Marist announced that it has relieved Chuck Martin of his duties as head coach on the men’s basketball team on Thursday afternoon.
“Based on my evaluation of currently where we were, and the success we have had in the past, I felt that this was the most opportune time to make a change,” Tim Murray, Marist’s athletics director, said.
Through five years, Martin had accumulated a career record of 41-118 (.258), including a 1-29 season in 2009-10. The Red Foxes’ highest win total under Martin was 14 in 2011-12 and they never went further than the quarterfinals in the MAAC Tournament.
The Marist job was Martin’s first as a head coach. Marist hired him in 2008 after he was an assistant at Memphis, St. John’s Massachusetts and Manhattan.
Martin inherited a depleted team, after several players transferred out when Matt Brady left the job for James Madison Unisveristy. The Red Foxes went 10-23 in Martin’s first year, 2008-09, but won a total of seven games over the next two years, seasons that were filled with academic eligibility problems and transfers. Things seemed to turn around in 2011-12, when Marist went 14-18 overall and 7-11 in the MAAC. All players on the team at this point were recruited by Martin, and junior guard Devin Price was named to the All-MAAC third team.
Marist then suffered a bit of a setback this season with a 1-12 stretch between Dec. 19 and Feb. 3. While Price and forward Jay Bowie each missed some for injury, Martin said after a loss to Siena that there seemed to be a disconnect between his version of intensity and what the players were showing. The Red Foxes saw more success at the end of the season, winning five of seven going into the MAAC Tournament, but Murray said, “you look at it as a one year evaluation, and as a five year evaluation as well.”
Murray praised Martin’s dedication to the program and his ability to recruit players that fit the school’s philosophy.
“The three most recent recruiting classes, I think he did a nice job of bringing in young men who appreciated Marist, were committed to academics and understood our importance of academics, and at the same time had a very strong passion for basketball,” Murray said. “I thought he did a wonderful job in the community, in terms of the way he carried himself with great class and dignity. He represented us, and the college, always very well.”
Assistant coach Paul Lee will serve as a transition coach while a search for a new head coach moves forward. Murray said that he has compiled a “long” list, and will begin making phone calls immediately.
“I’m encouraged that the pool will be a large pool,” Murray said. “I think that the college has invested a tremendous amount of resources over the last five years in its basketball infrastructure, between the building, renovation of the arena, practice facilities. I expect a good pool of candidates because I believe it is an excellent job and an excellent college.”
Murray did not reveal any names that are part of the list.