Michael Martin, Eastfield Head Baseball Coach, was named the 2006 American Baseball Coaches Association and Diamond Sports Company National Coach of the Year for National Junior College Athletic Association Division III baseball. He was be honored at the ABCA Hall of Fame/Coach of the Year Banquet on January 5, 2007, in Orlando, Florida.
Martin, a former Louisiana Tech standout relief pitcher, took the reins of the Harvester baseball program in Fall 2001. Since then, he has helped produce six National Junior College Athletic Association All-American First Team players, sixteen All-Region players, and five Texas-New Mexico All Star Game players. He has also helped 35 of his players find spots with four-year college/university teams. In addition, the Harvesters closed the 2005 season 43-16 and were ranked second in the nation in the year-end NJCAA Division III poll. Martin led the Harvesters to a Metro Athletic Conference Championship title in 2005.
The American Baseball Coaches Association also has honored Martin and his fantastic work by naming him NJCAA Division III 2005 Coach of the Year.
Prior to coming to Eastfield, Martin spent five seasons at the University of Arkansas at Monticello as head coach, where he established himself as one of the top coaches in the school’s history. Entering the 2001 (spring) season, he stood as the second-most winning coach in Boll Weevil baseball history.
While at UAM, the Weevils, under Martin’s direction, enjoyed their highest finish (third) since joining the Gulf South Conference in 1995 and qualified for their first trip to post-season play. Martin also oversaw the reshaping and renovation of Weevil Field.
Between 1997 and 2001, nine Weevils were named to the All Gulf South Conference team and one player, pitcher Chad Yates, was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals.
Before arriving on the Monticello campus, Martin served four seasons at Louisiana Tech as both pitching and infield coach. He also was the coordinator of LA Tech’s recruiting and the Bulldog’s yearly baseball camp.
Martin completed his undergraduate career as the Bulldogs all-time saves leader. He posted a 5-0 record in 1989 with a sparkling 2.00 ERA and a school record of eight saves. He also batted .294 with one home run and five RBIs. In 1990, Martin recorded five more saves, establishing the (since broken) Tech record for career saves. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in 1991, Martin remained at Tech as a graduate assistant in 1992 and was promoted to full-time assistant in 1993.
In 1987, his freshman season, Martin was part of Tech’s Southland Conference East Division and tournament championship team, which advanced to the NCAA Regionals. In 1992, the Bulldogs captured the Sun Belt Conference West Division title.
The Forney, Texas, resident currently owns the second-best winning percentage in UAM history (.481), and he is second in total career wins with 76.
Martin and his wife Toni have two children, Kayci and Caleb.
Ryan Downs — Hitting/Catchers/Outfield Coach
Coach Ryan Downs grew up in Mesquite, Texas, where he attended Dallas Christian High School. He was an All‐State catcher and short stop, as well as an Area Code All‐American. He was a part of the Dallas Christian State Championship team in 2007. Coach Downs played at McMurry University for two years before requiring surgery to repair his elbow, prompting him to transfer to the University of Texas at Dallas. At UTD he was an All‐Conference catcher. After graduating with his bachelor's degree in Criminology, he was asked to return as the catchers’ coach at UTD. He spent the next two years coaching at UTD, who were nationally ranked in the top 25. Coach Downs has also coached at Dallas Christian School, as well as Trinity Christian School. He has also coached at the high school level for a top travel/select organization, D‐BAT, since 2011. Coach Downs is currently the hitting/catchers/outfield coach for the Harvesters and is pursuing a career in coaching college baseball.