High School Football

Northwestern head football coach resigns, Rock Hill school district says

What’s the main thing James Martin wants to instill in his Northwestern Trojans football program?

Northwestern’s James Martin had the interim tag officially removed on Feb. 6, 2018. The Trojans’ head football coach talked Wednesday about the No. 1 thing he wants to imprint on his program.
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Northwestern’s James Martin had the interim tag officially removed on Feb. 6, 2018. The Trojans’ head football coach talked Wednesday about the No. 1 thing he wants to imprint on his program.

Rock Hill Schools sent out a press release Wednesday morning announcing Northwestern head football coach James Martin had resigned.

Martin had recently been under investigation by the district. Parent complaints about practices in the Northwestern football weightlifting class partly prompted the investigation, but a letter from the district responding to the complaints stopped short of accusing Martin of any wrongdoing.

The district’s press release Wednesday morning didn’t mention the investigation. The email with the press release arrived in The Herald’s inbox at 10:10 a.m. Apparently an hour earlier, at 9:08 a.m. the same day, Martin sent an email to Northwestern football parents detailing 2019 spring practice plans, a copy of which was provided to The Herald.

Martin had led the Trojan program since October, 2017 when he was named interim head coach after David Pierce’s firing five games into the 2017 season. Martin was then made the full-time head coach in the spring 2018. He finished his tenure as Northwestern’s head coach with a 9-9 record.

Prior to being named head coach, he served as defensive coordinator and was part of two Trojan state championship teams in 2013 and 2015.

Spring football practice begins May 1 and the release said that Northwestern principal Hezekiah Massey will develop a plan to move the program forward.

Earlier this spring, former West Meck (N.C.) head coach Jarvis Davis left that job to become the defensive coordinator at Northwestern.

The Rock Hill Schools press release said that no timetable had been set for hiring Martin’s replacement.

The press release quoted Martin’s reasons for stepping away from the program. He wanted, and was looking forward, to spending more time with his family, watching his children grow up playing sports, and most importantly, attending their games. He also plans to further his education, and will continue to teach social studies at Northwestern.

“More than coaching X’s and O’s of football,” Martin said in the release, “it was my hope that I could help build the program by mentoring these young boys into men of character. Football should not just be a game where success is only measured in wins and losses, but about how you play the game with good character and learn about life through the wins and losses.”

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