South Carolina’s Board of Trustees will meet at 1 p.m. Friday to discuss and approve a contract extension for basketball coach Frank Martin.
The BOT announced the meeting on Thursday afternoon and two sources close to the situation confirmed that Martin’s contract is the subject. “Everything’s hunky-dory,” one source said. Another said that Martin’s contract was “a go.”
Specific numbers weren’t known but Martin should receive a raise over his current $2.1 million salary. Sources told The State on March 7 that athletic director Ray Tanner had already offered a four-year extension to Martin, which would give him six years on his new deal and keep him at USC through the 2021-22.
Tanner has constantly said that he is a big fan of Martin and he would like for him to be USC’s coach for many years to come. Martin has reciprocated, saying several times that he works for the best boss in the country.
Tanner said that he didn’t want contract talks to be a distraction for Martin’s team at midseason, after the Gamecocks started 15-0 and Memphis coach Josh Pastner used much of his post-game press conference to laud Martin and advise USC to lock him up.
Tanner has been working on the extension for quite some time. He made the first offer to Martin on March 7, after the Gamecocks finished the regular season with a win at Arkansas and was preparing for the SEC tournament. After that, USC was in a whirlwind of activity – the Gamecocks lost to Georgia in the SEC tournament late on March 11, returned to Columbia March 12 and waited through Selection Sunday on March 13 to find out their postseason fate.
After being snubbed by the NCAA tournament, USC played its first NIT game on March 15. It ended its season on March 21, and the time since has been spent recruiting, reflecting on the season, meeting with the players and celebrating Martin’s 50th birthday.
Tanner will reach his goal of having the contract done by Friday.
Martin followed two seasons of 14 wins each with a 17-16 year in 2014-15, finishing the season strongly despite having a gutted roster. That begat 2015-16, when the Gamecocks didn’t lose a non-conference game, posted just their fourth winning league season in 25 years and had an overall record of 25-9.
Martin has won as many SEC tournament games (four) as the program did from 2006-13. He posted the Gamecocks’ first postseason win since USC won its second straight NIT championship in 2006 and has made the Columbia community again embrace basketball.
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