Kirk Martin, who built the Manvel Mavericks into one of the most powerhouse high school football programs in the state over the last decade, recently accepted the same post at Colleyville Heritage High School .
The Colleyville job will mark Martin’s return to the Texas High School football ranks after holding an assistant coaching position at Syracuse University the last two years. Martin’s hiring was approved by the Grapevine-Colleyville ISD during a regular board meeting in February.
The Martins (Kirk and wife Caren) closed on their Syracuse resident earlier this week and were slated to travel to North Texas on Wednesday, where the couple will have to spend 14 days in quarantine due to the Covid-19 travel restrictions.
“I’m really fired up to be back in Texas high school football,” Martin said. “I will be able to be closer to my family and also closer to (son) Kason (who plays at the University of North Texas).”
Martin inherits a Panther program that not only advanced to the regional finals last year, but also impressive facilities at the high school that include an indoor practice facility and one of the biggest weight rooms around the state.
“It’s been a good program for a long time,” he said. “They lost an offensive lineman to Baylor, but they got a good quarterback and two running backs, receivers and a linebacker who will be back.
“I’m hoping for the same kind of success I had at Manvel. This will be my second go-around as a Panther after being at (Odessa) Permian.”
Hired at Manvel in 2006, Martin compiled an impressive 108-25 mark with the varsity football program delivering six district titles, eight consecutive playoff appearances and state finalist appearances in 2011 and 2017. The Mavericks went 14-1 this past season with their lone defeat being a 53-49 heart breaker to Highland Park in the Class 5A Division I State Championship.
Several pundits called the game one of the best state football championships in UIL history afterwards.
Martin also brought the now famous “Hoka Hey” mantra to the school after learning that it was also used by a school in Florida and had over 100 kids sign to play football at the collegiate level.
“I loved everything about coaching in Manvel, Texas, Alvin ISD and being a Manvel Maverick,” he said I”ve lived a fairy tale life here. That’s the tough thing about leaving, because we helped open up Manvel High School from scratch.
However, the opportunity to also work for a coach like Dino Babers at Syracuse and receive sufficient compensation was too good for the UT-El Paso graduate to pass up.
Martin served as the quarterbacks coach for two seasons, before being reassigned to the senior analyst for football strategy role for the upcoming 2020 campaign.
While shortly taking the Colleyville job following the latter chain of events, Martin treasured both his surroundings and the chance to work with players at the collegiate level.
“Syracuse is not what you think of New York, because it’s upstate,” he said. “The weather is great and the trees are beautiful. We had a really great time there.”
Martin said in 2018 the things that stuck out the most during his Maverick tenure is being able to raise his family in the same community for several years and also have his teams play in several venues around both the Houston area and state during Manvel’s incredible playoff run.
“Raising your family in one community doesn’t happen in coaching very much any more,” he said. “Kason just graduated and went first grade through 12th grade. I was here 12 years and raised all my kids here.
“All the wins were fun, but we were able to play at Rice, UH, A&M, Prairie View, NRG Stadium and AT&T Stadium. We got to play at every major stadium in the Houston area. Obviously, I wished it would have ended with a state championship, but it was still a great year.”
Martin started his coaching career in 1993 at Catheral High School and helped them to their first winning season in 12 years, while a three-year stay at 5A El Paso Riverside featured three district championships. He held the same position under Ron Lynch (1996-97) at Alvin High School and was later the assistant head coach under Mike Bass (1998-2000) here. Martin then served as the passing coordinator at Odessa Permian (2000-2003), the offensive coordinator at 3A Giddings (2003) and took his initial head coaching job at 2A Alpine (2004-2006) before coming to Manvel.
Alvin captured its first district championship in 28 years in ‘96.
Martin stayed in Manvel for National Signing Day on Feb. 7, 2018, before departing for New York to be announced as the Orange’s new QB coach.
“This place (Manvel) ain’t done,” he said. “I’m just one of the guys leaving and it will be sustained. Coach Martin will be gone, but Hoka Hey lives on.”