Calera hires Spain Park assistant

Spain Park wide receivers coach Scott Martin is the new head football coach at Calera after the Shelby County Board of Education approved his hire Tuesday. He replaces Mac Thompson, who was 28-9 in three seasons as head coach.

Martin, a native of Louisiana, joined head coach David Shores at Spain Park for the 2008 season after coaching 23 years in Louisiana. He came to Spain Park after serving as the special teams coordinator and running backs coach for the 2007 Louisiana Class 5A state champions Destrehan High School.

“I was fortunate to get him. He was a very experienced, proven head coach and was needing a place to land in this area,” Shores said. “He was a guy I relied on week-to-week. If he ever spotted anything that I may need to correct, he would come to me and we’d always bounce ideas off each other.”

Martin’s last head coaching stint was at Ponchatoula High School in Louisiana, going 11-35 in five seasons. He resigned after an 0-10 season in 2006, according to reports from the Hammond Daily Star. He’d previously served at Ponchatoula from 1990-94, posting a 20-32 record and winning the 1993 district championship. Overall, Martin is 81-96 in 17 seasons in Louisiana, including a 50-29 record over seven years at three other schools combined.

Calera Principal Richard Bishop said there were other aspects to the hire more important than Martin’s wins and loses at Ponchatoula.

“He had very successful teams (through his career), and the way Coach Martin described it to me and his predecessors he was a program builder, and as we move from a middle-sized school to a large school, we wanted someone who is very visionary,” Bishop said. “He has a plan for growth. He’s been in programs where he was able to take something that was not successful at all, where he wouldn’t have to do that at Calera. Coach Thompson built a strong foundation for a winning program here.”

Bishop also said he and athletic director Robert Burdette were looking for someone who could develop a strength and conditioning program for all of Calera’s athletic teams and help build the new sports complex planned for the school.

“We were looking for someone who had the combination of football knowledge and the ability to plan and develop as we build an athletic facility, and he has that,” Bishop said.

Shores said he thinks Martin will have a good chance to reverse the direction of his win-loss record with the athletes that Calera has on its team.

“Getting a fresh start will help him,” Shores said. “A lot of times, with a head coach and a guy that has been at a few different spots, you get content in a place. A new place and starting over as head coach will provide a good opportunity for him to get back in the seat. He’s a very wise guy and a good person.”

Martin is scheduled to meet with the football team and coaches Wednesday afternoon and then with Burdette to discuss a spring practice schedule and spring football game arrangements. He will work with the team during practice and afternoon workouts in the spring and summer. He will join Calera’s faculty as a physical education coach full-time in August.

Martin and his wife Tammy settled in Calera when they moved to Alabama last year. They have two sons, Matthew, 20, and Christopher, 15.