Former DKS sports reporters discuss Coach Martin’s career

Sports Staff

To get a better perspective on Doug Martin’s career at Kent State, we asked some former DKS sports reporters and editors to weigh in.

While the “Burn the NCAA” rant will forever be burned into my memory, the Doug Martin era at Kent State seemed typical of any other coaching era in the program’s history. Often the Flashes showed potential, but too often the team was unable to meet expectations.

But that doesn’t mean Martin’s tenure as head coach was a failure. The Flashes continued to compete despite whatever bad luck the proverbial football gods handed them each season. Turning around a program with a culture of losing is a tough challenge, but Kent State’s next head coach will have quality players left over from Martin’s tenure that are hopefully eager to continue turning this program around.

— Nicholas A. Walton

DKS football reporter, Fall 2009

When I wrote a weekly column about the Kent State football team in 2009, I knew I would have to write a column advocating for a new head football coach if the Flashes had another losing season. In fact, Doug Martin seemed resigned to the fact that it was his last shot when he guaranteed a bowl appearance after Eugene Jarvis’ season-ending injury.

The Flashes finished the season in typical Flash fashion, including a mystifying loss to a terrible Akron team, but I couldn’t throw Martin under the bus. As always, the future seemed so bright. They had good young players at the skill positions, and the defense was getting better. They were building a winner.

They came back this year with a serious shot at the MAC title and came up short again. Doug Martin was a nice guy and a great recruiter. He just couldn’t right the ship even though he was the longest tenured coach in the conference. I couldn’t say it then, but I can say it now. Martin got a fair shake. Kent State needed a change.

— Tom Gallick

DKS sports editor, Fall 2009

Football reporter, Fall 2008

Other than his awesome first name, there’s one thing I’ll remember about Doug Martin: The man stood up for his players.

For example, after Eugene Jarvis suffered a kidney injury that ended his 2009 season, Martin campaigned so vigorously for Jarvis to get a sixth year of eligibility that he suggested Kent State fans burn down the NCAA if it didn’t award him one.

In 2008, Martin proclaimed far and wide that Julian Edelman was the best football player in the Mid-American Conference. At the time, it seemed preposterous. That’s no longer the case now that Edelman’s a key contributor to the New England Patriots.

Martin was the subject of a lot of criticism — some merited, some not — in his time at KSU, but he was beloved in the locker room.

That’s why it was so nice to see Martin’s players take a stand for him by beating Ohio. The players did for Martin what he had always done for them.

— Doug Gulasy

DKS sports editor, Fall 2008-Spring 2009