Family comes first.
That’s the driving force behind Brian Martin’s decision to step down as Janesville Parker High’s baseball coach.
Martin resigned Friday after 18 years spent coaching at his alma mater. He will remain on staff as dean of students.
“If you love doing something, there is never a good time to stop, but the burden on my family has become too much,” Martin said. “My children are seven and 11, and I’ve missed too many of their school and athletic events. I have decided that I do not feel comfortable missing more.
“There have been only four baseball coaches in the 50-year history of Parker High School. I am truly honored to have had this opportunity.”
Martin finished with a career record of 206-257. The dean of Big Eight coaches, his resume includes three second-place finishes in one of the state’s top conferences and several regional titles. He led the Vikings to a WIAA Division 1 state tournament berth in 2014, when they lost to eventual state champion Sun Prairie in the semifinals.
This past season, Parker went 16-9 and advanced to a sectional final game. The Vikings won 12 straight after starting the season 4-8.
“I was fortunate to have been associated with some great assistant coaches throughout the years,” Martin said. “Dave Nemetz was with me for 17 of the 18 years, and I can’t say enough about what Mike Brooks and Brian Bailey have meant to this program the last several years.
“And the sacrifices my family made allowed me to have this opportunity. My son, Jakob, was born at 11:32 a.m. on May 1, 2007, and I was coaching a game at Riverside later that day. My kids do not know anything but their dad being the baseball coach at Parker High School.”
Martin expects to be part of the search committee for the new coach and wants to remain a part of the program in whatever capacity he can, whether it means throwing batting practice or hitting ground balls. He’s coaching his son’s 10-year-old tournament team this summer and loves the game too much to not stay involved.
“Not too many people get to spend time in their dream job,” Martin said. “I was able to do that. Parker baseball has been a part of my life for 23 years both as a player and a coach. And even after all these years, kids that played for me, who are now adults, still come up and want to talk baseball. That’s pretty cool.
“But you can’t go back and re-do things when it comes to your family and your kids. It was a tough decision because of what I was giving up but the right one.”