Jennifer Martinez has been selected as the new head coach for the Fillies softball team at ABAC. She will begin her new position on Aug. 1 after serving for three years as the assistant softball coach and pitching coach at Georgia Southwestern State University.
“I am so beyond excited for this opportunity,” Martinez said. “I have been dreaming of being a head coach my entire life. I want to keep the traditions going that Donna Campbell has built up, while adding my own touch to the Fillies team.”
In her first year, Martinez said her main goal is to get comfortable with the players she’ll be coaching.
“I want to remind the players that they are not too old to be students of the game,” Martinez said. “I don’t know everything about the sport, and I’m still learning alongside them. This will be a year of growth and figuring out ways to keep them motivated and engaged in the game.
“I know every coach’s goal is to win but I also want to make it fun for my team and help them to remember why they play.”
Martinez will serve in an additional capacity as assistant recreational sports director for the college, assisting the director of recreational sports in the organization and supervision of the college’s intramural and recreational sports program.
“I not only want to build relationships with my student athletes, but with all of the students at ABAC,” Martinez said. “I would like to be someone recognizable to students on the campus and would like students to feel that I am approachable.”
Martinez’s coaching experience includes instructin alongside University of Arizona alumni Susie Parra and Deb Hartwig of California State University-Fullerton in camps and clinics throughout southern California with Just-Softball; volunteering as assistant coach for La Habra High School in La Habra, Calif., and since April of 2014 she has served as a private pitching instructor with Synergy Baseball and Softball Academy in Albany.
Martinez has a wide variety of experiences as a softball player. At the collegiate level, she played for California State University-Long Beach in the 2005 and 2006 seasons, where she threw a three-hit shutout at the University of California-Riverside for her first career win and struck out 44 batters in 74.1 innings pitched. She attended California State University of Dominguez Hills in 2007, going 17-21 with a 3.89 ERA over 235 innings pitched with 28 completed games.
Martinez was at the University of Arizona as a redshirt for the entire 2008 season and concluded her collegiate softball experience in 2009, assisting in the Wildcats’ advancement to the Women’s College World Series after defeating Stanford University in game two of the Division 1 Super-Regionals.
The first international experience for Martinez came in 2002 while still in high school. She was selected to play and pitch in Beijing, China on the 16U Team Explosion coached by Parra and Hartwig. She traveled through Beijing on a two-week tour playing several Chinese teams, including the Chinese National team.
During her 2005 summer season, she had the opportunity to pitch against the Australian National team, Canadian National team, and the Chinese Tai Pei National team in the Canada Cup. In 2010, after graduating from the University of Arizona, Martinez spent seven months playing for the Italian professional team, Unione Fermana, in Macerata, Italy. She helped the team with its first A1 division season and also assisted the local Italian youth softball programs with coaching and pitching instruction.
Martinez received her bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in sociology from the University of Arizona. She is also a recent graduate of Georgia Southwestern State University, earning her Masters of Business Administration degree in May.
“I am so proud and excited to hand over my program to Jennifer Martinez,” said former ABAC Coach Donna Campbell, who retired from coaching at the end of the 2015 season. “She comes from a softball background second to none by pitching for Mike Candrea at The University of Arizona. Playing in the Women’s College World Series is every little girl’s dream if she is a softball player, and Jennifer did just that in 2009. ABAC Softball will be in great hands with Jen.”