Jody Martinez after a brief absence returned to the Crossroads League and picked up pretty much right where he left off.
Martinez completed his second season as the head coach of the Taylor University women’s basketball team by leading the Trojans to 30-5 overall record (16-2 in the conference). The 2018-19 campaign came to an end in a 75-62 loss to Dakota Wesleyan in the NAIA National Tournament Quarterfinals in Sioux City, Iowa.
A year ago, in his first season at the Trojan helm, the team posted a 24-11 mark for the program’s first season with 20-or-more wins in five years.
Martinez arrived at Taylor with an impressive resume at the NAIA level. During 16 seasons at Bethel College in Mishawaka and one at Southeastern University, he guided his teams to 20-or-more wins in every season except one, qualified for eight NAIA National Championship Tournaments and five Elite Eight appearances. He also won 11 Coach of the Year awards.
Prior to taking over the Taylor program, Martinez spent two years as an assistant at the University of Illinois, where he helped develop a couple of post players that earned All- Big Ten honors.
He will begin the 2019-20 season at Taylor with a career record of 433-195 (.689 winning percentage).
Martinez was a standout player for the Bethel Pilots. When he graduated in 1990, he was the program’s all-time leading scorer (2, 620 points,) all-time leading rebounder (1,728 rebonds), as well as being first in field goal percentage (59.8), blocks (197) and games played (145).
He was a three-time NAIA All-American and a two-time NAIA Academic All-American for the Pilots.
Martinez was inducted into the Bethel Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994.
There was a little part of Goshen area fastpitch softball history in NCAA women’s softball national championship tournament this season.
Former player Mike Forsythe was a volunteer pitching coach for the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs. The team finished 45-16 after being eliminated in the NCAA Regional by Texas Tech in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The Bulldogs lost their first game to Texas Tech 3-0 and defeated Monmouth 1-0 before the season ended in a 3-1 loss to Texas Tech in the double-elimination event.
Forsythe worked with former Tech player Bianca Duran and together they have built a one of the best pitching staffs in Conference USA.
During Forsythe’s three years on the Tech staff, the team’s pitchers have earned high marks. Bailey Allen (2016), Krystal De La Cruz (2017) and Preslee Gallaway (2018) all earned first team all-Conference USA honors.
Before his arrival only Meghan Krieg had earned first team all-conference honors from 1999 to 2015.
His pitching staff tossed 18 shutouts in the 2017 season, including eight in C-USA games. The team’s schedule featured 11 games against Power 5 teams, yet the staff combined for a 2.48 earned run average. The 18 shutouts were the most in the program since 1999 and the 2.48 ERA was the lowest in the past 20 seasons.
Forsythe has an impressive resume with coaching experience at four other colleges, including stints at Southern Connecticut State, Quinnipiac, Fordham and most recently at Northern Colorado. He also spent time coaching with the Akron Racers Women’s National Pro Fastpitch League.
His own playing career lasted for 23 years and included an ASA national championship in 1988 with Trans-Aire out of Elkhart.
The 2015 Mishawaka High School graduate earned All-American honors for the University of Notre Dame with a sixth-place finish (33:25.91) in the 10,000 meters at the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Austin, Texas.
Rohrer was the 2019 ACC champion in the 10,000 meters (33:30.73) and ran a season-best time of (33:07.90) in the East Regional Prelims.
She was also a cross-country All-American last fall, placing 10th (20:02.40) in the championship meet.
Rohrer was recently one of 12 members of the Irish women’s track and field squad named to the Academic All-American team with a 3.342 GPA in Neuroscience.
At Mishawaka, Rohrer was a four-year letterwinner in both cross-country and track. She was the National Gatorade Girls Cross-Country Runner of the Year in 2014-15 after winning the Indiana state title as a sophomore. She also captured the Indiana championship as a senior. She was the Foot Locker National cross-country champion in 2012-13 and 2014-15. In track, Rohrer was a three-time state champion in the 3,200 and won the 1,600 as a senior.
Greg Keim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 574-533-2151, ext. 326. Follow Greg on Twitter @gkeim_TGN