As the longest-tenured head coach on the Piedmont athletics staff, Terry Martin is entering his 22nd season as head coach of the Piedmont College softball program in the fall of 2019. Martin has led the Lady Lions to over 500 wins in his decorated career, seven NCAA national Tournament appearances, four conference tournament titles and 10 conference regular season championships.
Martin has spent all 21 seasons as a head coach leading the Lady Lions with an impressive 521-332-1 overall record (.610 winning percentage) with his 500+ victories ranking him inside the nation’s top-50 winningest active Division III head coaches. The longtime head coach has tallied 17 winning seasons including four seasons with 30 or more wins and 2014’s 40-plus win season. Martin is also a six-time conference coach of the year.
In addition to his teams’ success on the field, Martin’s groups have been just as consistent in the classroom having ranked nationally in the top ten of the NFCA Division-III Team Academic Award three times (2003, 2008, 2009) including a runner-up finish in 2009. Additionally, over 20 Lady Lions have garnered the NFCA’s top individual academic award as All-American Scholar-Athletes during Martin’s tenure.
The 2019 Lady Lion team made history hosting its first NCAA regional making the regional championship game finishing as runners up to top-seeded Emory University. The 2019 Lady Lion team finished 31-12 marking Martin’s fourth 30+ win season at Piedmont.
Martin has led eight individuals to “of the year” honors in the USA South including Melissa Eckman taking Rookie Pitcher of the Year honors and twice earning Pitcher of the Year honors during her career. He has led three Lady Lions to Rookie of the Year honors (Olivia Duncan, Jessica Bagwell, Hannah Hoban) as well while Jordan Ellingson earned Rookie Pitcher of the Year and Pitcher of the Year during her career.
A total of 41 USA South all-conference players have been led by Martin and 15 NFCA honorees earned All-Region status. Coupling athletics with academics, Brittney Head and Abby Smith both earned Academic All-American honors from CoSIDA.
Piedmont’s 2014 season was arguably the best in the long storied history of Lady Lion softball with the team going 43-8 overall including a nearly perfect 23-1 mark in USA South action that saw PC win the league’s regular season title for the second-straight season. The Lady Lions put together an 18-game winning streak during the regular season, but that accomplishment paled when compared to the six-straight Piedmont had to win after a loss to open the 2014 USA South Championship Tournament with the half dozen consecutive wins handing PC the USA South tournament crown.
The 2014 season also saw Piedmont climb to new heights in the NFCA National Poll debuting at #13 in the preseason poll while climbing as high as 7th following its dramatic run at the USA South championships. After two wins over nationally ranked competition and the team’s season-ending loss to regional champs Emory, Piedmont finished the season ranked #21 in the country.
Martin was the architect behind the 2006 campaign that helped his Lady Lions rewrite the record books as the team earned the program's first-ever NCAA Division-III National Championship appearance with a fourth-place finish at the South-Atlantic Regional in Salem, Virginia. The Lady Lions finished with a then-school record 33 wins while posting a remarkable .750 winning percentage, one of the winningest seasons in the program’s history.
As a native of Toccoa, Georgia, Martin traveled north to New York earning his undergraduate degree from NCAA Division II member Nyack College where he was an All-Conference and All-American catcher for the Warriors. Martin also holds a masters degree from the United States Sports Academy located in Mobile, Alabama.
Martin still calls Toccoa home residing in the nearby North Georgia community with his wife, the former Robin Cash. The oldest of the couple’s two sons, Ethan, was a 2008 first round (15th overall) Major League Baseball draft pick and spent time pitching for the Philadelphia Phillies organization while making his major league debut on August 2, 2013 against the Atlanta Braves. The Martins’ youngest son, Cody, was also a MLB draft pick going to the Minnesota Twins in 2009 but chose to pursue his education first and finished his collegiate playing days at NCAA Division I member College of Charleston where he also made a splash with a game-winning, pinch-hit three homer on opening day in his debut season with the Cougars.