Coach Jody Martinez begins his 15th season at the helm of the Lady Pilots with an overall record of 345 wins and 153 losses. A fierce competitor on and off the court, he expects his team to play like he did in college; hard-nosed with a desire to be the best. Dubbed "The Definition of Bethel Basketball", Coach Martinez finished his playing career with outstanding individual numbers to go along with his teams' successes. As a player his teams won 110 games in his four years compared to only 36 losses. Individually, he finished his four years as the career leader in points (2,620/currently 3rd), rebounds (1,728/1st), blocks (197/2nd), steals (182/10th), field goal percentage (59.8%/2nd), and games played (146/8th).
Upon graduation, he played professional basketball for a brief summer before returning to school to get his teaching certification in the fall of 1991. During this time, he assisted Coach Mike Lightfoot and the men's team as they won two NCCAA National Championships (1992 & 1993).
After completing his requirements for secondary education, Coach Martinez coached five years of high school boys' basketball before being asked to return to Bethel as the women's basketball coach in the spring of 1998. His first year on the bench was the programs best ever by winning their first 20 win season and first trip to the NCCAA National Tournament. He followed up his first season success with a NCCAA National title in 2000, then a Mid-Central Conference championship and a NAIA National Tournament berth in 2001.
His teams have finished in the NAIA "Elite Eight" four times: 2001, 2005, 2007, and 2008. In 2009, his team finished in the "Sweet 16" and in 2012 earned their sixth trip to the NAIA National Tournament. He has won six NCCAA National Titles in 2000, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2010 and 2011. Coach Martinez has been named NCCAA National Coach of the Year six times and Mid-Central Conference Coach of the Year four times ('01, '08, '09, '12). His teams have won over 20 games a season during all of his 14 seasons as head coach. During his tenure at the helm of the Lady Pilots, Coach Martinez has coached 107 All-Americans (NAIA & NCCAA).
Coach Martinez and his wife, Sonya, live in Mishawaka with their daughters Hannah and Josalyn.
"The most important part of coaching according to me is helping the girls grow into strong spiritual and mature women. Seeing the success that our former players have had in life after basketball is what Sonya and I base our success on, not wins and losses."
Coach Hess enters his 19th year coaching for his alma mater, where he played basketball and golf for the Pilots from 1989-1993. After graduation, he took the position of Assistant Professional in the PGA Program at Willow Run Golf Club in Waukesha, WI.
Chris currently serves as an Assistant Athletic Director, Head Men's and Women's Golf Coach and Assistant Women's Basketball Coach. In the fall of 1994, Chris and his wife, Sheri, moved back to Bethel to serve as Resident Directors, a role they would serve for the next ten years. While serving in various residential life roles, Chris earned his Masters Degree in Ministry in the spring of 2001. Chris spent six seasons as a varsity assistant coach with the men's basketball team that had a record of 210-26 and won NAIA national championships in 1995, 1997 and 1998, as well as an NCCAA national championship in 2000. In the spring of 2006, he joined the staff of the women's basketball team as an assistant coach and was a part of another NCCAA National Championship, followed by three consecutive trips to the NAIA National Tournament (2007, 2008, 2009) and two more NCCAA National Championships in 2010 and 2011. In 2012, the Lady Pilots returned to the NAIA National Tournament.
"Chris is very passionate to coach no matter the sport," stated Head Basketball Coach Jody Martinez. "He is a devoted family man and that is very important to me in representing this basketball program. I have the utmost respect and confidence in him to get things done when it is delegated. I believe this program went to another level when Coach Hess joined the staff. He does a great job of listening to the players. He loves helping any player get better with their game. Our relationship began as friends in the 80s when we were students at Bethel College. The relationship has now grown into more of a ‘brotherhood' type of relationship. My wife, Sonya, and his wife, Sheri, are great supporters of our coaching and for the spiritual development of these players. God has truly blessed me with a great assistant coach in Chris Hess."
Chris and his wife of 20 years, Sheri, live in Mishawaka with fourteen year-old son Zachary and twelve year-old daughter Madison.
"There is no place that I would rather be then at Bethel College," says Coach Hess. "God has truly blessed me with the opportunity to build relationships with so many great young men and women and I am so fortunate to be a part of two successful programs in golf and basketball. I love my players and the family of staff that I get to share my life with everyday. Coaching and winning are a lot of fun but more importantly, I have seen God work in a very powerful way in so many of our student athletes lives. Bethel College is a very special place to be and my family and I are richly rewarded with each new day serving the Lord at the school we love so much."
Natalie Young returns to the Lady Pilots for her third year on the coaching staff after helping lead the BC ladies to an NCCAA Championship in 2011 and a trip to the NAIA National Tournament in 2012. In addition to her duties as an assistant coach, Natalie will also serve as the Athletic Department's Sports Information Director.
Unarguably the greatest Lady Pilot of all-time, Natalie was a three-time NAIA All American, 3-time MCC 1st Team Player as well as a 3-time NCCAA All-American. In 2008, she was the MCC Player of the Year and made three NAIA Elite 8 appearances and won an NCCAA National Title in 2006. Natalie has 10 school records which include the Career Scoring Record with 2,685 points and Points in a Game with 39 points. Natalie Young's jersey (#20) was retired after her senior season.
"It's been great to have Natalie become a part of this dedicated coaching staff," states Jody Martinez. "Natalie was an outstanding basketball player as her records show and as her jersey hangs in the Championship Lobby of the Wiekamp Center, but her dedication and passion for this program are her main attributes. She is motivated to improve our alumni relations and recruiting range and will also be involved in player development, scouting, game-day management, and working with the JV program, not to mention the her experience and mind for gametime adjustments," added Martinez.
"It's such a blessing to be a part of this Lady Pilot family! I am so excited to be a part of the player's Bethel experience and hope I can have a positive impact on their lives the way my coaches did in my own life. This is a truly special program, and I am so glad to be able to continue to be a part of the Lady Pilots." - Natalie Young
Since returning to the sidelines with her husband for the 1998-1999 seasons as an assistant, the program has won 6 NCCAA National Championships and has made it to the NAIA National Tournament 6 times ('01, '05, '07, '08, '09 and '12) finishing in the "Elite Eight" four times and in the "Sweet 16" in 2009. She no longer sits on the bench or helps in practice, but her role has taken on a different meaning:
"In my opinion, my wife's role is the most important role in this basketball program: spiritual development," stated head coach Jody Martinez. "She organizes the bible studies and the accountability groups. She also does a lot of mentoring for these ladies. As I always state - the most important part of coaching is helping the girls grow into strong, mature, and spiritual women. Seeing the success our former players have had in life is what we base our success on in coaching - not wins and losses."
Jim's records speak volumes to his credit as a basketball coach. His overall record was 360 wins to 139 losses at Niles High School. He was the AP Class B Michigan Coach of the Year in 1998; 7-time Conference Coach of the Year; and 2-time South Bend Tribune Coach of the Year (04-05; 07-08). In his 22 years as head coach, he won 10 District Championships (9 of them consecutive from 1997-2005); 5 Regional Championships; and 7 Conference Championships. During his past 12 years as head coach, his record was 232-52 (.817 winning percentage)."
Jim is married to Linda (45 years) and they have another daughter, Allison Clay (married to Jeff - also a former Bethel College basketball player). Allison played for her sister, Sonya, in 1993-1995. Allison was the first player in school's history to be named an All-American (NAIA Academic All-American in 1995). Jim and Linda have 4 grand-daughters: Hannah and Josalyn Martinez; Alexi and Abbie Clay.
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|Indiana Institute of Technology|
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