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Rodney Martin, the newly appointed varsity football coach at South Decatur High is seen in the uniform that he wore in the 1990 state championship season. The Cougars won the title game defeating Southwood 44-15.

Rodney Martin, member of South Decatur’s state championship football

team, was named varsity football coach at his alma mater by the Decatur

County Community School corporation’s school board last night.

Martin both played for and coached under Ken Wendling who resigned last

month to take a similar position at Brown County High School. Wendling,

has commuted from Nashville daily during his tenure at South Decatur.

Martin was an integral part of the championship team on which he played

left tackle effectively enough that Anderson University showed interest in

the Cougar star.

The team had five All-State players including Shawn Blaich, Danny

Armstrong, Brian Barrett, Josh Parker and Chris Lane, all from a

high-powered offense. Although the line didn’t get recognition state-wide,

the front five, including Martin on the left side, gave quarterback Blaich

enough time to finish second in the state in passing yardage. His favorite

targets were Parker and Barrett. Parker was second in receiving yardage and

set a championship record for most receiving yardage and Barrett finished

fifth giving the Cougars two players in the top five statewide. Lane was

hampered by injuries after an All-State performance as a junior. Armstrong

was an effective battering ram as a fullback but gained most recognition

for leading the charge on defense. The team gave up just 56 yards in 13 games.

Following graduation, Martin attended Anderson University where he continued

to play outstanding football twice earning all-conference honors as a

member of the Raven offensive line.

After graduation in 1996 with a BA in physical education, Martin took a

position at St. Louis School in Batesville where he was a PE teacher.

While at Anderson, he was a varsity assistanf at Pendleton Heights High

School and has a total of 13 years as an assistant for the Cougars.

In 1998, he returned to South Decatur where he is a PE teacher and the

school’s highly successful strength and conditioning coach.

While teaching at South Decatur, Martin took the necessary class work to

earn an MS from the University of Pennsylvania (California) in Exercise

Science and Health Promotion. His class work, completed in 2006, had an

emphasis in injury prevention.

His continued success grooming the Cougar linebackers and serving for six

years as defensive coordinator have earned him the respect of coaches and

players alike and earned him the promotion to the head coaching spot.

“I am very excited to build on the proud football tradition that we have

at South Decatur. I really look forward to building the program from the

bottom up,” said Martin.”I am really interested in getting involved with

the elementary and the junior high programs in order to build a solid

foundation for years to come.”

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