Phil Martelli

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Phil Martelli
Sport(s) Basketball
Current position
Title Head coach
Team Saint Joseph's
Biographical details
Born (1954-08-31) August 31, 1954 (age 60)
Playing career
1972–1976 Widener
Position(s) Point guard
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1977–1978
1978–1985
1985–1995
1995–present
Widener (asst.)
Bishop Kenrick HS
Saint Joseph's (asst.)
Saint Joseph's
Head coaching record
Overall 362-248 (.593)
Accomplishments and honors
Championships
A-10 Tournament Championship (1997, 2014)
A-10 Regular Season Championship (1997, 2001, 2004, 2005)
Awards
AP National Coach of the Year (2004)
Naismith College Coach of the Year (2004)
Henry Iba Award (2004)
A-10 Coach of the Year (1997, 2001, 2004, 2005)

Phil Martelli (born August 31, 1954) is an American college basketball coach and current coach of the Saint Joseph's Hawks men's basketball team. He has led Saint Joseph's to six NCAA Tournaments and five NITs in 16 seasons.

Playing career[edit]

Martelli was a point guard for Widener University. As point guard, he was part of the NCAA Division III Tournament teams in 1974-75 and 1975–76, and set the school's single season and career assist marks.

Career at Saint Joseph's[edit]

Martelli began his career on Hawk Hill with SJU's 1985-86 NCAA Tournament team. In his decade as an assistant, he was part of the Hawks' NIT teams in 1992-93 and 1994-95. After 10 years as an assistant under Jim Boyle and John Griffin, Martelli was named the 14th coach in school history on July 20, 1995, and just the third non-alumnus to coach the school.

In his first season as head coach (1995–96) his team reached the final game of the NIT Tournament. In his second year, under the floor generalship of Junior point guard Rashid Bey, and help from Arthur "Yah" Davis and Dmitri Domani, Martelli's Hawks captured the Atlantic 10 crown and made it into the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA tournament. They would not duplicate that success until landing future Naismith College Player of the Year Jameer Nelson and current NBA players Delonte West and Dwayne Jones. With Nelson as point guard, Martelli led the 2003-04 Hawks to a 27-0 regular season. The Hawks lost to Xavier in the Atlantic 10 Tournament, and reached the Elite Eight, ultimately losing to Oklahoma State to finish with a record of 30-2. That year, Martelli was named Naismith College Coach of the Year. In 2004-05, Martelli led the Hawks back to the final game of the NIT, where they lost to South Carolina. In 2005-06, the Hawks returned to the NIT, eventually losing to Hofstra University. In 2008, Martelli led Saint Joseph's to its first NCAA Tournament since 2004 with a team led by Pat Calathes and Ahmad Nivins.

Martelli also surpassed Hawk legend Dr. Jack Ramsay for second among SJU coaches in wins 2008. He is fourth among SJU coaches with a winning percentage of .633. Martelli has won the most postseason games of any Hawk coach and his teams have averaged 23 wins over the course of the last eight seasons.

In 2007, Phil Martelli's first book Don't Call Me Coach: A Lesson Plan For Life was published. Students at SJU often say "In Martelli We Trust" about their beloved basketball coach. Martelli has a weekly show during the basketball season called Hawk Talk which discusses the standing of the university and the basketball team.

In October 2008, Martelli signed a contract extension that will keep him at St. Joe's through the 2015-16 season.[1]

In December 2011, Martelli was referenced in an article on SI.com in which former player Todd O'Brien details his side of a story about his former coach holding a grudge. O'Brien has applied for a graduate student waiver, where he is allowed to transfer to pursue a post graduate degree in a field not offered by their original institution, but SJU will not release him to play. The NCAA denied O'Brien's appeal and SJU is legally unable to comment on the details of the case.[2] Martelli refuses to honor O'Briens request and is keeping him in his contract for undisclosed reasons. Martelli has been universally characterized by most reporters as being unreasonable about this for holding a grudge against O'Brien.[3] Saint Joseph's insiders, who cannot comment publically because of student privacy laws, understand the mitigating circumstances where O'Brien created the reasons why he is learning that actions have consequences. SJU has previously always supported player's desires to transfer into situations where they may get more playing time. This anomaly is an example of a tough love lesson, one that coaches sometimes teach when helping young players, many of whom feel entitled as athletes, that the men they grow into on and off the court are equally important.

Unfortunately the media loves "a story" and it is too easy to portray the adult in charge in a poor light when the student-athlete is disingenuous telling his side under the advice of counsel knowing full well that Saint Joseph's is prohibited from sharing theirs.

With a win against Morgan State in 2011, Martelli became the all-time winningest coach in Saint Joseph's history with his 310th victory.

Martelli has also lost more games than any coach in Saint Joseph's history, eclipsing Bill Ferguson's 208 losses in 25 seasons. Martelli has lost 241 games in 18+ seasons at Saint Joseph's as of December 8, 2013.[4]

In December 2013, after two disappointing losses to Big 5 Rivals Temple and Villanova several alumni launched a Petition to fire Phil Martelli due to what many consider to be several seasons of mediocre play and a failure to meet expectation.[5] The website contains a letter to Phil Martelli applauding his achievements and his representation of the university, but imploring him to resign. [6]

This website quickly lost credibility when the majority of "signers" were anonymous and worse when the signatures of some well known long term SJU supporters were forged onto the site that had no system in place to verify the identity of the signer.

The site was taken down after Saint Joseph's won the 2014 Atlantic 10 Championship at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn with the season's second victory over Shaka Smart and VCU.

Coaching tree[edit]

Numerous assistants of Martelli have gone on to become coaches at other programs.

Players drafted under Martelli[edit]

Head coaching record[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Saint Joseph's Hawks (Atlantic 10 Conference) (1995–present)
1995–96 Saint Joseph's 19–13 9–7 3rd NIT Runner-up
1996–97 Saint Joseph's 26–7 13–3 1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1997–98 Saint Joseph's 11–17 3–13 5th (East)
1998–99 Saint Joseph's 12–18 5–11 5th (East)
1999–00 Saint Joseph's 13–16 7–9 4th (East)
2000–01 Saint Joseph's 26–7 14–2 1st (East) NCAA Second Round
2001–02 Saint Joseph's 19–12 12–4 1st (East) NIT Second Round
2002–03 Saint Joseph's 23–7 12–4 1st (East) NCAA First Round
2003–04 Saint Joseph's 30–2 16–0 1st (East) NCAA Elite Eight
2004–05 Saint Joseph's 24–12 14–2 1st NIT Runner-up
2005–06 Saint Joseph's 19–14 9–7 5th NIT Second Round
2006–07 Saint Joseph's 18–14 9–7 6th
2007–08 Saint Joseph's 21–13 9–7 5th NCAA First Round
2008–09 Saint Joseph's 17–15 9–7 5th
2009–10 Saint Joseph's 11–20 5–11 T–11th
2010–11 Saint Joseph's 11–22 4–12 12th
2011–12 Saint Joseph's 20–14 9–7 5th NIT First Round
2012–13 Saint Joseph's 18–14 8–8 T–8th NIT First Round
2013–14 Saint Joseph's 24–10 11–5 T–3rd NCAA Second Round
2014–15 Saint Joseph's 0–1 0–0
Saint Joseph's: 362–248 (.593) 178–125 (.587)
Total: 362–248 (.593)

      National champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

Career highlights[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]