Boston College football is set to welcome its fifth offensive coordinator since 2008. First, there was Steve Logan in 2007 and 2008, followed by Gary Tranquill in 2009 and 2010. In 2011, an NFL coach by the name of Kevin Rogers was brought in, but he left about as soon as his tenure started. Dave Brock replaced him, and now with Brock off to Rutgers (he’d have been demoted to special teams anyway), Doug Martin steps in to try to tame a lackluster BC offense.
Martin has an SEC background, having played for the University of Kentucky Wildcats. Martin was a quarterback and later a holder for some pretty good teams, at least one of which won a bowl game. After graduating from UK in 1985, Martin signed on as a graduate assistant for the 1986 and 1987 seasons.
His first real coaching gig came in 1988 when East Tennessee State hired Martin to be the running backs coach. After just one season in his native Volunteer State, Martin was promoted to offensive coordinator, with side jobs coaching the quarterbacks and wide receivers. Martin’s work there got him bumped up a step to East Carolina, with which he stayed for 11 seasons. He eventually, he got promoted there from tight ends and special teams coordinator all the way up to offensive coordinator, remaining in that post between the 1996 and 2002 seasons.
A lateral move came for Martin in 2003 with the Kent State Golden Flashes making him their offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. It only took him one year to get his first, and to date only, shot at the big chair. In 2004, Kent State made him the head coach. Martin’s best season was a 6-6 campaign in 2006; overall, he was 29-53 as coach of the Golden Flashes before resigning in November 2010.
Martin did not remain unemployed for long, as the Aggies of New Mexico State made him their offensive coordinator for 2011. His team was average offensively (and definitively better than Boston College, which says more about us than it does about them). The 4-9 Aggies were 47th in total offense in the nation, but just 79th in scoring offense; the two of those together give you a middle-of-the-pack squad, which for the WAC probably isn’t so bad. Running back Kenny Turner cracked the FBS top 50 in yards per game under Martin’s watch.
Martin’s task is easy to explain but hard to execute: fix this disastrous offense. He is inheriting a unit that has spent several years languishing in the triple-digits in key offensive rankings and is closing in on three years since the last time they hung 30 points on another FBS team. The offensive line has been breaking down and our quarterback isn’t taking big strides. The rushing game has some talented backs, but for all they run the football, they can’t get out of the bottom half of the conference in yardage (and now BC has injury/depth issues there). The tight end position has been underutilized and conservative game-planning has shackled creativity. All of this needs to change under Martin.
Can Martin prove up to the task? It’s not imprudent to take a wait and see approach. Others have recently tried and failed to get this offense back on track, so guaranteeing results given BC’s track record since 2009 wouldn’t be wise. It’s our hope that he can finally break the spell of poor play from this unit, but it’s going to take a lot of hard work.