South Carolina coach Frank Martin always has been known for his anger and intensity from the bench.
Now he’ll be known for leading the Gamecocks on a remarkable run to the Final Four.
Sindarius Thornwell scored 26 points, and South Carolina earned its first trip to national semifinals with a 77-70 win over Florida on Sunday.
Here are the highlights:
Martin was emotional after the win:
Frank Martin is in disbelief pic.twitter.com/jJr4rFijSc
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) March 26, 2017
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 26, 2017
Some impressive stats:
Frank Martin is now responsible for Kansas State’s only Elite Eight in the past 29 years and South Carolina’s only Final Four in history.
— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) March 26, 2017
Frank Martin is taking South Carolina to new heights. pic.twitter.com/PLy6zbTszg
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 26, 2017
Over the years, Martin has received a fair share of criticism for his treatment of players and open displays of anger:
Yahoo! Sports’ Henry Bushnell summarizes Martin’s past:
His popular persona has been that of a ticking time-bomb liable to explode into a sideline tirade at any moment. And that reputation, of course, isn’t unfounded. Martin is one of the most intense coaches in college basketball. … For some players, the “tough love” isn’t love at all. It’s too much. Martin dismissed or released from scholarship 11 players at Kansas State and 13 so far at South Carolina, including four after his first season in Columbia. … Martin did hit a player once. He slapped senior Chris Merriewether on the forearm late in a game against Missouri in 2010, and got caught in a whirlwind of controversy. The controversy was dispelled by Merriewether himself soon after. “Frank’s my guy,” he later said. “He’s always had my back. I’ll always have his.”
Here’s a taste of some of that anger:
FRANK MARTIN IS FIRED UP pic.twitter.com/EnDsIGN9U7
— Barstool USC (@BarstoolUofSC) March 26, 2017
Someone tell Frank Martin his team's up by 15 😂 pic.twitter.com/qcNMOoe0CN
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 25, 2017
And despite his success, that reputation has been hard to live down:
Frank Martin seems like a great basketball coach and also like someone that scream down a waitress for the food taking too long to come out.
— Jason Fonder (@jfonder10) March 26, 2017
— Chris Hughes (@chrishughes_) March 26, 2017
But it’s also clear there are A LOT of Martin fans out there:
How cool for South Carolina. Frank Martin seems like such a rough customer on the floor, but he's an absolute teddy bear off of it. Awesome.
— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) March 26, 2017
Jobs that South Carolina coach Frank Martin had: Dishwasher, change boy in pool hall, bartender, landscaper & bouncer in Miami nightclub.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) March 26, 2017
Frank Martin is the man. And when they make a movie about him, Vinnie Jones will play the South Carolina coach. pic.twitter.com/s1pPlIFZ4w
— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) March 26, 2017
What a great job by SC extending Frank Martin last year. That dude is the MAN. I'd play my ass off for him.
— KFC (@KFCBarstool) March 26, 2017
With due respect to Florida, America is getting an extra week of Frank Martin and America is better for it.
— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) March 26, 2017
Martin’s words went viral twice this week and probably gained him some new fans. First, he showed kindness when 13-year-old Sports Illustrated Kids reporter Max Bonnstetter asked him about defense:
— GoGamecocks.com (@gogamecocks) March 25, 2017
Then, this quote spread around the net:
— Bob Huggins (@CoachHuggs) March 26, 2017
Earlier this season, the SEC Network took a look at Martin’s life off the court, and it revealed a lighter side to him:
What do you think? Because of his anger and intensity, is Martin difficult root for. Or has the South Carolina coach won you over?