COLUMBIA, Mo (KMOX) – Cuonzo Martin mentioned the 30-year tenure of former University of Missouri Men’s Basketball coach Norm Stewart when was asked about how long he plans to stay at Mizzou.
His previous three jobs – Missouri State, Tennessee and California – all were three-year stints. His message at Monday’s press conference to introduce Martin could be a the start of a trend-breaking stay for Martin.
“I pray to God that this is it for me. I didn’t take this job to say ‘O.K., it didn’t work out after three for four years.’ This is it for me,” Martin told KMOX’s Mike Kelly in an exclusive interview.
Listen to the entire interview between Kelly and Martin:
Martin said his agent stayed busy after Cal’s season ended with a fifth-place finish in the Pac-12, last season. But says he choose to ‘come home’ to Mizzou becuase of it’s fans, community and an opportunity to win a National Championship.
He was born in St. Louis, then his parents moved to East St. Louis, Illinois when he was 3-years-old.
Martin coached teams are well-known to be defense-first. He believes a player’s true toughness and pride is shown on defense.
“Anybody can shot a ball at the rim, and I’ve seen guys miss a lot of shots,” Martin says. “But guys taking pride in playing defense and stopping your man, that’s toughness.”