The Transylvania Times -

By Robbie Robertson
Sports Editor 

Longtime Hoops Coach Critical Of Decision – Brevard NC

 

Long-time Brevard College basketball coach Chick Martin beside the court that now bears his name. He has been critical of the college's move to NCAA Division III. (File photo)

When Brevard College made the decision to reclassify to the NCAA Division III level in May, longtime Tornado men's basketball coach Chick Martin saw it as a step in the wrong direction.

The Hall-of-Famer coached nearly 20 years for BC, winning 240 games, four conference titles, and made two national junior college tournaments.

Wins have been hard to come by of late for the college. Their last appearance in the NCAA Division II's "big dance" came in 2010 under the tutelage of former head coach Mike Jones.

Martin believes the Tornados can compete at the level they have played at since the transition to Division II in 2008.

"I disagree with the decision," Martin said. "I disagree with the move to a lower level.

"I told the president, if you want to, schedule Rosman next year - it'll be a good thing."

Martin said he would rather see the college drop sports, rather than drop divisions. He feels the level of play will suffer a corresponding drop in talent.

"I hate to see a coach go into a high school and ask, 'Can I talk to your second and third-string quarterbacks?" Martin said.

Martin blames the Board of Trustees, for allowing past presidents to sell off land, build expensive buildings and spend money on frivolous projects.

Martin criticized the decision to sell land to Ingles and to build the Porter Center for the Performing Arts, a building that costs the college hundreds of thousands of dollars per year to maintain.

"We've had a number of presidents who know how to spend money, but not how to raise money," Martin said.

Martin oversaw his share of construction while at Brevard College. Boshamer Gymnasium was built during his tenure, as the team moved from "the old barn" to the new structure that still serves today.

In 2010 the college dedicated the court to Martin and named it "The Chick Martin Court."

In the past several years that building has undergone dramatic change, as the pool fell into disrepair and was filled in to make way for a weight room for the football team.

A Winning Tradition

Martin is no stranger to the underdog status and is quite used to winning against the odds.

While as head coach at BC, the only team with a winning record against his Tornados was a dominant North Greenville squad. BC's record against archrival Mars Hill was 12-4 under Martin, who was a three-sport athlete for that same Lion team years before.

Martin scored two touchdowns for Mars Hill in the Brevard College game, and rushed for 100 yards in a victory over Western Carolina.

That was 1947, and since he left in 1972, the college has undergone dramatic change - from a two-year junior college to a four-year school affiliated athletically with the NAIA.

They made the switch to NCAA Division II 10 years ago, under the guidance of then-President Drew Van Horn.

Since then, sports have struggled to maintain the winning level they were accustomed to as a junior college and NAIA participant.

Still, Martin sees some improvement in some of the sports.

"I think football is headed in the right direction," Martin said. "I think baseball is headed in the right direction."

All of the Tornado's sports have struggled of late, particularly in light of the disparity in scholarships. Football and the other sports grant about half the number of scholarships allowed by the South Atlantic Conference. That holds true for the remainder of the sports.

So as part of a move to save money and increase the level of competition, the school announced the change May 20, to the chagrin of their beloved coach.

"Brevard College deserves better," Martin said.

 
 

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