E.A. Sports Today

Martin quietly resigns

Ohatchee football coach will remain on paid leave until the end of the school year, when he intends to retire

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

OHATCHEE – Football coach Scott Martin has formally resigned his position at Ohatchee High School apparently bringing to an end the season-long drama that has followed the program and cleared the way for Chris Findley to become the Indians’ permanent head coach.

Tobi Burt, the president of the Calhoun County school board, confirmed the board accepted Martin’s letter of resignation “at our previous board meeting.”

The eighth-year Indians head coach had been on paid administrative leave since Sept. 17 following what has been described as an “internal incident” at the school earlier that week.

His legal team said he will continue on paid leave until the end of the school year, when he intends to retire.

The Indians’ football team was 2-2 at the time and only hours away from playing Saks in an important region game early in the season. Findley was installed as the acting head coach.

The Indians lost that game to Saks and then, after an open date to regroup, won their next six in a row before losing to Winfield in the second round of the Class 3A playoffs.

Behind quarterback Eli Ennis and a hard-nosed defense, they finished in a three-way tie for first place in challenging Class 3A Region 5 and earned the region’s No. 2 seed in the playoffs. One of their victories came over recently crowned state champion Piedmont.

With the help of a forfeit win over Anniston, the Indians finished 9-3, 6-2 under Findley.

Ohatchee administrators will submit a recommendation on the next permanent head coach for board approval. School officials said they were waiting on “the information we need to move forward.”

Burt acknowledged Findley and the Indians’ staff “have done an outstanding job and are very deserving of recognition for that,” but reiterated it was the board’s charge only to accept or deny the school’s recommendation.

Findley has expressed an interest in becoming the permanent coach but did not have any additional information.

“I’m absolutely interested in the permanent job,” he said. “Being a head football coach has been a goal of mine and it would be special to do that at Ohatchee.”

Martin, meanwhile, has kept a low profile during the season and the family has requested a respect for their privacy while they consider the future.

Martin was 60-25 in his seven-plus seasons with the Indians, a team that hadn’t had a winning season since 2003 or a region title since 2002 before his arrival. In his last five full seasons his teams went 52-9 with two region titles, and reaching the third round of the playoffs three times. It’s the program’s best five-year stretch since the late ‘70s when they went 52-8 and won the 1977 Class 1A state title.

They were 32-4 the previous three years with back-to-back undefeated region seasons in Class 2A in 2018 and 2019.

Martin’s career record in nearly 30 years as a head coach in Alabama and Louisiana is 167-139.

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