Jared Lankford: Martin making his mark on Cassville

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

No one has had a busier summer than Cassville Athletic Director Doug Martin.

Although not from Cassville originally, it is easy to see why the district plucked him away from Ash Grove -- he just fits in.

His character, charm and confidence are qualifications I believe a good athletic director must possess.

Martin has already been tested by fire at the district. Before he even had time to move his family into their new home in Cassville, he has had to make four coaching hires, one each in baseball, basketball, volleyball and softball.

Turnover at school districts is a normal occurrence. It just happens that this year, Wildcat athletics was hit hard.

However, when you look at

the program as a whole, you see a relatively young coaching staff.

Girls basketball and cross-country leader Chris Shore is the longest-tenured head coach, followed by Andrew Hoskins who has led the soccer program for five season. With those two exceptions, every other varsity head coach has less than four years at the helm of their respective programs.

Martin has had to rely on several tricks of the trade to fill the recent openings. Two of the four happened very late in the hiring process, yet Martin maintains the district has been fortunate in finding quality replacements.

I for one, am willing to take him at his word.

In interviewing Martin for stories, he has been open and honest. He took time out of his vacation to call me when the district selected its baseball coach.

Martin seems to be the steal out of this season's district hiring process.

Rarely does a first-year athletic director have this much say in his coaching staff.

My hope is that Martin has chosen coaches willing to stay and build programs at Cassville. He believes he has, and that is good enough for me.

Jared Lankford is the sports editor of the Cassville Democrat. He can be reached at sports@cassville-democrat.com, or 417-235-3135.

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