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Cuonzo Martin is selected to lead the MSU Bears basketball team.
Courtesy Cuonzo Martin Facebook page
Cuonzo Martin is selected to lead the MSU Bears basketball team.

Cuonzo Martin returning to MSU

Posted online

Last edited 11:40 a.m., March 28, 2024 [Editor's note: More details have been added.]

Missouri State University has hired Cuonzo Martin as its new head basketball coach.

It's a return to the program for Martin, who led the MSU Bears basketball team 2008-11, according to a news release.

"One of the things that stands out about him is that he really wants to be at Missouri State," said Kyle Moats, MSU director of athletics, in the release. "He is respected both nationally and here in our community, and he brings instant credibility to our program. His track record with our donors, our fans and our students will make this an easy transition.

"In my opinion, there was not a better coach out there to lead our young men."

Martin succeeds Dana Ford, who was ousted from MSU two days after the Bears were eliminated from the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.

Martin has a career record of 264-198 in 14 seasons as a Division I head coach. His most recent coaching role was leading the basketball team at the University of Missouri 2017-22, according to the release. Martin has been out of coaching for two years, said Rick Kindhart, director of athletic communications and assistant director of athletics for MSU.

MSU's contract with Martin is a five-year agreement through the 2028-29 season, with a base salary of $600,000, according to university officials.

Martin's employment contract with MSU, posted to the university's website, indicates the coach's base salary would rise to $625,000 during the second year of the contract and $650,000 during the third year. Incentive pay listed in the contract includes extra funds for meeting academic goals, reaching season benchmarks such as winning tournaments and earning Coach of the Year honors, among other metrics.

A news conference on Martin’s hiring at MSU is slated to be held on Monday.

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