Missouri State hires Purdue assistant Martin as new coach

Updated: March 26, 2008, 4:12 PM ET
Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Missouri State hired Purdue assistant coach Cuonzo Martin as its men's basketball coach on Wednesday.

Martin, 36, replaces Barry Hinson. Hinson was fired on March 9 after failing to take Missouri State to the NCAA tournament in nine seasons.

Martin was introduced in a Wednesday news conference at Missouri State's Hammons Student Center.

Martin was a standout player at Purdue from 1991 through 1995, then played briefly in the NBA for Milwaukee and Vancouver. He was hired as a Purdue assistant in 2000 and was promoted to associate coach last year.

"Our goals are to be productive on the court, in the classroom, and in the community. On the court, we want to play hard every minute of every game, and to win basketball games," Martin said in a statement.

Martin will make more money than his predecessor. Missouri State said Martin's compensation package will be about $300,000, compared with a compensation package of $200,000 for Hinson. Martin also will be able to earn additional performance incentives.

The increase is financed through private gifts for the basketball program.

Martin becomes the 16th head coach in the history of Missouri State. He will take over in time for the Bears' move into the $67 million, 11,000-seat JQH Arena for the 2008-09 season.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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