For the first time in 29 years, the Oswego State men’s lacrosse team has a new head coach.
Ryan Martin, who replaced Dan Witmer over the summer, said he’s ready for a new chapter in his life.
Martin spent the past four years as the men’s assistant lacrosse coach at Nazareth College and two stints as an assistant coach at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and Hampden-Sydney College.
Having connections throughout the New York state area, Martin found out about the Oswego State head coach opening and decided to give it a shot.
"Oswego has a lot of potential to build a team," Martin said. "There’s a lot of great lacrosse in New York."
The lacrosse success in New York state is a key for Martin and his recruiting style. Currently the Lakers’ focus will be in-state, but as time progresses he would like to expand the boundaries.
"It helps being a SUNY school and having lacrosse right in your backyard," Martin said.
In the near future, Martin would also like to start looking at the talent in Canada with the hopes of adding a player or two from there.
The Lakers will focus more on defense this year, but that will not be its full focus. Martin was the goalie and a two-time captain for Ithaca College, a team he will face Oct. 10 at Onondaga Community College (OCC) in an exhibition match. Martin earned All-America honors in 2002 and 2003 and was recognized as the Empire 8 Conference Player of the Year in 2002.
"My coaching philosophy is fast and aggressive," Martin said. "We’re a defense first team. Not to say we don’t want to be in transition. A stronger defense means better chances of being better."
The Lakers as a team will be measured by wins and losses, but to Martin it is about more than that. He would like to see the team come together or, as he calls it, form a family.
"Hopefully we become more competitive in the conference," Martin said.
Martin has recruited and worked with All-Americans, Conference Players of the Year and that went on to play in the North-South Senior All-Star Game.
"Recruiting in the same area will benefit us," Martin said. "We’ve got four transfers from OCC this year and are fortunate enough to have these guys. They’re good players and a great program to attract others."
Martin might be trying a new thing as head coach, but one thing is for sure: he knows how to get the pieces to recruit to Oswego State and come together as a team. With that it should not be a problem for him to find the success he is looking for at the end of a new task in his coaching career.
Martin is an active clinician for Gamebreaker Lacrosse Camps for boys age 12-18 in New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvani and Georgia during the summer months. He has assessed individual players and developed training sessions and individualized training regimens for campers.
"We are extremely pleased to have Ryan Martin taking over the leadership of our men’s lacrosse program", said Tim Hale, Oswego State Athletic Director. "He brings a wealth of high level experience as a player and coach to our program. His experience and enthusiam will provide the guidance for future Laker success."