HIALEAH, FL – ASA College Miami has promoted Robert Martin to head baseball coach, Athletic Director Ken Wilcox announced Monday.
Martin, 25, served as an assistant under former head coach Jonathan Hernandez – who moved on to Bethune-Cookman University – this past season and has been working as the interim head coach since Hernandez’s departure.
Wilcox said that promoting Martin felt like the best thing to do for the program.
“Robert is a young and energetic coach that really relates to the players,” Wilcox said Monday.
“As a recruiter, Robert’s impact was quite tangible. We know he’ll continue to use his talents in that area, but we’re really excited to see him grow as a head coach, running the program. We’re excited about him and excited for him.”
While it is the first time in Martin’s career that he’ll hold the post of head coach – his mixture of coaching experience, playing experience, and ability to effectively relate and communicate with his players makes him a commodity in the dugout and clubhouse.
During the 2017-18 season with ASA, the Silver Storm baseball team set a program record for wins in a season, had its first player to be selected in the MLB Draft, and had eight student-athletes sign with four-year schools – all feats Martin played a role in and hopes to build on now as the head coach.
“It feels great to be in the position,” Martin said about taking over as the Silver Storm’s manager.
“After having the opportunity to come here last year and be under the direction of Jonathan Hernandez – who coached me in high school at Coral Gables – and see what he was able to do here in a 3-to-4-year span and be able to get the talent that he got here…it speaks volumes about what this program is capable of under the right direction.”
“Obviously, I plan on using a lot of the things I learned under Coach Hernandez and Coach Phil Wisser at Coral Gables to continue building up ASA’s baseball program and eventually bring the Silver Storm a super-regional title and then get to Oklahoma for the [College] World Series,” Martin added.
Prior to joining ASA Miami's staff, Martin served as an assistant baseball coach at Coral Gables High School under Wisser from 2013 to 2017. During that time, Martin coached more than a dozen players that received college scholarships – a handful of which have also been selected in by teams in the MLB Draft.
Martin's coaching career began earlier than he expected, however. A successful player in his own right, Martin's career was derailed by multiple shoulder injuries resulting in surgeries. After officially retiring as a player after completing his second year of college at John Wood Community College (Quincy, Illinois), Martin returned to South Florida where he attended Florida International University and graduated in 2018 with a Bachelor's degree in Recreation and Sports Management.
While Martin will definitely be among the youngest head coaches in the NJCAA, he’s not going to let his age dictate or limit the expectations for him or his team.
“A lot of people want to bring up the fact that I’m only 25 years old,” Martin said. “When I was young I was never the type of ballplayer that would ignore coaching and advice. I took all the information in and applied it where I needed it. That’s benefitting me now as a coach because I can interact with the guys and give them different ideas from a perspective that is much closer to theirs.
“Being a 25-year-old head coach is going to be a challenge. But I want to show everyone that even though I am young if you really put your mind to it and you really have yourself organized and you strive to be successful in this career field – it doesn’t matter how old you are,” Martin said.