Sunday, April 26, 2009

An imperfect 10

This made headlines absolutely nowhere, but Rodney Martin recently resigned as the head men’s basketball coach at Tiffin (Oh.) University, a Gannon opponent last year. Martin officially left "to pursue other career opportunities," meaning he was thrown out on his ear because he didn't win enough games. Tiffin AD Lonny Allen stated in a press release, "I have enjoyed knowing Rodney both as a coach and as a person. I am sure he will find success in the future. But he won't find success anywhere near a basketball court because he's a horrible coach." OK -- the AD didn't actually say that last sentence, but I'm pretty sure he was thinking it. Martin was a gawd-awful 10-71 in his three seasons at Tiffin, including 1-21 in the GLIAC last season.

The image I will always have of Martin was burned into my brain during a timeout of the Tiffin/Gannon game last year at the Audi. My wife and I scored prime seats right behind the Tiffin bench. We could hear everything, including the players muttering under their breath in frustration. A couple possessions prior to a first-half timeout, Martin yanked a Dragon player from the game without explanation. The player sat on the bench simmering but then stood up and joined the team huddle when timeout was called.

An exasperated Martin crouched in front of his team and yelled, "We ain't playing no defense." He then turned to the player he just benched and said, "What were you doing out there?" As the player responded, "Well, I was ...", Martin interrupted. "Shut up!" he exclaimed, glaring at the player for a few uncomfortable moments before directing his tirade at the rest of the squad.

In the press release announcing his resignation, Martin said, "I worked with great kids in the program, but I wasn't able to get them to perform at the level I thought they could."

Do you think it was something he said?

2 comments:

  1. well, if nothing else, at least he didn't throw chairs in the direction of officials haha :)

    (and he couldn't get them to "perform at the level he thought they could"? Most of their players didn't look like they'd be able to cut it at Behrend!)

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  2. One more coaching change that just happened at a former Great Lakes Region opponent, who eliminated Gannon from the NCAAs in Jerry Slocum's final game at GU:

    EVANSVILLE, IN -- University of Southern Indiana men's basketball coach Rick Herdes has resigned over what the school's athletic director called "irregularities" within the program.

    Jon Mark Hall told reporters at a Friday morning news conference that the school discovered "information that was concerning" and proceeded to investigate. Hall would not reveal what specific issues led to Herdes' departure but it's clear the reasons had nothing to do with wins and losses. Hall hinted that NCAA violations may have occurred.

    "Once our findings are together, we'll submit them to the NCAA. We are continuing our evaluation and have been in contact with the NCAA and the Great Lakes Valley Conference. Integrity and compliance are the cornerstones of this program," Hall said.

    Hall said he met with USI's returning players. "They were emotional, as you would expect," he said.

    Assistant coaches Tyson Schnitker and Aaron Brothers are currently on leave. Their future status is not known.

    Hall said the school will begin the search for a new coach immediately and said the hiring of a new coach would happen quickly. "We are looking for a dynamic leader," he said.

    Herdes, a former assistant for coach Bruce Pearl who was elevated to the head coaching position when Pearl left for Wisconsin-Milwaukee several years ago, did not attend the news conference. He released a statement saying that while he may not have known about the irregularities Hall described he was "responsible" for the program.

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