MDC Alum Leads Gamecocks in NCAA Tournament The NCAA men’s basketball tournament, annually one of the most popular sporting events among millions of bracket-filling fans, had a Miami Dade College flavor this year. During March Madness, the South Carolina Gamecocks defeated the Florida Gators to reach the Final Four for the first time in school history. The Gamecocks were coached by Frank Martin, a 51-year-old MDC graduate who gained national notoriety for the job he did in leading South Carolina. Born in Miami to Cuban-exile parents, Martin was raised by his mother and grandmother after his father walked out on the family when Frank was just 12. Martin graduated from Miami High and attended MDC before embarking on a coaching career that included numerous stops in high school basketball before he got his first big break as an assistant coach at Northeastern University in Boston and ultimately, as the head coach at South Carolina. With Martin’s guidance, the Gamecocks, who had never even been to the Elite Eight round before this season, knocked off three higher seeds – No. 2 Duke, No. 3 Baylor and No. 4 Florida – before finally losing to No. 1 Gonzaga. Weeks after the tournament, Martin was rewarded when he was named the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year. MDC alumnus Frank Martin has led his teams to five NCAA tournaments as head coach and was named the Big 12 Conference Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year in 2010.
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