How broad is Ohio Wesleyan head coach Jay Martin’s record of service to soccer? Come up with any combination of level (high school, college, professional) and function (player, coach, administrator), and he’s probably done it.
Martin is the winningest coach in college men’s soccer history with a total of 621 wins. He has guided his 36 Battling Bishop soccer teams to a 621-118-54 record. His career winning percentage of .819 entering the 2012 season ranks ninth all-time.
The 2012 Bishops won the North Coast Athletic Conference championship with a 7-1-1 record, taking the NCAC title for the fifth straight season, the 12th time in the last 14 seasons, and the 21th time in the 29 seasons of NCAC competition. In 36 seasons, Martin’s teams have compiled a 227-23-12 record in conference play, a winning percentage of .889, and have won 24 conference crowns.
One of the peaks in Martin’s already-illustrious coaching career came when he guided the Battling Bishops to the 1998 NCAA Division III championship. His teams have reached the NCAA Division III semifinals 8 times, finishing as national runner-up twice in addition to the 1998 and 2011 titles. They have brought home 12 regional titles, including 9 in the last 15 seasons that the NCAA tournament included a regional format. Ohio Wesleyan holds the NCAA Division III record with 35 playoff appearances and has recorded 59 playoff victories.
Martin’s teams set another NCAA record with 18 consecutive Division III tournament berths from 1978-95 and have won an unprecedented 21 Stu Parry Awards, the latter recognizing Ohio’s top Division III team each year.
He has been the NCAA Regional Coach of the Year 15 times in his 35 years at Ohio Wesleyan and was named NSCAA national Coach of the Year in 1991, 1998, and 2011. In 2000, Martin received the Ohio Collegiate Soccer Association’s Honor Award, only the fourth time that award was bestowed since the association’s founding in 1949. He received the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s Honor Award in 2007.
Under Martin’s guidance, Ohio Wesleyan was the winningest men’s soccer team in the NCAA — regardless of division — during the 1980s, compiling a winning percentage of .815 to top such programs as Indiana, UNC-Greensboro and UCLA. The Battling Bishops bettered that during the 1990s, compiling a winning percentage of .825, and improved upon that during the 2000s, with a winning percentage of .827.
His lacrosse teams posted an 8-year record of 104-34, winning 4 Midwest Lacrosse Association titles, earning 6 NCAA playoff bids and twice making Martin the MLA Coach of the Year. And talk about developing individual talent — in both sports, in 41 seasons, Martin has turned out 52 All-America and 181 All-Mideast or All-Midwest players.
Martin calls having fun the key. “Of course, to have fun you have to do your best,” he adds, “and it helps to do so against the best competition.” Hence, the Bishops’ perennially ambitious schedules, liberally sprinkled with nationally-ranked opponents. He favors a skillful, ball-control game and rates his players as “first-class athletes and men.”
Beyond coaching, Martin also has served soccer with a term as president of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America as well as a 6-year stint on the NCAA Division III selection committee, including 4 years as committee chair. He has been a color analyst of the Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew for 9 seasons. In addition, he took over as editor of the NSCAA’s The Soccer Journal in January, 2003, becoming the publication’s third editor since its establishment in 1950.
Martin is a professor in Ohio Wesleyan’s physical education department and served as the Battling Bishops’ athletics director from 1985-2004. During his 19 years as athletics director, Ohio Wesleyan intercollegiate athletics enjoyed unprecedented success. Ohio Wesleyan won a conference-record 6 consecutive NCAC all-sports championships from 1988-94. More recently, the Battling Bishops finished in the top 25 of the NACDA Directors Cup NCAA Division III standings in 6 of the last 8 academic years under Martin’s leadership.
Prior to joining the Ohio Wesleyan faculty, Martin served as a 2-sport assistant at The Ohio State University, from which he received both M.A. and Ph.D. degrees. Earlier, he was director of sport at the Munich, Germany, YMCA, coaching soccer, volleyball, basketball and lacrosse; and athletics director at the American International School at Dusseldorf.
A native of Hingham, Mass., Martin received his B.A. degree from Springfield College in 1971. He lettered in soccer and lacrosse, earning All-America laurels in the latter. In Germany, he also played soccer for the Kaiserwerth Club, played professional basketball and served on the staff of the Volleyball Pavilion at the 1972 Olympics.