and a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Cincinnati in 1993.

A native of Covina, Calif., Martin has a daughter, Amiyah (4).

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