High School Baseball

Martin retiring from LexCath

Rodney Martin, who led Lexington Catholic to state baseball titles in 1999 and 2006, is retiring as coach and teacher at his alma mater.

“I've been thinking about it the last three or four years, and after this season I decided it's time to move on,” he said.

Martin, 42, wouldn't say what business interests he might pursue, but added that he has “some options.”

Lexington Catholic got off to a slow start this spring and had a .500 record in early May. But the Knights got on a roll that carried them to the state semifinals before they lost to Lawrence County.

“That was the most rewarding season I've ever had in coaching because we were down early in the year but were able to come back,” Martin said.

“But every year at Catholic is rewarding. It's the best high school in the state of Kentucky, with great kids to work with.”

Martin was a baseball and basketball star at Lexington Catholic in the early 1980s. He played baseball at UK for two years before transferring to Cumberland University in Tennessee where he played baseball and basketball.

He was an assistant on the college level for a few years before becoming head coach at Lebanon High School in Tennessee for four years.

He returned home to coach at Lexington Catholic in the 1995-96 school year.

The Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association has Martin with a record of 338-80 in 13 years with the Knights.

Martin won't be a stranger at Lexington Catholic. He'll be in the stands to watch his son Taylor, a sophomore, play basketball and baseball for the Knights.

Martin expects to have some withdrawal pains from coaching. “I'm sure I'll miss the competition,” he said. “My favorite thing was coaching in big games.”

As for his successor, Martin hopes Lexington Catholic will promote Knights assistant Kevin Clary.

“I think he's the man for the job,” Martin said. “I think he'd be a tremendous head coach.”