BERLIN- It should be business as usual with a couple of new twists when new Stephen Decatur High School varsity wrestling coach Todd Martinek takes over the wildly successful program this year.
Martinek, an accomplished wrestler, coach and referee this week was named the new varsity coach at Decatur, taking over for popular coach Kevin Gilligan, who earlier this month announced he was resigning as the head of the growing Seahawk wrestling dynasty to take a teaching job at a public high school in Calvert County.
Martinek brings an impressive resume to the table as he prepares to take over the Decatur wrestling program. He was an accomplished wrestler at Bel Air High School and won a state championship in 1989 wrestling at 103. He went on to wrestle at Salisbury University and graduated in 1993 before beginning a teaching career that began at Bennett Middle before landing at Decatur.
Martinek said this week he hopes to build on the momentum the program realized under his predecessor.
“I’m just going to try to keep this going because we’ve had a lot of success in recent years,” he said. “It’s going to be a little different and I have my own take on certain things, but we will continue to work hard. We’ve worked really hard to get this program where it is and that is going to continue.”
Martinek acknowledged taking over for Gilligan presents some challenges, particularly with the expectations that come from continued success. Those are challenges the new coach is tackling head on.
“I know coming in the expectations are high,” he said. “I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
Martinek said he is retaining most of the current coaching staff and adding a few of his own, including former Decatur standout Latra Collick, who returns to the Berlin school as an assistant after an outstanding college career. Martinek said he hopes to get the most out of his wrestlers both in the gym and in the classroom.
“I’d really like to raise the academic standards a little,” he said. “We’ve always had kids go to college, but I’d like to get a few more to go, whether they end up wrestling or not.”