At one point in his life, Wylie head coach Clay Martin was one hour of class work from going to law school. However, one thing led to another and he became a coach, like his dad and his uncles.

Martin joined Hugh Sandifer’s coaching staff thirty years ago. He coached the baseball for 27 years with five trips to the state tournament and two state titles. He became the defensive coordinator for football in 2000, and helped lead the Bulldogs four state championship games and on state championship. When Sandifer retired in 2020, Martin was the easy choice to replace him.

Clay Martin said, “Coach Sandifer was such a good mentor to me that I am still really close to, and we still are. We had such a really tight knit group for so many years, that I never really saw it that way. I had the opportunity to follow someone that had done it the right way and continues to every day, It was just a great priviledge to become the head of this program.”

Martin’s story is unusual in the coaching world. Three decades at one school is not common. Most coaches work their way up the ladder by moving from job to job. Martin always wanted to be a head football coach, but instead of moving on, he stayed put and waited his turn at Wylie.

Martin said, “I had my dream job. I was the defensive coordinator at a very successful program, and the head baseball coach of a very successful program in a situation in a community in a school that was second to none in my opinion. It is a great place to be, and a great place to raise my family. I never even considered leaving.”

The athletes know Martin’s history at the school, and they say his time at the school helps him help them.

K.J. Long said, “He’s seen it all. He’s been here a long time, so he knows about the aspects of the game that we can’t understand. What it takes to be a good team. He’s been around state championship teams. He’s been around bad teams. He knows what a locker room is like for both of those. We can look at that and use the knowledge from him to know what it’s like to be a part of one of those championship teams.”

There aren’t a lot of people that can say they got their dream job when they were in in their 20’s. Martin knows it’s not common, and he knows how lucky he is to be living his life as a coach at Wylie.

Martin added, “I count my blessings every day. I was fortunate. At one point, I had been here 27 years, and that’s been a wonderful situation working for great people in a great administration with great kids. I don’t know anything else I could say. It’s been a perfect deal.”

Clay Martin is the Abilene Teachers Federal Credit Union Coach of the Week.