Gary Martin leaves Greencastle for 'dream job'
Despite rumors floating around throughout the weekend, Gary Martin woke up Monday morning not knowing where he wanted to coach.
A six-year boys basketball coach at Greencastle-Antrim, Martin has found much success with the Blue Devils, and despite living in an hour drive away in Harrisburg, he frequently calls Greencastle "home."
There's likely only one place Martin would leave G-A for, and it's the one place that came calling.
Upon approval by the school board, Martin has decided to return to his real home to coach boys hoops at Susquehanna Township, where he donned a jersey of his own until graduating in 1981.
"I am so torn that this position opened at the time it did," Martin said. "I love where I'm at, and I wouldn't be leaving for just anything. But this is my dream job. It's where I played; I coached there as an assistant and we made it to the state championship game; and this would be the only job I might return for."
Susquehanna Twp.'s school district had opened up all of the Indians' coaching positions for next year, including that of boys basketball coach Vince Rogers, who had been there for 10 mostly successful years.
After graduating from Susquehanna Twp., Martin played at Lock Haven before taking on a myriad of assistant coaching positions. He then spent two years as the head coach at Cedar Cliff before arriving in Greencastle, where he amassed an 87-54 record in six seasons. In 2012-13, Martin was named the Public Opinion Boys Basketball Coach of the Year.
Along the way, Martin has made countless memories and innumerable friends.
"(The 100th career win) was definitely a good one," Martin said. "I can't believe we won that many that quick. Also, playing in the Mid Penn tournament and beating a Hershey team that had been 20-1 (a 74-71 overtime victory in 2012), that was a big one. Then playing in the Mid Penn final against Central Dauphin with the Wake Forest commit (Devin Thomas), and the backboard was broken in that game. So many memories.
"The players I've coached were fantastic. Denver Cordell, Corey Meyers, so many names ... Sam Sprague, playing on one leg. I just had fantastic kids, and I loved them all."
With the success of Greencastle's team this season (15-8, 10-2 in the Mid Penn Colonial Division, lost in the first round of the District 3-AAAA playoffs to Reading), the loss of Martin comes as a bit of a shock. But he doesn't seem worried for the program's future, as the Blue Devils return seven corps players.
"I think the program is headed in the right direction, and it always has been," Martin said. "Right now, we might be the favorite to win the Colonial Division next year. I anticipate very good things there, and whoever they get in there to replace me, I'm sure they can't wait to get in there and get the job done."