Former Blue Hens Head Coach Tina Martin Joins UNCW As An Assistant Coach

University of North Carolina at Wilmington announced Tuesday that Karen Barefoot who is the new women’s basketball head coach for UNCW has hired former University of Delaware women’s basketball head coach Tina Martin as an assistant coach.

Martin announced she was “retiring” from coaching a couple weeks ago but there been several reports she was more likely forced out from University of Delaware then actually wanting to retire.

As it is reported by Delawareonline’s Kevin Tresolini that many players had starting going to Athletic director Chrissi Rawak to complain about Martin’s coaching style.

Tresolini writes “That was actually the conclusion of several months of dialogue, beginning when players went to Rawak during the season to complain Martin’s coaching style was too harsh, could be overly critical and frequently punitive. Thick skins and an unwavering confidence were a necessity.”

As he later notes in the article this is not the first time as a coach, players complained about her “competitive, harsh” coaching style but how can you sack a coach who built a winning tradition in the program. While some may say she was too hard or negative I bet you can find many players that played for coach Martin that would disagree how she was portrayed.

Martin’s replacement at Delaware is former Georgetown head Coach Natasha Adair who was formally introduced Monday at the Bob Carpenter Center.

Martin is the first hire of assistant coaches for Barefoot who was announced as UNCW’s new head coach on May 3rd.

The former Blue Hen head coach left Delaware with 408 wins which is most in school history (men’s and Women’s). Martin left UD with a 408-238 record and ranks third in CAA history with 210 wins in conference regular season and tournament games.

Martin led Delaware to 12 seasons of 20 or more wins, including a Blue Hen record 32 win season in 2012-2013 season when the Blue Hens made to the NCAA Sweet 16 tournament. The Willamsport, PA native took the Hens to 11 postseason appearances in her career ( 4 NCAA Tourament trips and 7 WNIT berths).

The former Blue Hen head coach is a 3-time coach of the year selection and earned a pair of CAA Coach of the Year nods. Martin’s 2013 team with the Hens was one of her best with many formidable players including Elena Delle Donne who was the number two pick in the 2013 WNBA draft and WNBA MVP.

Martin started her coaching career in 1986 at alma mater Lock Haven and served as a graduate assistant then she moved on to Seton Hall in the same position.

Before she was a coach, Martin played the game of basketball at Lock Haven where she earned All-America selection twice in her playing career. The Lock Haven alum earned  All-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference nods four times and was twice named the league’s Player of the Year. She holds the all time conference record in scoring points with 2,157 points and Martin was inducted into the Lock Haven Athletics Hall of Fame in June 2016.

UNCW head coach Karen Barefoot said this about hiring Tina Martin:

“I am very excited to add Tina to our staff,” said Barefoot. “She is a longtime friend of mine and a true professional. Tina’s wealth of knowledge and experience in coaching, especially with her experience in the Colonial Athletic Association, makes her a welcome addition to our program.”

Here is what Tina Martin said about joining UNCW staff:

“I am very excited to be working with Coach Barefoot at UNCW,” Martin said. “I have known her for a long time and have tremendous respect for her. She is a dynamic coach with a winning tradition and I look forward to assisting her in climbing the CAA ladder.”

For this upcoming season it will be new territory for Coach Martin who now will be coaching against the Blue Hens multiple times next year because both play in the CAA.

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