COLUMBIA, S.C. — It has been busy summer for Frank Martin.
After recovering from COVID-19, the Gamecock Men's Basketball coach has stayed busy as the co-chair of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) committee on racial reconciliation.
In his new position, the coach is aiming to create more opportunities for African Americans in the University of South Carolina Athletics Department.
“We talk all the time about we need more minority coaches and no one is going to dispute that but we also need more minority administrators.” Martin said.
Martin, along with Gamecock Head Football Coach Will Muschamp have signed on as ambassadors for the McLendon Minority initiative.
The initiative, which was started by University of Kentucky Men’s Basketball coach John Calipari, is designed to provide minorities more opportunities in athletic administration.
It is named after John McLendon, who was the first African American Head Coach at a predominantly white university.
Being of Cuban descent himself, Martin feels the initiative is a great step towards a better future.
“It’s a way of us coaches coming up with funding to then hire administrators to work at different college campuses as they pursue careers in administration,” Martin says. “Will Muschamp and I accepted responsibility in funding, so now someone is going to apply through the McLendon foundation for a job in our academic administration and then that person will have a firsthand experience as an athletic administrator.”
Muschamp says he was on board right from the start.
“If Frank Martin is for something, you better believe I'm going to be for it too," Muschamp says. "This initiative is real. This is about a real job in a profession that lacks diversity and inclusion and we can make a difference in the sports administration world in college athletics,” Muschamp said.
In a profession that is lacking diversity, Martin feels the initiative will open more doors for minorities to walk through.
“Having different folks that come from different backgrounds that look different in decision making places gives us all hope that if we do our job, that we all can one day get to a place like that.”