Martin named CC coach at ’Berg

You can take the “interim” out of Ron Martin’s title.

Heidelberg named him its men’s and women’s cross country coach less than one school year after being named the interim coach for both that sport and track.

Martin, a Columbian High product who graduated from Heidelberg in 1975, said he is excited to officially take over the top spot at his alma mater.

“It’s nice to be able to come back and try to get this program to the next level. This is my 38th year of coaching distance runners; the first 30 were in high school and the last eight have been at the collegiate level,” said Martin who headed high school programs at Caldwell, Columbian and Seneca East before joining the college ranks at Tiffin University and Heidelberg. “I’m always up for a challenge, which is one of the reasons I’ve taken this position.

“I’m just excited to get started and it’s good to know that the kids that I’ve recruited know I’ll be there,” he said. “Recruits have a bond with their coach, and now that it’s official, everyone’s gong to be excited to get the ball rolling here.”

The hire makes Martin the first cross country-specific coach for Heidelberg in more than a decade.

He moved up from the assistant ranks to become the interim coach in both track and cross country when Brianna Hess, who coached both track and cross country, resigned earlier this year.

Heidelberg is in the process of seeking an official replacement for indoor and outdoor track.

“The program has been split in the past,” said Martin, who added he had no interest to take over track full time along with cross country. “Now it’s going to be split into the head cross country job, which will be my job, and the indoor and outdoor portion.

“If I have an area of expertise, it’s with distance running,” he said.

At the high school level, Martin coached 28 All-Ohio cross country runners and 39 All-Ohioans in track. He also coached eight cross country state champions, five track state champions, 39 All-Americans and one national champion.

This past fall, he helped senior Sophie Goobic become Heidelberg’s first female cross country All-American in school history, and she also earned All-American indoor track honors.

“I don’t feel any pressure, I just do the job the best I can,” Martin said. “We do follow a sound training program and the ones who do buy in have great success.”