Pine River appoints Terry Martin as new head varsity football coach

Terry Martin
Terry Martin

LEROY -- The Pine River football season ended about a month ago and a new face has emerged as the leader of the program starting with the 2013 campaign.

Actually, it’s a new, but “old” face.

Former Pine River player Terry Martin has been named by Pine River as its new varsity football coach. He replaces Chad Phillips who resigned shortly after the season ended.

Martin, who has also been involved in the Bucks’ wrestling program, teaches middle school science and high school physics at Pine River.

Martin played on the 1999 Pine River team that was undefeated during the regular season and made the playoffs. That was his junior season. He also played varsity football as a sophomore and senior.

Martin was a center and linebacker during his playing days. He was a three-time all-conference player and was a team MVP as a senior.

He said coaching at the school is a way of paying back those who worked with him during his playing days.

“I didn’t know my paths would take me that way,” Martin said. “I had a passion for athletics and competition all-around. I had a couple of coaches who were impacts in my life and led me in that direction.”

He was referring to Tim Jones, the Bucks’ wrestling coach, plus Todd Baker and Mark Kasuba in football. Martin has been a former assistant football coach at Pine River.

Phillips’ Bucks were 2-7 the past season. They were 1-5 this past fall. They struggled with numbers, sometimes having from 15 to 17 on the varsity. The JV team merged with the varsity late in the season.

Phillips was head coach for six years at Pine River. His first season was his best record at 5-4.

“We were winning two or three games a year on the average,” Phillips said.

He served as defensive coordinator for six years and was with the program 11 total years.

“It’s something I’ve been struggling with the last few years in terms of what’s best for the program, my family and for me,” Phillips said. “We just had a third kid and have three kids five and under. Midway through the season, I figured this was maybe going to be my last year. I was missing a lot at home. The daily battles of coaching Pine River football were taking a toll. I thought this would be a good time for the program to reboot under somebody with a different philosophy or someone who wants to try something different.

“It just seemed like the time was right. I loved Pine River football. I care abut the kids I have coached. Sometimes you have to make that decision in the interest of all parties involved.”

Phillips will continue to teach strength and conditioning and health classes at Pine River.

“I’ll do whatever I can to support Terry Martin and the team,” Phillips said. “I’m 100 percent behind him. He’s going to bring some different experiences and maybe will have more success. We have to remember it’s not just wins and losses. We had success in areas that don’t show in wins and losses.”

Martin said he’ll work at trying to see the numbers improve for Pine River football.

“My first goal is generate overall excitement in the program and draw more participation,” Martin said. “Football is one of those experiences that had a big impact in my life. I want to expose that to as many kids as I can.”

Pine River athletic director Aaron Schab said the job was posted after Phillips resigned.

“Terry felt it was something he needed to do. He had been an assistant with the team on and off at various levels and has been assistant coach of the year for wrestling a couple of times with Tim Jones,” Schab said. “We have a successful wrestling program and he’s been a big part at building that.

“I was hoping he’d be interested in it. Obviously, he was very interested. He teaches both in the high school and middle school. It’s a good situation in terms of monitoring players and recruiting. I wanted an in-house person, if I could.”

Schab said getting a new coach right away will help with the transition process.