Columbia Star

1963        Celebrating 60 Years      2023

Martin promoted to head coach at Blythewood

Blythewood promoted defensive coordinator James Martin to be its next head coach Wednesday, April 5.

“It means a continuation of the success from last year,” Martin said. “Being a part of the team last year and seeing the culture at Blythewood made me really want to go after the job when it came open because of the community, fans, kids, parents, and faculty.”

Before coaching on the Blythewood staff in 2022, Martin spent three years at Catawba Ridge, where he coached quarterbacks, including 2024 No. 1 recruit Jadyn Davis during the 2020 season.

Martin also coached at South Mecklenberg High School (N.C) and Northwestern, where he helped the Trojans win two state championships.

Martin replaces Jason Seidel, who was dismissed in March after five seasons. He feels that being a part of last year’s Bengals’ staff will help with the transition.

“The biggest thing is the relationships,” Martin said. “I came down last year during spring practice, and then I was here during the summer. I was able to get acclimated to the school. The kids saw me every day. Relationships are so crucial. Without the relationships, kids don’t want to play. Continuity has been one of the biggest components through this period of not having a coach. The relationships are still there. The kids need someone to talk to. Some need a father figure through this time too. It’s been the best of both worlds.”

While Martin served as the Bengals’ defensive coordinator last year, he has experience coaching both sides of the ball.

On offense, Martin wants Blythewood to play fast. He wants to simplify things while focusing on putting kids in the right spot and taking advantage of what the defense gives them. He says the formations will stay the same, but the terminology will be different.

Defensively, Martin won’t change anything since Blythewood ran his defensive scheme in 2022.

Martin’s plans for the offseason include continuing the Bengals’ weightlifting program, installing and evaluating during spring practice, making changes if needed, and having his team participate in 7-on-7 tournaments.

“The biggest relief is that I’m already here,” Martin said. “They don’t have to learn a new head coach or staff members. A lot of the coaches are already here. That gives the kids some relief. It’s not going to be a pressure cooker during spring ball. We have two weeks following spring practice to install what we want to install. I don’t feel like we are behind, so there is nothing to be stressed about.”

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