COLUMBIA — University of Missouri Director of Athletics Jim Sterk announced Wednesday the appointment of Cuonzo Martin as Mizzou’s 19th head men’s basketball coach. Martin, who has spent the past three seasons as head coach at the University of California, has averaged 20.7 wins in nine seasons as a head coach with seven postseason appearances to his credit.
Martin, who was born in St. Louis and moved to East St. Louis, Ill., as a young child, will be introduced at a 4 p.m. campus celebration on Monday, March 20 at Mizzou Arena. Doors open to the general public at 3:30 p.m.
“We are thrilled that Cuonzo is returning to the Midwest and that his family will now call Columbia home,” Sterk said. “From the outset of our search, our goal was to find a coach who had demonstrated success, academically and on the court, while also sharing our values and who can help to reignite interest in Mizzou Men’s Basketball among our fan base. I believe we found all of that and more with Cuonzo and I look forward to watching him compete for championships and postseason appearances for many years to come.”
Martin has registered six, 20-win seasons as a head coach, including a 21-13 mark in his final season at Cal which earned the Golden Bears an NIT bid. He owns a nine-year head coaching record of 186-121 (.606), which includes a three-year mark of 62-39 (.614) in three seasons in Berkeley. After directing his first Cal team to an 18-15 mark in 2014-15, Martin’s Golden Bears went 23-11 in 2015-16 and tied for third in the Pac-12 en route to an NCAA Tournament appearance.
Before moving to the West Coast, Martin spent three successful seasons at Tennessee, where he guided the Volunteers to a 63-41 (.606) record and into the postseason each year (one NCAA, two NIT). After reaching the NIT in each of his first two seasons in Knoxville, his final UT squad registered a 24-13 record and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
Martin is no stranger to the Show-Me State, having launched his head coaching career at Missouri State. After an 11-20 debut season at the Springfield school, Martin led the Bears to a 24-12 record and the CollegeInsider.com Championship in 2009-10. His third season saw Missouri State record a 26-9 record en route to the program’s first-ever regular-season Missouri Valley Conference championship and an NIT bid. Martin was named the Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year and was the 2011 recipient of the Ben Jobe National Coach of the Year Award, presented annually to the nation’s top minority head coach in Division I men’s basketball.
The 45-year-old Martin has served the game of basketball for more than two decades, beginning with a standout four-year playing career at Purdue University. He has played and coached alongside some of the game’s most highly-regarded mentors, including Hall of Fame Coach Gene Keady. Martin is a member of a distinguished group of successful college basketball coaches to serve under Keady, along with Matt Painter (Purdue), Bruce Weber (Illinois and Kansas State), Steve Lavin (UCLA and St. John’s) and Kevin Stallings (Vanderbilt and Pitt).
Martin also has experience as a coach with USA Basketball, serving on the USA Junior National Team staff at the 2011 FISU World University games in Shenzhen, China.
As a student-athlete, Martin was a 1995 First-Team All-Big Ten selection at Purdue when he averaged 18.4 ppg and sank 91 three-pointers. He graduated as one of the program’s all-time leaders in three-pointers (179) and among the Boilermakers’ career scoring leaders (1,666). Playing under Keady and alongside All-American Glenn Robinson, Martin led Purdue to a pair of Big Ten titles and to a 90-37 four-year record. The Boilermakers went to the postseason each season with Martin, reaching the Elite Eight of the 1994 NCAA Tournament.
Following his collegiate playing career, Martin was selected by the Atlanta Hawks with the 57th overall pick of the 1995 NBA Draft. He played professionally for four years with the NBA’s Hawks, Milwaukee Bucks and Vancouver Grizzlies. In 1997, Martin was the leading scorer for Felize Scandone in Italy.
Martin returned to his alma mater where he earned his bachelor’s degree in restaurant, hotel, institutional and tourism management from Purdue in 2000. He and his wife, Roberta, have two sons, Joshua and Chase, and a daughter, Addison.
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