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Phil Martelli

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Sport(s)  Basketball
1977–1978  Widener (asst.)
Education  Widener University
Position(s)  Point guard
Role  Basketball Coach
1972–1976  Widener
Name  Phil Martelli
Title  Head coach
1978–1985  Bishop Kenrick HS

Phil Martelli WHIP Phil Martelli with Zach Gelb
Born  August 31, 1954 (age 61) (1954-08-31)
Team  Saint Joseph's Hawks men's basketball
Books  Don't Call Me Coach: A Lesson Plan for Life
Movies  The Palestra: Cathedral of Basketball
Awards  Naismith Men's College Coach of the Year
Similar People  Halil Kanacevic, Langston Galloway, Ronald Roberts, Jameer Nelson, Fran Dunphy

Take five phil martelli head coach men s basketball

Phil Martelli (born August 31, 1954) is an American college basketball coach and current coach of the Saint Joseph's Hawks men's basketball team. He has led Saint Joseph's to six NCAA Tournaments and five NITs in 16 seasons.


Phil Martelli Phil Martelli Photos NCAA Basketball Tournament

St. Joe's Athletic Director Speaks About Phil Martelli's Firing

Playing career

Phil Martelli QampA Phil Martelli reflects on NCAA loss turns the page

Martelli was a point guard for Widener University. As point guard, he was part of the NCAA Division III Tournament teams in 1974-75 and 1975–76, and set the school's single season and career assist marks.

Career at Saint Joseph's

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Martelli began his career on Hawk Hill with SJU's 1985-86 NCAA Tournament team. In his decade as an assistant, he was part of the Hawks' NIT teams in 1992-93 and 1994-95. After 10 years as an assistant under Jim Boyle and John Griffin, Martelli was named the 14th coach in school history on July 20, 1995, and just the third non-alumnus to coach the school.

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In his first season as head coach (1995–96) his team reached the final game of the NIT Tournament. In his second year, under the floor generalship of Junior point guard Rashid Bey, and help from Arthur "Yah" Davis and Dmitri Domani, Martelli's Hawks captured the Atlantic 10 crown and made it into the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA tournament. They would not duplicate that success until landing future Naismith College Player of the Year Jameer Nelson and current NBA players Delonte West and Dwayne Jones. With Nelson as point guard, Martelli led the 2003-04 Hawks to a 27-0 regular season. The Hawks lost to Xavier in the Atlantic 10 Tournament, and reached the Elite Eight, ultimately losing to Oklahoma State to finish with a record of 30-2. That year, Martelli was named Naismith College Coach of the Year. In 2004-05, Martelli led the Hawks back to the final game of the NIT, where they lost to South Carolina. In 2005-06, the Hawks returned to the NIT, eventually losing to Hofstra University. In 2008, Martelli led Saint Joseph's to its first NCAA Tournament since 2004 with a team led by Pat Calathes and Ahmad Nivins. In 2014, the Hawks returned to the NCAA Tournament after winning their second Atlantic 10 Championship under Martelli, led by Langston Galloway, Ronald Roberts and Halil Kanacevic. The Hawks went on to lose in overtime to the eventual 2013-14 National Champion Connecticut Huskies in the Second Round of the Tournament.

In 2007, Phil Martelli's first book Don't Call Me Coach: A Lesson Plan For Life was published. Students at SJU often say "In Martelli We Trust" about their beloved basketball coach. Martelli has a weekly show during the basketball season called Hawk Talk which discusses the standing of the university and the basketball team.

In October 2008, Martelli signed a contract extension that will keep him at St. Joe's through the 2015-16 season. Martelli also surpassed Hawk legend Dr. Jack Ramsay for second among SJU coaches in wins 2008. Martelli has won the most postseason games of any Hawk coach and his teams.

In December 2011, Martelli was referenced in an article on in which former player Todd O'Brien details his side of a story about his former coach holding a grudge. O'Brien has applied for a graduate student waiver, where he is allowed to transfer to pursue a post graduate degree in a field not offered by their original institution, but SJU will not release him to play. The NCAA denied O'Brien's appeal and SJU is legally unable to comment on the details of the case. Martelli refuses to honor O'Briens request and is keeping him in his contract for undisclosed reasons. Martelli has been universally characterized by most reporters as being unreasonable about this for holding a grudge against O'Brien.

With a win against Morgan State in 2011, Martelli became the all-time winningest coach in Saint Joseph's history with his 310th victory.

Martelli has also lost more games than any coach in Saint Joseph's history, eclipsing Bill Ferguson's 208 losses in 25 seasons. Martelli has lost 241 games in 18+ seasons at Saint Joseph's as of December 8, 2013.

In December 2013, after two disappointing losses to Big 5 Rivals Temple and Villanova several alumni launched a Petition to fire Phil Martelli due to what many consider to be several seasons of mediocre play and a failure to meet expectation. The website contains a letter to Phil Martelli applauding his achievements and his representation of the university, but imploring him to resign.

This website quickly lost credibility when the majority of "signers" were anonymous and worse when the signatures of some well known long term SJU supporters were forged onto the site that had no system in place to verify the identity of the signer.

The site was taken down after Saint Joseph's won the 2014 Atlantic 10 Championship at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn with the season's second victory over Shaka Smart and VCU.

Coaching tree

Numerous assistants of Martelli have gone on to become coaches at other programs.

  • Matt Brady, former head coach at Marist College. Current head coach at James Madison University
  • Monte Ross, head coach at the University of Delaware
  • Mike Rice Jr., former head coach at both Robert Morris University and Rutgers University
  • Doug Overton, assistant coach for the New Jersey Nets
  • Players under Martelli who were drafted and/or played in the NBA

  • Jameer Nelson (2004, 20th overall) - NBA teams: Orlando Magic, Dallas Mavericks, Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets
  • Delonte West (2004, 24th overall) - NBA teams: Boston Celtics, Seattle SuperSonics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks
  • Ahmad Nivins (2009, 56th overall)
  • Dwayne Jones - NBA teams: Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Charlotte Bobcats, Phoenix Suns
  • Langston Galloway - NBA teams: New York Knicks
  • Career highlights

  • Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year (1997, 2001, 2004, 2005)
  • Naismith College Coach of the Year (2004)
  • Associated Press Coach of the Year (2004)
  • 2004 Rupp Cup
  • 2004 Chevrolet Coach of the Year
  • 2004 Henry Iba Award (USBWA)
  • 2004 NABC Co-Coach of the Year
  • Head coach, Saint Joseph's University (1995–present)
  • Head coach, 2005 USA Basketball Under 21 World Championship Team
  • NCAA berths: 1997, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2014
  • References

    Phil Martelli Wikipedia