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June 6, 2013

Martin fills vacant position

Frank Martin took his time because he wanted to try something different. He was in no hurry to replace when associate head coach Brad Underwood left for the head position at Stephen F. Austin over a month ago.

He took his time, and found his candidate.

Perry Clark, a former head coach at Tulane, Miami and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, will take the vacant position and join South Carolina for the 2013-14 season. Martin offered the job to Clark earlier this week and received an affirmation on Thursday.

Clark won 304 games over 19 seasons as a head coach, achieving his greatest success at Tulane. Clark re-started the basketball program in 1989 and took the Green Wave to seven postseason tournaments in 11 years, including three NCAA tournaments, recruiting several highly ranked classes to keep Tulane at the top.

He departed Tulane for Miami and took the Hurricanes to one NIT and one NCAA tournament before he was replaced after two straight losing seasons. After spending three years as a TV analyst, Clark took over at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and spent four years there before resigning after the 2010-11 season.

A former assistant coach under Georgia Tech coach (and USC alum) Bobby Cremins and under legendary high school coach Morgan Wootten (DeMatha Catholic), Clark also assisted Dick Harter at Penn State for four years.

The last time Martin made a significant staff change, he promoted from within, giving graduate student manager Lamont Evans a full-time staff position at Kansas State when assistant Dalonte Hill departed for Maryland. Martin loves Evans and Matt Figger on his current staff, labeling them "stars" that will eventually go on to their own programs, but after hiring from within the last time, he wanted to branch out.

Martin listened to his staff's opinions on who was interested in the job and received several inquiries about the job. Following deliberation, he offered the job to Clark and Clark accepted.

The Gamecocks, coming off a 14-18 season, have begun their summer workouts. Five of the seven freshmen that Martin signed are on campus, while the other two will report for the Summer II session.

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