South Carolina plays Gonzaga Saturday night in the Final Four and Thursday South Carolina coach Frank Martin met with the media. He talked about his coaching background, work as a bouncer and a potential visit to the White House.
Q. Could you talk about your up bringing here and some of the things in your life that you think shaped you as a coach and your philosophy as a coach?
COACH MARTIN: Obviously Miami raised me. Miami solidified who I am as a human being and instilled the values that I live my life by. Shakey Rodriguez took a chance on a 15-year-old that wasn’t any good as a player, but for whatever reason he made me feel that I was good. And he instilled trust and belief in me and gave me an opportunity.
And then the neighborhood that raised me, Little Havana, my neighbors, you know, we all raised each other. They looked out for me and some of my guys got in trouble. But they made sure I didn’t get in trouble. And you keep moving forward and I start coaching in the same neighborhood I grew up in. And I’m coaching the younger brothers and the sons of people that have lived down the block from me.
And that’s what made me who I am. I will forever be indebted in that community and the people that had such an impact in my life, and that’s why I try to live my life the best I can, in respect to all the folks that worked so hard to give me a chance to move forward.
Q. Where did you work as a bouncer?
COACH MARTIN: Different places. Calico Jack’s. Stefano’s. I worked at, I can’t remember the name of the one place on South Beach. That wasn’t fun. It’s just different places. Bar tended, bounced, had to work nights so I could coach during the day.
Q. This is a scenario you probably haven’t put a lot of thought to, but if you win two games tradition dictates the winning team would go visit the White House. I’m curious how you would balance any political leanings versus the tradition and honor of that?
COACH MARTIN: Can you be a little clearer with your question? Like what do you mean by that?
Q. Would you have any hesitation to visit the White House with your team — half of your team is immigrants?
COACH MARTIN: No, we live in the United States of America. I’m not visiting an individual’s home. This is the way I look at it, it’s the way I express it to our team: We’re visiting the top building that represents the great country that’s given every single one of us an opportunity. That’s the way I would look at it.