In an interview with Kevin Keitzman at WHB, Frank Martin recently took some time out to discuss leaving Kansas State, accepting the move to South Carolina and some of the drama that went on through it all. It’s a telling interview in which Martin clearly doesn’t say everything he could have said, but at least some parameters of the surprise decision were revealed.
Despite rumors to the contrary, Martin insists that he did not make the decision to leave out of negative feelings — against athletic director John Currie or about the suspension of Jamar Samuels. Instead, he says he’s simply ready for a new challenge.
It’s been one of, well, not one of, the most decision I’ve ever made in my professional life because I never put myself in front of others. For once in my life, I had to put myself apart from everybody and make a selfish decision. It’s been an honor to … serve K-State. I tried to do my job to the best of my abilities, honestly. I did everything by the rules; I fought for that school. We united the fans, the administration, the coaches, the players, everyone as one. We gave the school the five most successful years in the history of the school. … Our success gave me options and I saw a challenge here that I just fell in love with and I just felt I had to make this decision.
The Gamecocks will definitely be just that. They are a basement dwelling team in the SEC, and getting the program back on its feet will take time and considerable effort in a brand new region of the country and a brand new conference. Martin is definitely taking on a challenge. Yet his record at K-State is strong these last five seasons, and there’s a reason USC wanted him. It will be an interesting subplot to follow next season and beyond.