Coach Chuck Martin Is Biggest Asset for Miami (Ohio)
By Lana Sache
When Chuck Martin accepted the head coaching position at Miami (Ohio) just three months ago, most journalists would have loved to have shaken his hand and wish him all the best.
See, when a coach was an assistant at a school like Notre Dame in addition to having been a head coach for a championship Division II school, it is tough not to wish him luck heading into taking over a 0-12 squad.
Honestly, Miami is most likely the school that is the least cared about in the Mid-American Conference at the moment. Any new head coach would tell you that he sees “potential” for next season and plans on making necessary changes for success. Still, for more than one reason, Martin will most likely see “potential” become reality for the RedHawks in the 2014 season.
Going back to his previous head coaching session from 2004-09, the fact that Martin won a pair of NCAA Division II national championships is going to be at the top of his resume. Martin was head coach at Grand Valley State University, where he won back-to-back national titles in 2005 and 2006 before finishing national runner-up his last season there in 2009. Within a two-year period, Martin set an all-time NCAA Division II record of 40 consecutive wins, and over his five years as Grand Valley State coach, lost a total of just seven games.
That does not deserve just a “good luck” pat on the back.
From there, Martin became the offensive coordinator at Notre Dame in 2010. Two years later, the Fighting Irish went 12-0 during the 2012 regular season — the complete opposite of Martin’s current dilemma. As an offensive guy, however, Martin will have more to work with at Miami next season.
Martin signed a lot of offensive talent with his new recruiting class, including two three-star players at running back and wide receiver. There will also be a new quarterback in Andrew Hendrix, a transfer who will most likely be the starter. Hendrix previously played in 16 games for Notre Dame so Martin clearly knows how Hendrix plays and should have no issue coaching and using his abilities to their full potential.
Martin is not just an offensive guy. At Notre Dame, he actually started out working with the safeties, and was a former safety himself. He started his coaching career working with defenses mainly for his first 12 years as he worked his way up the football ladder.
“I had a plan that I was going to be a head coach, hopefully, for a long time," Martin told ESPN.com after being hired at Miami, "and that to know both sides of the ball and have true experience on both sides of the ball and not just be a one-dimensional head coach would not only benefit me in running an organization, but also benefit me when I get a job where I can probably add just as much to one side as you can to the other."
If that statement doesn't prove that Martin is the right man for Miami, nothing does. Martin is a seasoned coach, which is exactly what Miami desperately needs right now.
To help lighten the heavy load on its new head coach, Miami will start its season with two home games. The RedHawks also will not play MAC champion Bowling Green during the regular season either.
If all of that still has not yet convinced you that a turnaround is in store for Miami, just watch for yourself. Nearly every journalist in America agrees so far that Miami should be congratulated at the great job it has done in hiring its next head coach.