When the name Jose "Chuck" Martin came up for the opening on the University of Memphis basketball staff in August of 2006, qualities like tireless, hard-working and class were mentioned. That was enough to convince John Calipari to ask Martin to join the Tiger family.
The 2007-08 campaign is Martin's second year at Memphis and his ninth overall in the collegiate coaching ranks.
Last year, Martin was a part of an incredible, record-setting Memphis campaign. The Tigers won a school-record tying 33 games for a second-straight season (33-4 record) and captured their second-consecutive Conference USA regular season and tournament titles. The back-to-back outright regular season crowns were a first for the Memphis program, and the consecutive tournament championships were the Tigers first since they won two-straight Metro Conference Tournaments in 1984 and 1985. Memphis advanced to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight for a second-straight year (2006, 2007), marking the first time in school history that happened.
The 2006-07 Tigers also pulled a first in Conference USA history. Memphis posted a perfect 16-0 regular season mark and captured the league's postseason tournament. The Tigers were the second squad in C-USA history to go 16-0 in the regular season as Cincinnati did so in 1999-2000. That Bearcat team, though, did not win the Conference USA Tournament title. The Tigers received a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament and finished in the top 10 in both national polls (No. 5/AP; No. 7/ESPN-USA Today).
When he arrived in the Bluff City in the summer of 2006, Martin joined a Tiger program that was coming off one of its best years in school history. In 2005-06, Memphis posted a 33-4 record and won the Conference USA regular season and tournament titles. The 33 victories set a school single-season record for victories and the sweep of the conference regular season and tournament crowns was accomplished for the first time since 1984-85. The 2005-06 Memphis squad earned the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament No. 1 seed and advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1992. The Tigers finished the season ranked in the top 10 of both national polls (No. 4/AP; No. 6/ESPN-USA Today). Those final rankings were the highest in Memphis basketball history.
With his background of being able to bring in some of the nation's top recruits, Martin continues to help the Tigers stay among the country's elite basketball programs.
The two seasons prior to coming to Memphis, Martin served on Norm Roberts' staff at St. John's and played a major role in helping the Red Storm bring in fresh talent. Some dividends of Martin's work at St. John's were seen in two signature victories for the Red Storm in 2005-06. In mid-January, St. John's upset No. 9/9 and then-undefeated Pittsburgh 55-50 and followed with a 68-56 win over No. 17/15 Louisville. As a result of the two upset victories, the Red Storm were honored as college basketball's Team of the Week by several national media outlets.
Prior to St. John's, Martin was an assistant coach at Drexel for head coach Bruiser Flint, who served as an assistant for Calipari at UMass in the 1990s. During his time with the Dragons, Martin was involved in all aspects of the basketball program, including national recruiting, working with the team's guards on skill development, scouting and game preparation.
In his three years at Drexel, the Dragons reached the conference championship game once and made two postseason appearances. Martin played a major role in the development of point guard Eric Schmieder, an All-Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) performer, and also helped recruit and develop Bashire Mason, who was named the league's Defensive Player of the Year. It was the first time a freshman had won the award in the CAA.
Before Drexel, Martin worked with Flint at UMass during the 2000-01 season, when the Minutemen advanced to the Atlantic 10 conference championship game.
Martin began his collegiate coaching career as an assistant at Manhattan College during the 1999-2000 season under head coach Bobby Gonzalez. Martin's strong roots in New York City helped land All-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) players Mussy Green, Jared Johnson and 2004 NBA second round draft pick Luis Flores. Those three players helped earn the Jaspers a reputation as one of the top mid-major programs in the country over the last several years.
Before he started his career in college coaching, Martin established strong relationships on the East Coast with several of the top high schools, prep schools and AAU coaches as the camp director for the Eastern Invitational Basketball Camp.
The Bronx native has close ties to the New York City basketball community, working as an assistant coach at national-powers St. Raymond's and LaSalle Academy. Martin was an assistant at LaSalle from 1993-95, when he worked with former St. John's standout Ron Artest, as well as future NBA player Shamgod Wells. While coaching at St. Raymond's, Martin tutored former NBA center Ernest Brown and All-America and Virginia standout Majestic Mapp.
Martin, who played at St. Raymond's for three years, was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame in 1998.
Martin attended Champlain (Vt.) Junior College, where he captained a pair of NJCAA tournament teams, before completing his career at Monmouth University. At Monmouth, Martin played the point guard position and averaged 7.1 points and 2.0 assists for his career. Martin is a 1993 graduate of Monmouth with a bachelor's degree in Communications.
Martin and his wife, Lee, have three children -- a daughter, Ashley-Monet (10), and two sons, Jordan (5) and Justin (2).