PENDLETON — Coming off its best season in program history, the Blue Mountain Community College women’s basketball team suddenly found itself with a big hole to fill and not much time to do it.
On Thursday, Head Coach Christy Martin informed Athletic Director Brett Bryan that she was resigning to take the head coaching job at Tacoma Community College.
“It’s a full-time position and it’s also tied into academics,” said Martin, who will also be an academic advisor at TCC, “and so the opportunity to help other people on a wider scale is what appealed to me the most.”
The timing of the move was the most regrettable aspect for both parties, and with teams allowed to practice for the first time on Monday, BMCC opted not to open the position to outside applicants.
Martin’s assistant for the last two seasons, Adam Driver, will coach the team on an interim basis this season.
Both Bryan and Martin expressed confidence in his abilities to not only duplicate Martin’s success, but continue the program’s ascension.
“Adam has a very brilliant basketball mind,” Martin said, “but he also connects with the girls on a personal level.”
“He’s been in the program, he’s been quite involved as an assistant and has done a lot of recruiting for us under Coach Martin,” Bryan said of Walla Walla business owner Driver, who was unavailable for comment. “I have full confidence that Coach Driver will continue to move the program forward.”
Martin, who was employed part-time at BMCC, posted a win-loss record of 73-73 in her five seasons on the Blue Mountain sideline. She also coached BMCC to its only two NWAC tournament appearances with a 4-2 record. The Timberwolves made the NWAC tournament for the first time ever in her third season (2012), and brought back their first trophy last year after placing third.
“I wish Christy the best and appreciate what she was able to do while she was here,” Bryan said of the program’s winningest coach ever. “She took a program that was struggling and got it up and going and had a couple of NWAC tournament appearances.”
For Martin, Tacoma represents another rebuilding project, and she inherits a team with just seven players — one returner and six walk-ons. The team also has missed out on three weeks of conditioning while the coaching search was conducted.
“The girls have been itching to get started over here,” Martin said.
Blue Mountain and Tacoma are not currently scheduled to play each other this season and aren’t entered in any of the same tournaments.
The NWAC season begins on Nov. 21 with the Yakima Tip-Off Tournament, but BMCC isn’t scheduled to play its first game until Dec. 5 when it hosts Grays Harbor.
Contact Matt Entrup at email@example.com or (541) 966-0838.