Written by Maurice Patton / THE TENNESSEAN
"I'm close with some of the guys that were on the first state championship team here," said the 28-year-old Martin, a former Montgomery Bell Academy quarterback who won three state titles and two Mr. Football Awards. He played at Florida and Furman before a four-year pro career, including time with the http://www.titansonline.com/">Titans and http://www.packers.com/">Packers.
"I'm looking forward to starting a new chapter of CPA football. One of the attractive things about this program was the success they've had."
The Lions won Class 1A titles in 2000 and 2002, but went 5-6 each of the last two seasons under Mathews.
Athletics Director Mike Ellson said CPA assistant Ryan McSwain and Middle Tennessee Christian Coach David Peden were the finalists from 70 applicants. Martin, whose wife is the softball coach at CPA, stood out despite his age and his one year of coaching experience, as an assistant this past season at Ensworth under Ricky Bowers, for whom he played at MBA.
"This community embraces individuals that care about children," Ellson said. "We're excited to give him his start. And if you've played for or coached with Ricky Bowers, you know what it takes to be successful."
Martin played in one NFL regular-season game, for the Packers in 2006, but was also on the Titans and Chiefs rosters before being waived in September 2009 by the Broncos. He knew pretty quickly after his NFL career ended what he wanted out of his new career.
"When you get into coaching, being head coach is the best job to have," said Martin, whose wife, Jennifer, is CPA's softball coach. "I knew this opportunity was one I was ready for and one I wanted. It's a great school, a great community and I'm looking forward to being a part of it."