MANHATTAN — Frank Martin turned to the people he trusts to make up for the departure of Dalonte Hill.
The Kansas State basketball coach announced three promotions Friday to complete his reworked staff.
Brad Underwood, K-State's top Xs and Os assistant, will become associate head coach — Hill's title before he left for Maryland — and earn $205,000.
Lamont Evans, who has spent the past three seasons as a team manager, becomes an assistant and will make $135,000.
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Assistant Matt Figger will add recruiting coordinator to his title and earn $185,000.
Together, they will fill the void left by Hill, who served as associate head coach under Martin for four seasons. Hill was known for his recruiting contacts and his $423,750 contract, believed to be the nation's biggest for a basketball assistant.
Martin said the decision to promote Evans turned out to be an easy one.
"Lamont has really earned this opportunity," Martin said in a statement. " After recommending him to other head coaches around the country early in the spring, I knew I had a great candidate in-house when Dalonte left the staff. He has really earned everyone's trust, including most importantly, the players. He has a great basketball mind and an engaging personality."
A former point guard at Drake, Evans hopes to help the Wildcats' young ballhandlers next season and use his connections in the South for recruiting. Florida, Georgia and North Carolina will be his go-to regions.
"There are different areas where I know people and have built relationships," Evans said. "Guys I used to play with are now into coaching, and they know other people who are into coaching. I feel like they're basically all over. I'll hit the right spots."
A native of Eleuthera, Bahamas, Evans came to the United States at a young age and grew up in south Florida, where he became a standout high school player. He went on to play two seasons at Drake before embarking on a seven-year professional career overseas.
At K-State he's spent his three years building relationships with players at a personal level. He said he occasionally played pickup games with them and tried his best to assist them on and off the court. Ultimately, he thought that set him apart from outside candidates.
"Being able to relate to the players, and being a former player myself, I have a good basketball IQ," Evans said. "I know a lot of people and have known Frank for a couple years. Being with him on the daily grind for three years helps. I think the players believe in me and the coaches believe in me."
"These past five years, Brad has earned the right to assist me with the daily decisions of running our program," Martin said. "Matt has been assisting Dalonte with organizing our recruiting efforts these past few years and he is very prepared to take over this responsibility. Both guys have been an integral part of our success."