New Ridgefield coach ready for season
Through 18 seasons as an assistant football coach at various schools under various head coaches, Matt Martin has seen a lot.
Tonight, he will be on the sideline as a head coach in a game for the first time when his Ridgefield Spudders travel to Kiggins Bowl to face Fort Vancouver.
Ideally, Martin wants to take all the positive things he has seen through the years and bring them to Ridgefield. He also wants to remember the negative things he has seen, and make sure those stay away from his program.
“One thing you get to do as a head coach is you put in your own philosophy,” Martin said. “Sometimes (as an assistant), you’re under a different philosophy than your own.”
For one, there will be no favorites. Players who do not practice do not play.
“I’m going to enforce my philosophy. If you can’t enforce discipline in your program, you’re not going to win football games. I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t work. Guys who skip practice and play Friday nights, that doesn’t work.”
He also is into accountability.
A defensive coach for much of his career, he is calling the offense for the Spudders this season. This way, if a play does not work in a crucial situation, the fans will know who made the decision.
“I didn’t want to put any blame on an assistant,” Martin said. “I take full responsibility.”
This is Martin’s second stint at Ridgefield. He was an assistant for the Spudders from 2002-05. He is impressed by the depth today compared to years ago.
“When I was here before, we might have been playing 13 guys. Now, we could play 25 to 30 kids,” he said.
As a new coach, Martin said he does not want to get into specifics as far as strategies and the type of offense he will run. He just wants Ridgefield fans to know that he is thrilled with the talent he has and he is the right man for the job.
“The kids are working hard. They’re physical. They want to learn football. They’re persistent about it,” Martin said.
He is looking forward to a great working relationship with everyone associated with the program.
“If I didn’t care about coaching high school football the right way, I’d have been gone a long time ago.”