Coach Martinez leaving a legacy on MCC Soccer

Coach Martinez leaving a legacy on MCC Soccer

Marshalltown Community College soccer owes a great deal of its success to Coach Rafael Martinez. With a heavy heart, the College announced today the departure of its great head soccer coach. 

Martinez will be starting the next step in his coaching career this summer as becomes the Assistant Men's Soccer Coach for NCAA DI University of Missouri-Kansas City. The team is currently part of the Western Athletic Conference and is transitioning into the Summit League Conference. 

"This is a fantastic opportunity for me to support Head Coach Ryan Pore and Athletic Director Dr. Brandon Martin in implementing a culture of excellence in a program that has incredible potential," commented Martinez about the staff at University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Martinez became MCC's third head coach in the spring of 2010. Since taking over the program, he has become the winningest coach in the program's history with a record of 129 wins, 41 losses and 11 ties. 

The 2019 season gave the Tigers back to back NJCAA Region XI Championships with 2018 and 2019. The final season record was 14-4-2 with MCC winning the Regional Final over Iowa Lakes 0-1. MCC fell in the District final 0-0 in a penalty shootout against Laramie County (Wyoming). The Tigers were ranked as high as #2 nationally. The Tigers had six consecutive years with at least one player from MCC being named All-American.

In 2018, the MCC soccer team had one its most successful seasons in history, going 18-1-2 and finishing 5th at the NJCAA National Tournament. MCC won the ICCAC Conference title, the Regional Tournament and the Great Lakes District Championship and was ranked as high as #1 at the United Soccer Coaches Association national ranking and #2 at the NJCAA national ranking. Coach Martinez and his staff were named both NJCAA Region XI and Great Lakes District Coach of the Year.  The 2018-2019 team received NJCAA Academic Team of the year with the highest GPA for soccer. 

2016 was another year of great success for the MCC Tigers, who posted a 15-4-1 record but fell short of a trip to the NJCAA National Tournament after losing in the Regional Tournament Championship game. The team finished 2nd in the ICCAC Conference. 

2015 was also a year for the record books as Martinez led the team to one of its most prominent seasons in program history. MCC posted a record of 18-1-2, with its only loss coming in the Region XI Championship game. The team won its third regular season Region XI Championship as well.

In 2014 MCC had a 13-7-0 record, the fourth-straight year of at least 12 wins. MCC posted another second-place finish in the ICCAC with an 8-4-0 league mark despite a semifinal loss to Iowa Lakes Community College in the Region XI Tournament.

Martinez guided the Tigers to the third-straight season of at least 12 wins in 2013 after the team posted a 14-4-1 record. MCC earned the No. 2 seed in the Division I Region XI Tournament after recording a 10-2 mark in league play. The Tigers appeared in 12 of the 13 weeks of the NJCAA Division I poll, reaching as high as No. 15.

After posting a 6-9 record in his initial year as head coach in 2010, the Tigers improved to a 12-5-1 record in 2011 with a third-place finish in Region XI were ranked as high as No. 20 in the NJCAA Division I rankings. Martinez also led the team to win the Minnesota Classic Tournament, a competition that included junior colleges from all over the country.

Martinez's head coaching career took off in 2012 as the Tigers advanced to the NJCAA National Tournament in Albany, GA. MCC dropped its opening round game to eventual National Champion Tyler CC, but won its next game against Jefferson College. The Tigers finished fifth at the national tournament and were ranked No. 9 in the final Division I poll.

Coach Martinez says he has enjoyed his time at MCC and has created a lot of great memories. "I have spent almost a third of my life coaching in Marshalltown so I am not sure yet who I am outside of this environment, but I want to find out. It is only fair that I thank Dr. Duree, Dr. Fisher and Dr. Lilienthal for their trust in me. I thank Neil Hayhurst, Dan Huntley, Dr. Kathleen Brown and John Kriebs for their leadership. I also thank Allie Osmundson, Creighton Jenness, Chris Fuchsen and the rest of the coaches for supporting me on and off the field and the fantastic faculty and staff who made it possible for our student-athletes to reach their goals. Lastly I want to thank the families for trusting this coaching staff and our institution to help guide their students in their college careers." 

Martinez knows that he would not have had all of the great experiences and memories without the MCC soccer student-athletes, past and present. "MCC Soccer gave me an incredible opportunity to reach and work with talented players that came to Marshalltown from all over the word with the intent of developing into better people and better players," commented Martinez. "But the truth is that I have benefited from them just as much as they benefited from working with us, as I am a better coach and a better person because of all the interactions I have had with them.  There is no doubt in my mind that the opportunity I am offered today has to do with the commitment and work of all our current and former MCC soccer players. I have truly loved working with all of you!"

The shoes of Martinez will be hard ones to fill and Athletic Director John Kriebs knows that. "Coach Martinez will be missed! He was only the third soccer coach here at Marshalltown Community College and the impact he made will be felt for some time.  We will start a search for his replacement as soon as we are able."

When asked if Martinez had any parting words for the people of Marshalltown he said, "While I am extremely excited about this opportunity, I realize how much I will miss the people I work with at MCC and the high school. Both institutions and the community of Marshalltown have been immensely generous with me and my family during both good and challenging moments, so I will always remember my time here with nostalgia and appreciation."