Dr. Jay Martin
Editor for Soccer Journal
How broad is Ohio Wesleyan head coach Jay Martin’s record of service to soccer?
Come up with any combination of level (high school, college, professional) and function (player, coach, administrator), and he’s probably done it.
Martin hit a new peak in an already-illustrious coaching career when he guided the Battling Bishops to the 1998 NCAA Division III championship.
Martin has guided his 31 soccer teams to a 530-104-44 record. Last year, the Battling Bishops won the North Coast Athletic Conference tournament, advanced to the NCAA Division III playoffs, and finished with a record of 15-5-2.
His teams have reached the NCAA Division III semifinals 7 times, finishing as national runner-up twice in addition to the 1998 title. They have brought home 12 regional titles, including 9 in the last 15 seasons that the NCAA tournament included a regional format. Ohio Wesleyan holds NCAA Division III records with 30 playoff appearances and 49 playoff victories.
Martin’s teams set another NCAA record with 18 consecutive Division III tournament berths from 1978-95 and have won 19 conference crowns and an unprecedented 17 Stu Parry Awards, the latter recognizing Ohio’s top Division III team each year.
He has been the NCAA Mideast Region Coach of the Year 13 times in his 31 years at Ohio Wesleyan and was named NSCAA national coach of the year in 1991 and 1998.
Under Martin’s guidance, Ohio Wesleyan was the winningest men’s soccer team in the NCAA — regardless of division — during the 1980s, compiling a winning percentage of .815 to top such programs as Indiana, UNC-Greensboro and UCLA. The Battling Bishops bettered that during the 1990s, compiling a winning percentage of .825.
Martin was the seventh college coach to reach the 500-win mark, according to records of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and the National Collegiate Athletics Association. Of the 6 coaches who preceded Martin to 500 wins, none did so faster than Martin, who reached that milestone in his 29th season at Ohio Wesleyan.
His lacrosse teams posted an 8-year record of 104-34, winning 4 Midwest Lacrosse Association titles, earning 6 NCAA playoff bids and twice making Martin the MLA Coach of the Year. And talk about developing individual talent — in both sports, in 39 seasons, Martin has turned out 49 All-America and 174 All-Mideast or All-Midwest players.
Martin calls having fun the key. “Of course, to have fun you have to do your best,” he adds, “and it helps to do so against the best competition.” Hence, the Bishops’ perennially ambitious schedules, liberally sprinkled with nationally-ranked opponents. He favors a skillful, ball-control game and rates his players as “first-class athletes and men.”
Beyond coaching, Martin also has served soccer with a term as president of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America as well as a 6-year stint on the NCAA Division III selection committee, including 4 years as committee chair. He has been a color analyst of the Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew for 9 seasons. In addition, he took over as editor of the NSCAA’s The Soccer Journal in January, 2003, becoming the publication’s third editor since its establishment in 1950.
Martin is a professor in Ohio Wesleyan’s physical education department and served as the Battling Bishops’ athletics director from 1985-2004. During his 19 years as athletics director, Ohio Wesleyan intercollegiate athletics enjoyed unprecedented success. Ohio Wesleyan won a conference-record 6 consecutive NCAC all-sports championships from 1988-94. More recently, the Battling Bishops finished in the top 25 of the NACDA Directors Cup NCAA Division III standings in 6 of the last 8 academic years under Martin’s leadership.
Prior to joining the Ohio Wesleyan faculty, Martin served as a 2-sport assistant at The Ohio State University, from which he received both M.A. and Ph.D. degrees. Earlier, he was director of sport at the Munich, Germany, YMCA, coaching soccer, volleyball, basketball and lacrosse; and athletics director at the American International School at Dusseldorf.
A native of Hingham, Mass., Martin received his B.A. degree from Springfield College in 1971. He lettered in soccer and lacrosse, earning All-America laurels in the latter. In Germany, he also played soccer for the Kaiserwerth Club, played professional basketball and served on the staff of the Volleyball Pavilion at the 1972 Olympics.
The headline in the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch read, “Top soccer players don’t have time to kick back.” The story documented the summer of a number of Central Ohio soccer players, both boys and girls. All told of the time commitment youth soccer requires.
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