Home Sports Sources: Martin finalizes return to Missouri St.

Sources: Martin finalizes return to Missouri St.

Sources: Martin finalizes return to Missouri St.


Cuonzo Martin has agreed to a deal in principle to return to Missouri State as the men’s basketball coach, sources told ESPN on Tuesday night.

Martin is one of the most successful coaches in Missouri State history, as he led the school during his first stint as head coach to its first and only Missouri Valley Conference regular-season title in 2010-11. That title came in his third and final season on the job.

He went on from there to coach at Tennessee, California and Missouri. He left Tennessee after a run to the round of 16 in 2014 and also led both Cal and Missouri to NCAA tournament appearances.

Martin has been a head coach for 14 seasons. He has a 264-198 record. In his three seasons at Missouri State, he went 61-41. That included a 2011 NIT bid that came with the Missouri Valley regular-season championship.

Martin is a native of East St. Louis who played at Purdue before a short career in the NBA. His college coaching career began at Purdue, where he worked his way up to associate head coach before taking the Missouri State job in 2008.

He was dismissed from Missouri after the 2021-22 season, a decision that came with Missouri owing Martin $6 million in buyout money. During his year off in 2023-24, he worked on the podcast “It All Counts.”

Martin will replace Dana Ford, who was fired earlier this month after six seasons and a 106-82 record.


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