Cuonzo Martin
Cuonzo Martin, Tennessee vs Arkansas.jpg
Martin in 2013.
Personal information
Born (1971-09-23) September 23, 1971 (age 50)
East St. Louis, Illinois
Listed height6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Listed weight213 lb (97 kg)
Career information
High schoolLincoln (East St. Louis, Illinois)
CollegePurdue (1991–1995)
NBA draft1995 / Round: 2 / Pick: 57th overall
Selected by the Atlanta Hawks
Playing career1995–1998
PositionShooting guard / Small forward
Number40, 21, 22
Coaching career1999–present
Career history
As player:
1995–1996Vancouver Grizzlies
1996–1997Grand Rapids Mackers
1997Milwaukee Bucks
1997–1998Ciro Avellino
As coach:
1999–2000West Lafayette HS (assistant)
2000–2007Purdue (assistant)
2007–2008Purdue (assoc. HC)
2008–2011Missouri State
Career highlights and awards
As player:

As coach:

Stats Edit this at Wikidata at
Stats at

Cuonzo LaMar Martin (born September 23, 1971) is an American basketball coach and former player who is the former head coach of the Missouri Tigers men's basketball team.

High school

Playing alongside LaPhonso Ellis as a sophomore and junior, Martin played on two state championship teams for Lincoln High in his native East St. Louis, Illinois. Through his 3 years in the IHSA tournament, Martin scored 198 points and grabbed 111 rebounds in 12 games.

In 2007, Martin and Ellis were voted among the "100 Legends of the IHSA Boys Basketball Tournament," recognizing their superior performance in their appearances in the tournament.[1]

College career

Cuonzo Martin attended Purdue University, where he played for Gene Keady and alongside Wooden Award winner Glenn Robinson. The 6'6", 215 lb guard/forward helped lead the Purdue Boilermakers men's basketball team to back-to-back Big Ten Conference Titles in 1994 and 1995 and an Elite Eight appearance. Martin held future NBA players Shawn Respert of Michigan State and Wisconsin's Michael Finley to season lows in scoring as a Senior. On March 24, 1994, Martin set a school record with the most three-pointers made in a game, making 8 of 13 threes against Kansas in a Sweet Sixteen, later broken by Carsen Edwards (3/23/19 Purdue vs Villanova). Known as the team's defensive stopper, he was also deadly beyond the arc. He left Purdue with the fourth most three-point shots made with 179, behind Jaraan Cornell's 242 record, while holding the record for the highest career three-point shooting with .451 accuracy. Martin was awarded First Team All-Big Ten honors his Senior season, averaging 18.4 points a game. He currently holds another school record for most consecutive games played with 137 straight throughout his career at Purdue.

Professional career

Martin was selected by the Atlanta Hawks as the 57th pick in the 2nd round of the 1995 NBA Draft. He played in only seven career NBA games for the 1995–96 expansion team Vancouver Grizzlies and the Milwaukee Bucks where he re-joined his college teammate and the number one pick in the 1994 NBA Draft Glenn Robinson during the 1996–97 season. He also played professionally in the CBA for the Grand Rapids Mackers and he played for Ciro Avellino of Italian Lega Basket Serie A for the 1997–98 season. Martin was leading the Italian team in scoring. In November 1997, Martin asked to be sent home, due to various symptoms. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Martin began aggressive treatments and chemotherapy and the cancer went into remission. Martin returned to Purdue to finish his degree. After he graduated, Gene Keady hired Martin as an assistant coach in 2000. The Cuonzo Martin Challenge Award to help raise funds for cancer research was established in his honor and he has since been cancer-free.

Coaching career


After one year as an assistant coach at West Lafayette High School, Martin returned to Purdue in 2000 to be an assistant coach under his former coach Gene Keady and former teammate, Matt Painter. He helped the Boilers to an Elite Eight appearance and three NCAA Second Round appearances, along with an overall 153–129 record during his eight seasons on the Purdue bench. He was named associate head coach for the 2007–08 season.[2]

Missouri State

After eight seasons at Purdue, Martin accepted the head coaching position at Missouri State University of the Missouri Valley Conference on March 25, 2008. He replaced Barry Hinson. After falling to Auburn in the season opener, Martin had his first head coaching win over Central Michigan on the road. Martin's Bears won their first game at their new JQH Arena home, beating Arkansas from the SEC. They wrapped up the pre-conference season with a 7–4 record. Martin's Bears headed into conference play with only 3 players appearing in every game, due to a number of injuries. They lost their first conference game in overtime against an undefeated Illinois State. His Bears finished the season with an 11–20 record.

Following his first season as head coach, Martin's top 25 RPI-ranked Bears started the 2009–10 season with a 10–0 start. Missouri State averaged a 10+ margin in points per game coming into Missouri Valley Conference play. Cuonzo's squad finished seventh in conference play with a 20–12 record and accepted a bid to the CIT Tournament, which they ended up winning to finish the season with a record of 24–12.

In Coach Martin's third year at Missouri State, the team won their first regular season Missouri Valley Men's Basketball title and entered the Arch Madness conference tournament as the #1 seed. After reaching the finals, they lost to the Indiana State Sycamores. Although having an RPI of 44, the team was not selected as an at-large team to the 2011 NCAA Men's Basketball tournament. They accepted a bid to the National Invitation Tournament, beating Murray State University at home and then losing to Miami (FL) away in the 2nd round. The team ended the season with a 26–9 record.


On March 27, 2011, after three seasons at Missouri State, Martin was hired as the head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers.[3][4] In three seasons as head coach, Martin led the Volunteers to two NITs and to the 2014 NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen.

After a slow start to the 2013–14 season, several fans began openly campaigning to have Martin replaced with his predecessor, Bruce Pearl, who was about to finish serving a show-cause penalty. An online petition urging athletic director Dave Hart Jr. to rehire Pearl drew 40,000 signatures. Later, Martin said that several of his own players were displeased with the way fans treated him.[5]


On April 15, 2014, Martin was hired as the head coach of the University of California, Berkeley men's basketball team.[6] In 2015–16, his second season, the Bears were led by freshman All-Americans Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb to a 23-win regular season and a number 4 seed in the South Region of the NCAA tournament, where they lost in the first round.[7] Cal began the season ranked in the top 25 but fell out and resurfaced ranked 25th in early March after losing only one game in February, to #18 Arizona by 3 points. On October 25, 2016, Martin agreed to a contract extension through the 2020–21 season.[8] Following Cal's loss in the first round of the 2017 National Invitation Tournament, Martin announced his resignation as head coach on March 15, 2017.[9] Martin left for Missouri, with Cal facing the "likelihood of a depleted roster (the) next season".[10]


On March 15, 2017, the same day as his Cal resignation, Martin was hired as the head coach of the University of Missouri men's basketball team.[11] On March 24, 2017, Martin received the commitment of top recruit and Missouri native Michael Porter Jr., also adding his father, Michael Porter Sr., to his coaching staff. He was released from his position on March 11, 2022, after finishing 78–77 overall and reaching two NCAA Tournaments.[12]

Coaching notes

Cuonzo Martin became the fifth Division I head coach to come out of the Gene Keady coaching tree, following Bruce Weber, Steve Lavin, Kevin Stallings, Matt Painter, and Linc Darner. In the 2016 season, Martin (Cal), Painter (Purdue), and Stallings (Vandy) each entered the season ranked.

Head coaching record

Statistics overview
Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Missouri State Bears (Missouri Valley Conference) (2008–2011)
2008–09 Missouri State 11–20 3–15 10th
2009–10 Missouri State 24–12 8–10 7th CIT Champion
2010–11 Missouri State 26–9 15–3 1st NIT Second Round
Missouri State: 61–41 (.598) 26–28 (.481)
Tennessee Volunteers (Southeastern Conference) (2011–2014)
2011–12 Tennessee 19–15 10–6 T–2nd NIT Second Round
2012–13 Tennessee 20–13 11–7 T–5th NIT First Round
2013–14 Tennessee 24–13 11–7 4th NCAA Division I Sweet 16
Tennessee: 63–41 (.606) 32–20 (.615)
California Golden Bears (Pac-12 Conference) (2014–2017)
2014–15 California 18–15 7–11 T–8th
2015–16 California 23–11 12–6 T–3rd NCAA Division I Round of 64
2016–17 California 21–13 10–8 T–5th NIT First Round
California: 62–39 (.614) 29–25 (.537)
Missouri Tigers (Southeastern Conference) (2017–2022)
2017–18 Missouri 20–13 10–8 T–4th NCAA Division I Round of 64
2018–19 Missouri 15–17 5–13 12th
2019–20 Missouri 15–16 7–11 T–10th
2020–21 Missouri 16–10 8–8 7th NCAA Division I Round of 64
2021–22 Missouri 12–21 5–13 12th
Missouri: 78–77 (.503) 35–53 (.398)
Total: 264–198 (.571)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


  1. ^ IHSA – Legends of Boys Basketball
  2. ^ "Cuonzo Martin". Purdue University. Archived from the original on January 24, 2012. Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  3. ^ "Tennessee hires Cuonzo Martin". March 27, 2011. Retrieved March 28, 2011.
  4. ^ Muse, John (March 28, 2011). "Vols hire Cuonzo Martin". The Volunteer Times.
  5. ^ Parrish, Gary (July 16, 2014). "New Faces, New Places: Cuonzo Martin knew it was time to leave Vols".
  6. ^ Parrish, Gary (April 15, 2014). "Tennessee's Cuonzo Martin will be California's next head coach".
  7. ^ "4th-Seeded Bears Ready to Start NCAA Journey". Cal Athletics. March 15, 2016.
  8. ^ "Martin Agrees to Contract Through 2020-21 Season". Cal Athletics (Press release). October 25, 2016.
  9. ^ "Cal Men's Basketball Coach Cuonzo Martin Resigns To Take Mizzou Job". CBS SF Bay Area. March 15, 2017.
  10. ^ "College Hotline: After the collapse, what's next for Cal basketball (Martin's future, Rabb's decision and a bleak roster)". March 15, 2017.
  11. ^ Goodman, Jeff (March 15, 2017). "Cuonzo Martin signs 7-year deal with Missouri after resigning at Cal".
  12. ^ Borzello, Jeff (March 11, 2022). "Missouri Tigers fire men's basketball coach Cuonzo Martin after five seasons, drawing criticism from rival coaches". ESPN. Retrieved March 12, 2022.