Two Delaware County alumns will soon be back at their alma matter training young athletes to take on the Hornet’s rivals next season.
Austin Martin has been named head football coach at Colcord High School, and Jarrod Earp is the new head boy’s basketball coach.
Both men have strong ties to the community and look forward to returning to the school’s hallowed halls.
Martin graduated from Colcord High School in 2006 and will take over the football team reigns starting in the 2019-19 school year.
“My parents and grandparents all graduated in Colcord, Martin said. “It’s a family tradition.”
Although currently teaching at Pryor High School and serving as offensive coordinator for the school’s football program, Martin said he is not sure which academic studies he will assume at CHS, but the coaching will begin very soon.
“We will be starting with spring ball before the end of this school year and continue into the summer,” he said.
The Northeastern State University graduate is married to Jimmi Nickole Martin and the couple is expecting a baby boy later this year.
“I just want to get back and to my roots,” Martin said. “That’s what I want the program to do.
"I want us to get back into a winning program - back to working very hard and working our opponents. We will hit the ground running later this spring and probably give the players a little time off, but once I’m completely done at Pryor, we will start hitting the gym – hard.”
Martin said Bud Simmons, the current superintendent for Colcord Public Schools, was the head coach when he played football, and he saw how much his mentor enjoyed the work.
“One of my main goals when I became a teacher was to get back to Colcord,” he said. This opportunity is a real blessing.”
Earp will have the chance to see his family’s athletic history every time he enters the school’s gymnasium that bears the name of one of the school’s former coaches – and his father – Bill Earp.
The younger Earp was raised in Colcord and graduated from CHS in 1993 before attending Northeastern State.
“My father coached basketball in Colcord for more than 40 years,” he said. “Coming back here as head basketball coach for the boy’s program is a true honor.”
Earp said he is looking forward to building on the program left by former coach John Sheehy.
“I served as his assistant and we have a strong base to build from,” he said. “We have three seniors coming back this year and I coached all of them at Mosely while I was there.”
Earp is married to Melissa Earp and they have four children.
Prior to joining the Colcord staff during the 2016-17 school year, Earp coached for 16 years at Moseley.
In a past interview, Earp said he was humbled to follow in his father's footsteps.
"It is an honor to be his son and to be back here at home where he coached for so many years and to build on what he was such a big part of for so long," Earp said. "I kind of grew with that and lived with it my whole life. I am proud of back on the the floor that has his name on it."
At Moseley, Earp saw two state championships in football, two state runner-ups in football and one state runner-up with the girls basketball team.
He had one other boys team make it to the state tournament and four with the girls basketball team.