Frank Martin introduced as new UMass men’s basketball coach
AMHERST, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - It’s a new era for UMass Amherst men’s basketball. Frank Martin was officially introduced as the 23rd head coach in program history on Tuesday
It was a scene filled with energy and promise for UMass fans, alumni, and the western Massachusetts community. For Martin and his wife, Anya, life came full circle at the Champions Center.
“We’re gonna act with class and we’re gonna fight for today and we’re gonna be relentless and chase the ultimate goal of winning another Atlantic 10 championship and get this program back in that NCAA tournament,” Martin explained.
When newly appointed Martin took the podium on Tuesday at the Champions Center, his message was one about family.
“I’m all about people, I’m all about relationships, and I’m all about us being connected…because the only way you win is if that happens,” Martin added.
His wife, Anya, who was a track and field star at UMass Amherst in the 1990′s, played a big role in recruiting martin to the flagship.
“I love my university…the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. I am home and I am back where I belong and I can’t wait to bring my family,” Anya Martin said.
The former Kansas State and South Carolina head coach will now attempt to reshape a program that once appeared in seven straight NCAA tournaments, reaching the Final Four in 1996, but has not made the big dance since 2014.
“Little kid in the world of basketball watching on television was impacted by the energy and winning that took place in that building back in the mid-90s. I get goosebumps thinking of what we can create there again,” Martin noted.
He told Western Mass News that he’s embracing the challenge.
“That’s what excites me about basketball is there’s no guarantee that we’re winning tomorrow, but we have hope that if we do things a certain way we’re gonna give ourselves a chance to win,” Martin explained.
UMass Athletic Director Ryan Bamford delivered his message to the UMass faithful who never wavered in their support.
“Our fans and our supporters, especially those that…believed that we could get back to national prominence and I’m gonna tell you it’s coming,” Bamford said.
For Martin, he’s preaching a hard-nosed, blue-collar mindset to try to bring UMass back to their glory days.
“We’re going to play harder than any team that ever plays against us. We’re gonna be more disciplined than any team than ever plays against us. I can’t guarantee you that the ball’s gonna go in the net, but I can guarantee you guys are not gonna get out of the way defensively,” Martin said.
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