USC Men's Basketball

South Carolina extends Frank Martin’s contract through 2022

South Carolina head coach Frank Martin
South Carolina head coach Frank Martin

South Carolina wants the architect of one of the best seasons in program history to keep building.

Basketball coach Frank Martin received a four-year contract extension when the USC Board of Trustees unanimously approved a new deal on Friday. Martin, entering his fifth season, agreed to a contract keeping him in Columbia through 2022.

“We’ve been working on this for quite a while,” athletic director Ray Tanner said. “We’re very excited that he’s going to be here as our coach with an extension, with an opportunity to continue to recruit with now six years in front of him. I feel like his impact on this program has been significant.”

Martin’s salary rose from $2.1 million this year to $2.45 million in 2016-17, with $50,000 escalators each year through the life of the deal. His 2016-17 salary is among the top four in the SEC by last year’s numbers. He will top out at $2.7 million in 2021-22, although if the Gamecocks make the NCAA tournament in any season, an extra $50,000 will be added to his yearly salary.

Martin’s buyout, which had dropped to $800,000 after this season and was set to fall to $500,000 after each of the next two seasons, was increased to $4.8 million after the coming season and $3.5 million the following season. It would then drop to $1.5 million after 2018-19 and eventually get down to $500,000.

“My family, staff and I are so excited that we will continue to call Columbia, South Carolina, home,” Martin said in a statement. “I am so thankful for all the players that have sacrificed so much in helping us to build our program for us to be given this opportunity. We are ecstatic and so thankful to continue to work hand-in-hand with our great leaders, Dr. Harris Pastides and Ray Tanner. Giving all of Gamecock Nation a championship basketball program is what we will continue to strive for.”

Martin had the Gamecocks on the cusp of their first NCAA tournament berth since 2004 until the selection committee set a precedent by leaving out a 24-win team from a power-5 conference. The NCAA also apologized on Thursday for mistakenly texting USC officials that the Gamecocks had made the NCAAs, before correcting themselves 10 minutes later.

USC still made its first postseason appearance since 2009 and won its first postseason game since 2006 when it beat High Point in the NIT.

Martin guided USC to a 25-9 record after topping out at 17 wins in his first three seasons. The 25 victories tied a record for the best season by wins in program history and the Gamecocks also posted the fourth winning SEC season in their 25-year history in the league.

Martin has won as many SEC tournament games (four) as USC did from 2007-13.

The coach’s tireless work in the community since he arrived has re-energized the fan base and raised attendance at Colonial Life Arena to nearly 12,000 per game – regular-season home games drew over 13,000 per but sparse attendance at each NIT game drove the yearly number below 12K. Only 8,868 fans attended USC games the season before Martin arrived.

“When he got here, and not to be critical of any coaches in the past, but it wasn’t a great situation to inherit,” Tanner said. “And he had to build in a quick manner, and he had some challenges along the way. There were so many positives.”

Martin’s teams recorded five straight semesters with a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.0, and the team’s mark of 3.299 in Fall 2014 was the program’s record-high. His team also set a program record for combined hours performing community service in 2014-15.

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Frank Martin’s contract was extended and amended on Friday. Looking at the new numbers:

* Base salary raised from $306,000 to $350,000.

* Supplemental compensation stays at $200,000.

* Outside compensation raised from $1.6 million to $1.9 million in 2016-17. Outside compensation will increase by $50,000 per year through the term of the contract.

BONUS: If the Gamecocks make the NCAA tournament in any year of the new deal, outside compensation will have an extra $50,000 added to it. For instance, if USC makes it to the 2017 NCAA tournament, Martin’s 2017-18 outside compensation would be $2 million instead of the $1.95 million it is set to be.

* Total yearly salary raised from $2.106 million to $2.45 million in 2016-17. It will rise $50,000 per year through the term of the contract, with potential $50,000 increases per year for NCAA tournament appearances.

* If Martin is terminated without cause, USC will pay him an amount equal to his total salary per year for the remaining term of the contract. The old deal had Martin paid an amount equal to 66 percent of the remaining deal.

* Buyout raised from $500,000 after 2016-17 to $4.8 million. The figure drops to $3.5 million after 2017-18, $1.5 million after 2018-19, $1 million after 2019-20 and $500,000 per year for the remaining term of the contract.

INCENTIVES remain unchanged from the original deal.

* Twelve or more SEC regular-season wins -- $15,000.

* SEC regular-season championship -- $75,000 OR SEC tournament champion -- $50,000. Both championships in a single season -- $100,000.

* NCAA tournament berth -- $25,000 OR NCAA Sweet 16 -- $50,000 OR NCAA Elite Eight -- $100,000 OR NCAA Final Four $200,000 OR National championship -- $400,000.

* SEC Coach of the Year by the SEC coaches -- $25,000.

* National Coach of the Year (Iba, Naismith, NABC or AP) -- $25,000.

* Top 25 finish -- $15,000.

* Academic Progress Rate -- Score from 940-959 ($30,000); Score from 960-979 ($60,000); Score above 980 ($90,000).

* Ticket sales -- Total number of full-pay season tickets and faculty/staff season tickets increases by 1,000 or more over preview year ($50,000); If four or more regular-season home games have a turnstile attendance of 16,000 or more ($15,000).

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