Martin continues family coaching legacy at his alma mater


ABILENE, Texas - As high school football and college football begin, the Hardin-Simmons Cowboys have to wait another week - but that's ok for one who has a new role this year.

Former Wylie Bulldog and HSU receiver Garrett Martin is back with the Cowboys in 2017, but has traded his pads - for a whistle.

"I've always grown up wanting to be a coach," Martin said prior to Thursday's practice. "A lot of my relatives have gone through this transition, and just to see these young guys step up and get the leadership role that we had last year, it's just a lot of fun."

Martin, after graduating this past spring, was brought on as an assistant receivers coach this season and will help in other areas as well while getting his coaching feet wet.

Martin was a captain last year for a 9-2 Cowboys team, and in his 4 year career, Martin racked up over 1,100 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns.

While his football playing days are over, a new era has begun for this talented young man.

"Right now, I'm taking it day-by-day just giving it my all because I know the players will give that to me, so I need to bring it every day," said Martin. "This program has done so much for me -- turned me into a man honestly. So whatever I can do, I will to give back to this program."

Even head coach Jesse Burleson is taking note.

"If you don't have the passion to do it and the work ethic and putting in the long hours and extra work and all those things, you're not going to be as good as you can possibly be," he said. "But he's done all those things and it's only going to get better moving forward.

Son of Wylie baseball coach and assistant football coach Clay Martin, Garrett's interest in coaching continues the family legacy. His grandfather coached as well, as Garrett now carries the torch for a new generation.

"It's a Players-first program," Martin said about what he's learned from his father. "I've seen him do that at Wylie -- seeing him love what he does and love the kids and really care about them and putting them first before the game. They're not just 'x's and o's."

And the lessons learned are now being put to use in the program.

"I just want to use my new role and make an impact," he said. "I just want to love the kids and really make it fun for them because this is game and just caring for them and putting them first is key."

Cowboys open the season next Saturday at home against Texas College.