Marist welcomes Chuck Martin to coaching family
Published: Thursday, April 17, 2008
Updated: Wednesday, June 29, 2011 11:06
The name Chuck Martin might not be recognizable to most people, but the names of Memphis Tigers' stars Derrick Rose, Chris Douglas-Roberts, and Joey Dorsey surely are. Martin coached all three while working as an assistant coach at Memphis.The Marist Red Foxes men's basketball team named Chuck Martin their head coach on Thursday, April 17, in a 2 p.m. press conference. After guiding some of the most talented players in the country, Martin will now bring his experience to the Hudson Valley.
Martin spent two seasons at Memphis and amassed a staggering 71-6 record alongside Naismith coach of the year John Calipari. This past season, Memphis traveled to the NCAA championship game only to fall short in overtime against eventual champion Kansas.
Martin agreed to a six-year deal that runs through the 2013-2014 season, and he will become the sixth Division I head coach in Red Foxes' basketball history.
For the Marist community, Martin's arrival represents a homecoming for the Bronx native. He played for St. Raymond's High School and operated as an assistant coach for both Manhattan and St. John's. Most recently, he assisted John Calipari in Memphis' consecutive runs to the NCAA tournament.
"Tim Murray and his staff made a slam dunk with the hiring of Chuck," Calipari said. "Marist has a proud basketball tradition, and I'm confident that Chuck will do his best to continue - and build on - the level of success the Marist program has enjoyed."
Martin noted the campus atmosphere and the opportunity to coach at one of the premier schools in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) as several of the reasons he chose this school.
"When I got here the first thing I told Tim [Murray] and Dr. Murray was there was a spirit on campus," Martin said. "There was a life and a pulse here, and that really excited me. If there's a life and there's a pulse on campus, then that will trickle down to the other programs here at Marist."
Before Martin's arrival at Marist, he discussed his plans with Coach Calipari and the new Marist head coach believed this job represented his best opportunity.
"I think the campus is the best campus in the league," Martin said. "I think it's the best job. I don't know if people agree with me or not, and I really don't care, but I think it's the best job, the campus, the facilities, [and] the atmosphere."
Coach Martin has his work cut out for him, however. Marist will reportedly lose freshman and co-MAAC rookie of the year Jay Gavin to a transfer to Virginia Commonwealth University. In addition, Marist lost six seniors at the conclusion of last season. Point guard David Devezin is the team's only returning starter.
Martin believes that Devezin is the perfect building block for the type of offense he wants to employ here at Marist. Martin hopes to run an up-tempo, Memphis-style offense, which is a dribble-drive motion.
"I think the way that we played at Memphis excites me with [Devezin]," Martin said. "I think our principles and our style of play [at Memphis with Derrick Rose], you can definitely apply here at Marist. I think I've talked to enough people where I think he can play that way."
Martin made a point to acknowledge the other talent that remains on Marist's roster. Despite losing Gavin and six seniors, the Red Foxes will look to their bench for leadership.
Kaylen Gregory, a senior entering his fifth year of eligibility, will look to capitalize on his opportunity to finally crack the lineup after waiting for four seasons.
"I hope it's my call and it should be a good opportunity because we're depleted in guys but not in talent," Gregory said.
Gregory is excited about the opportunity to play for Coach Martin in a system geared towards his game.
"That style of play fits my caliber very well," Gregory said. "The upbeat, fast, running and jumping type play. If he can recruit the right guys for this program, it'll be even more exciting to watch than what we've been doing here the past four years and should top it.