LOVINGSTON — For nearly 30 years, Marvin Martin has helped grow the game of basketball in Nelson County as a coach, player and volunteer official.
Martin’s vast hoops knowledge will be used in a new capacity after he was named the head coach of the Nelson County High School boys basketball program.
“Nelson County is my alma mater and where I have always wanted to coach,” Martin said. “I have worked hard over many years and I looked forward to this coaching title. I feel that whatever comes at us, with the help of the administration, staff and parents, me and my team will be all right.”
Martin was an all-district and all-region performer during his playing career at Nelson County before going into coaching.
His coaching career began in the middle school ranks, where he spent six years before making the jump to the high school level as junior varsity coach and varsity assistant.
“I wanted to prepare the players for the next level by teaching the basic fundamentals of basketball,” Martin said. “There was no rec program for kids in the county at the time and tons of boys came out for the team, and for many of them, it was their first exposure to the game.”
Martin continued to grow as a coach at the high school level.
He was a varsity assistant under Brandon Garrett during Nelson County’s run to a VHSL Class A Division I state title in 2008.
“Each coach that I have worked with has taught me a new lessons,” Martin said. “Situations, strategies and ideas to teach boys to grow into young men. What I learned from each coach gave me more knowledge of the game and confidence in my ability to be a good coach and be successful, on and off the court. As the new head coach, I have no doubt that I am capable of leading the Nelson County Governors to a great season.”
Martin said his coaching style is pretty simple.
“I am an ‘old school’ coach that believes in fundamentals, conditioning, hard work and smart players, on and off the court,” he said. “We will play an up-tempo game with defense all over the court. Smart aggressive defense turns into easy buckets. Fans can expect exciting, emotional and aggressive basketball games.”
Nelson County athletic director Greg Mullins believes Martin is a perfect fit for the program.
“We are excited to have Coach Martin as the leader of our boys basketball program,” Mullins said. “As an alumni of Nelson County and an assistant coach within the basketball program for the last 28 years, you would be hard pressed to find someone with more knowledge of the basketball program at Nelson County.”
Mullins said Martin’s coaching acumen is just one of the qualities that he possesses.
“Coach Martin brings enthusiasm and passion to the program,” Mullins said. “[He] knows the student-athletes, parents and community of Nelson County as well as anyone and that gives him a solid foundation to build a successful program, on and off the court. We are excited for the student-athletes, the school and the community and can’t wait to see our boys on the court again.”
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Martin said he has yet to meet with his team. He expects to see several returning players from last year’s varsity team, along with some junior varsity players moving up and the potential for some new faces as well.
The plan is to get players in the gym and start conditioning as soon as its safe to do so.
“I feel that I know the kids and the community of Nelson County,” Martin said. But mostly, I believe in myself enough to know what it takes to motivate and teach athletes at Nelson County High School to have success on the court and to grow and mature into respectful young men.”