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Dawn Staley sticks up for Frank Martin

As she prepares to lead her team in the NCAA Tournament, South Carolina head women's basketball coach Dawn Staley publicly throws her support behind her colleague.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Dawn Staley understands coaching is a results-oriented business and her results have been unprecedented for South Carolina women's basketball.

The same can be said for her colleague who during that same magical spring of 2017, led the men's program to its first Final Four.

But with the future of Frank Martin in doubt, News19 asked Staley during a Zoom interview to provide her thoughts on Martin and how it's been working with him for these past nine years. It's safe to say Staley is in Frank's corner.

"Obviously, I hear all the junk that is on social media and I say before you jump off and condemn someone, you have to understand what coaches go through," she said.

"Yes, we are in a results-based profession. But there are a lot of intricacies that go with being successful. I think when Frank's teams are healthy, when he is healthy, he puts a product on the floor that we can all be proud of."

Staley's program had a brief pause in January due to COVID-19 whereas the men were hit with two major work stoppages and Martin himself had a second positive test in that same month that led to him missing the LSU game and he admitted thoughts of opting out to focus on his health did enter his mind. He ultimately did return courtside to finish out the season. Staley's opinion is if Martin is let go, that will raise more than a few eyebrows in the coaching fraternity.

"If you get rid of Frank Martin, every coach, every candidate that you're going to bring in here, they're watching it too," she said.

"They're watching how we react to what's happening here. Frank's given us some great years and I think there's a lot more in the tank. You know I support him in that way. I support him publicly. I support him privately. I just hope that we're not in a position that, well, I'm just going to let the powers that be talk about that. My answer to your question is that I support Frank Martin."

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