The chance to come home was too much for David Martinez to pass up.
Martinez, 39, who had spent the last three years as pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at Dixie State (Utah), has been named head baseball coach at Cal State San Bernardino, the school from which he graduated in 2004. It was also the first place he coached, having served as a volunteer assistant there for a year.
“This is home. It’s where I grew up so there is a lot of familiarity,” said Martinez, who is still wrapping up loose ends at his previous job and plans to make the move next week. “I think it will be a quick transition. I am excited about the opportunity.”
Martinez is a 1994 graduate of Redlands High School and still has family in the area while wife Saraya has family in Yucaipa.
He is also familiar with the community colleges that have helped serve as a feeder program for Cal State in the past. Martinez played at Riverside City College under head coach Dennis Rogers, and later returned to Riverside as the Tigers’ pitching coach and co-recruiting coordinator for two seasons (2006-07). He left Riverside for UNLV after it won the California state title in 2007.
Martinez also has Division I experience, having helped the University of New Mexico to the NCAA Tournament in both of his seasons in Albuquerque (2011 and 2012) and three seasons at UNLV (2008-10). At both positions he served as pitching coach and at UNLV, led recruiting efforts.
Martinez admits this job has little in common with the job he just left and it’s isn’t just about climate. Dixie State is a fully funded program with a six-figure operating budget, not to mention a spiffy on-campus facility, all things Cal State does not have, But he likes the vision of the administration and thinks those things will get better moving forward.
“I choose to look at the positives,” he said. “There is a lot of baseball talent in this area so there is no reason we can’t be successful.”
Martinez replaces Don Parnell who had headed the program for 24 years and was the second-longest tenured coach in the conference.