After nine years at the helm of the Ceres High boys basketball program, Jason Martin has stepped down.
As the varsity head coach, Martin saw his teams compile a 133-199 record. They made the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs four times.
"I'm just kind of burnt out," Martin said. "Since I graduated from high school (Hilmar High in 1989) I've been coaching in some capacity. It was just time for a break."
Martin, 36, will remain a math teacher at Ceres.
He coached some memorable teams. One of his best teams happened to run into one of the best teams in Stanislaus District history in the playoffs, Modesto Christian, in 2001.
Martin's Bulldogs were 23-9 and won their first playoff game, then ran into a buzzsaw in the Crusaders, led by current NBA player Chuck Hayes.
"We had a great team, one of the best I coached," Martin said. "But that MC team was just incredible. They beat us by 23 points, and it was their closest game in the section playoffs that year."
Martin also cited the team from two years ago, one that battled Weston Ranch and Sierra for the Valley Oak League title. This season, he coached Modesto Bee all-Stanislaus District first-team forward Brett Sayad.
"I love basketball, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to come back to it," Martin said. "But coaching basketball is year-round. We played 30 to 40 games each summer, so it never stopped.
"I'm really happy at Ceres; I'm going to miss being out there. But I just needed a little time to recharge."
Although he's taking a break from basketball, Martin is still coaching.
"Right now, I'm coaching my daughter's T-Ball team in Hilmar," Martin said. "It's time for my family. And it's a blast."
Bee staff writer Will DeBoard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2300.