IU Insider Blog: Martin brings experience

Chuck Martin is the latest former Division I head coach to be hired as an assistant at Indiana under Tom Crean. It's a model that many coaches aren't comfortable with but one that Crean truly believes in.

If there's one thing that Indiana coach Tom Crean is sold on, it's having experienced assistant coaches on his staff.

Take a look around college basketball and tell me how teams you find that have three assistant coaches who have all been head coaches at the Division I level? I haven't done the research myself but I'm guessing it's a small number.

Some coaches aren't crazy about having former head coaches on their bench. Crean, however, uses it almost as a model.

Steve McClain was the head coach at Wyoming for many years. Tim Buckley was the head coach at Ball State. And now Chuck Martin, the man who officially joined the Indiana staff on Monday, comes on board with ties as the former head basketball coach at Marist College.

Martin was at Marist from 2008-13. Last year, he worked in the Oklahoma City Thunder's organization as a scout. He also had stops as an assistant for John Calipari at Memphis from 2006-08, at St. John's from 2004-06 and at Drexel from 2002-04. He also spent time as an assistant at Massachusetts and Manhattan.

The bottom line is that Indiana is getting an experienced coach and a proven recruiter. He takes over for Kenny Johnson, who left following the 2013-14 season to take a spot on Rick Pitino's staff at Louisville.

In a press conference Monday afternoon in the basement of Assembly Hall, Martin spoke calmly and matter-of-factly about the opportunity ahead with the Hoosiers.

He said a phone conversation he had with his former head coach, Calipari, gave him the reassurance he needed to accept the position. He said Calipari told him if he was looking to get back into college coaching that Indiana was a special place. He said that Calipari told him how much he admired Crean and the job he has done and he said if Martin wanted to get back into college coaching that it was basically a no-brainer – if it was offered.

Once it was, Martin and his wife, Lee, made the quick decision that Indiana was where he wanted to be.

Martin has already been on the recruiting trail and will help with the East Coast presence that the Hoosiers lost when Johnson took the Louisville job. But he will also be a key component on Crean's staff in terms of player development. Crean said Martin has the flexibility to work with both the guards and the bigs.

The important thing here is that it was important, when Johnson left, to get a capable assistant that could come in and hit the ground running. Indiana appears to have clearly found that person with Martin.

Crean said he called Calbert Cheaney to inquire about his situation and also had one other person that he interviewed but the more he heard about Martin, both as a coach and a person, he knew this was the one he needed to hire.

Martin appears to be more than eager for the challenge. Now IU fans get to sit back and see the inroads he is able to make in recruiting.

Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch


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