Calera hire goes beyond numbers

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Blue Kool-Aid must be my new drink of choice. Either I’m drinking what new Calera head football coach Scott Martin is pouring, or Calera may have found the right man for the job.

Since Martin was hired March 31, I’ve heard a lot of comments that this was not a good move on Calera’s part. However, most of those comments are based of the knowledge of an 0-10 season in 2006 and 2-17 in his last two years at Ponchatoula High School in Louisiana. However, take a moment to dissect his 81-96 career record.

First and foremost, a return to Ponchatoula, where he had a previous five-year record of 20-32, was a mistake. Martin’s heart for the program was clearly bigger than the Green Wave’s athletes. When he left, Ponchatoula was on the rise.

Martin had turned the Green Wave from nothing into district champions in four years. He’d hoped he could build on that when he returned in 2002. However, the only building he did was new facilities.

Ponchatoula, just like most every school in Louisiana was affected by hurricanes in 2005. When Katrina hit, one of the team’s cupcake games was canceled. Two other games that Martin said he put on his schedule as easier games were also canceled when Rita hit weeks later.

Martin will not make excuses, but there were shortcomings that year.

Facing a down football year and a few tough personal items off the field, Martin hoped to rejuvenate things in 2006 by changing offenses.

Another big mistake. Martin says he’s a spread guy through-and-through. No wonder that 2006 double-wing led to an 0-10 year.

Eagle fans, while things may not look best on paper, outside of Ponchatoula, Martin was 50-29 and built programs.

A Calera resident since last summer, this is Martin’s dream job. This is his fresh start. He’s never inherited a winning program and athletes — two things he looks forward to this fall.

Outside the Lines is a weekly opinion column.