From December 3, 2013
Miami University’s newest head coach is Chuck Martin, a former Notre Dame offensive coordinator who won two national titles as a Division-II head coach.
Athletic Director David Sayler said Martin’s contract is for five years, with a base salary of $450,000. There are also potential academic and athletic performance bonuses.
Martin spent four years at Notre Dame, serving as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for two of them, and as a defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator for the other two.
Before heading to South Bend, Ind., Martin served as the head coach at Grand Valley State University, where he replaced current Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly in 2004.
Grand Valley State was nothing short of spectacular during Martin’s time at the helm. The Lakers went 74-7 under Marin, taking home a pair of Division-II National titles.
Sayler said Martin fit all the criteria Sayler wanted in Miami’s 36th head football coach.
“Everyone heard me say it loud and clear, what the criteria was: Someone that’s been a sitting head coach and someone that’s had experience at the Division-I level,” Sayler said. “Those were the two key factors in this process. I’m happy to report that we found someone that checks all those boxes, and then some, in terms of the belief in the academic mission, the kinds of things they believe in personally, the family situation. It was perfect from the time I met Chuck the first time.”
In addition to his offensive coordinating experience, Martin was the defensive coordinator for a year at Grand Valley State and was a defensive assistant coach there for three years.
Martin called the plays for a spread offense the past two seasons at Notre Dame, and would like to install a similar offense at Miami.
“We’d definitely like to spread the field and make defenses defend the length and width of the field,” Martin said. “We’d like to push the ball downfield vertically and make you defend down field to try to not let everybody be in the box. But we’d also like to stretch the field horizontally and make you defend the length and width of the field and that’s what spread offenses do.”
However, Martin said being able to win the battle in the trenches will be a priority as well, and that Miami won’t always be to air out.
With regards to recruiting, Martin said recruiting the state of Ohio will remain a focal point for Miami, but that getting the right type of players is what is important.
“We want to get a lot of really good players,” Martin said with a smile. “The nice thing when it comes to recruiting, we are in the top state in the Midwest as far as football. And not only football talent, but also passion for the game of football. Those are two things that we’ll be looking at for sure.”
Martin has a notable recruiting pedigree, and was named one of the top-25 recruiters in the nation in 2011 by ESPN.
He’ll need that ability to restore a fallen program that has lost its last 16 games and has had one winning season since 2006. Sayler said the time is now for everyone to support the Miami football program.
“At Miami, we always talk about Love and Honor,” Sayler said. “It’s very important; it’s something that is the core of what we believe in here at this University at this institution. Love is unconditional. Honor stands for high moral standards of behavior. These are things that are a part of our everyday life here. It’s time for all of us involved in this football program, everybody; student-athletes, fans, alums, donors, staff, administration, everybody needs to galvanize around this coach and support this program unconditionally. We need to move forward. Those Tangerine Bowls were a long time ago. We’ve gotta start thinking about bowl games in the future and getting Chuck here and going is the first step for us.”
Martin is just the second FBS head coach hired this season, joining the hiring of Steve Sarkisian at the University of Southern California. Sayler getting the right head coach hired quickly to avoid the impending chaos that is the college football coaching carousel was all part of the plan.
“It’s great when a plan comes together,” Sayler said. “When we made the change mid-year [to fire former head coach Don Treadwell], as difficult of a decision as that was, it was made in such an attempt to get a head start… and close this thing up as quickly as we can after the season is over.”
Martin said he knows many will want a timetable for a turnaround, but that sticking to the process is how to build a program.
“If we stick to the process and we get the right people involved in our football program, from coaches to players, we’ll get to where we want to go,” Martin said. “If that is a year, that’s awesome, if it is two years, three years, four years whatever it takes, we’re gonna keep chipping away and we’re keeping feel good about the process.”
Martin doesn’t have any connections to Miami; he hasn’t coached or played at Miami before, but the aura of The Cradle of Coaches is not lost on him.
“You think of the Cradle of Coaches and the people that have come through here,” Martin said. “I grew up a south side Irish Catholic and one of the biggest Notre Dame fans. I know, in this state, Woody Hayes is the king of the Cradle of Coaches. Up in Michigan, it’s Bo Schembechler. But for us in Notre Dame it was Ara Paresghian. I was getting my hair cut yesterday and (Parseghian) was in the same seat I was the day before talking about how Miami has to get this one right. ‘We’ve got to get it back.’ Just the fact that Ara Parseghian is still talking about the job I was about to take sends chills down my spine.”