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Ohio State first-year field hockey head coach Jarred Martin looking to raise the bar in new role

Ohio State field hockey coach Jarred Martin surveys the field during his first season as Buckeyes head coach. Credit: Aaron Hyder | Ohio State Athletics

Jarred Martin is no stranger to success. At this point in his career, it’s practically a habit.

Over his 15 years of coaching, Martin has experience leading successful programs. He has spent the past three seasons as head coach of the United States U-17 National Team — he had been a member of the coaching staff on the team four years prior — and also spent 10 years on the staff of Duke’s field hockey team.

Now, he’s taking on a new challenge as he is in his first year as the head coach of Ohio State’s field hockey team (4-3). He has aspired to become a head coach since beginning in the profession.

“I really wanted to make sure that when I did make that move it was with the right fit,” Martin said. “Knowing what Ohio State is and the traditions and the value it puts on the student-athlete was an amazing opportunity, so I was pretty fortunate it worked out.”

At Duke, he served as an assistant for six seasons and, later, associate coach for the final four years. Under his tutelage, the Blue Devils made seven NCAA tournament appearances, including two semifinal trips and a championship game.

Martin believes that his past teams’ success have been the result of his dedication to instilling lifelong values in his players, an aspect of his coaching style that he’s brought to Ohio State.

“I’m here just to help the players enjoy the sport as much as they can. With that, I think also making sure that they’re also prepared for life after,” Martin said. “Field hockey’s not a professional sport, so making sure that we can equip them with life lessons and leadership qualities, that they feel prepared going into graduate school, internships and jobs afterwards and that they can make it successfully in the professional world.”

Martin’s devotion to his team hasn’t gone unnoticed. Senior forward Sofia Haramis recalls that upon meeting the players in December 2016, Martin went to considerable lengths to become acquainted with his new squad, staying in touch over the winter break and learning everyone’s names before offseason training began.

“He did a great job getting to know the whole team and all of us as individuals,” Haramis said. “He tried to keep with all the traditions of the program and he added a few extra. I would say it was a pretty smooth transition.”

Duke field hockey head coach Pam Bustin said Martin has always demonstrated a strong commitment toward his players and values, emphasizing the importance of team bonding and work ethic.

“We share personal values and values for teamwork and responsibility for the team,” Bustin said. “Now that he’s at the helm and can dictate his own team, I hope he can take what he’s learned at Duke and apply it [at Ohio State].”

Though Ohio State has only won one more game than it has lost, the team’s overall playing attitude gives Martin confidence the Buckeyes will find more success moving forward in conference play.

Martin emphatically kicked off his Buckeye career with a blowout 4-0 win over Lehigh and an upset victory over then-No. 9 Louisville.

“I think there’s a mentality on the team. When they step on the field, they think that they can win every single game and that’s something that even in the tradition of the program they’ve had success,” Martin said. “I want to try and make that consistent within the conference but also within the national scene.”

Martin is optimistic about the team’s chances to make a postseason run this season. And while he knows it will take some time to build a high-caliber team, Martin said he believes in his team’s potential to remain competitive throughout the year.

“I know it’s going to be a progression, but [the team’s] ability to reset and stay competitive, that part I have really appreciated because it’s not going to be easy, even for this season,” Martin said. “We know it’s going to be tough, but we also know where we want to go and that’s never going to change.”

For now, Martin is focused on building a team with a steadfast championship mindset. After that, he said, the titles will follow.

“I want to make sure when we step on the field, we are giving that championship effort and that championship focus every time and they believe that if they do that, they’ll have the chance to win a game,” Martin said. “… I think that finding ways of making the NCAA tournament would be something realistically for this year … but then also we have to start [with Big Ten titles] and then eventually we’ll just be winning all these things.”

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