FC Wisconsin is excited to announce its newest coach to the FC Family. Kevin Martin will be joining our coaching family this June in preparation for the 2022-2023 season and will oversee our Junior Academy Program. Kevin will be joining FC Wisconsin from Strike FC, where he helped to build one of the largest and most successful junior academy programs in the state of Wisconsin.
“Kevin is someone that has been our main target to run our Junior Academy for a number of years. Kevin's work within the Strike Junior Academy is something we have admired for a long time. Together with TC Ward, who is a member of the FC Wisconsin staff, they built Strike FC’s Youth Program at the youngest ages to be one of the best in the state. Circumstances at Strike FC have enabled us to finally make Kevin part of our coaching leadership as our Junior Academy Director and this is a huge hire for the future of the program,” said Co-Director of Coaching Ben Shepherd.
Kevin grew up playing soccer in southeastern Wisconsin from a young age, learning the game, but more importantly, learning how to teach the game. A four-year starter and four-year all-conference player at Greendale High School, Martin helped lead his team from the midfield to a state final match his senior year. He then moved on to playing collegiate soccer at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wis. Martin played all four years at St. Norbert and was a two time Academic All-American.
Martin has also been a high school biology teacher for the past 22 years and uses his education background to help teach the game of soccer to all ages. “I got my start coaching right out of college by assisting a Lake Country United team. It was then that I knew the game was still thriving in my blood and I had to find ways to give back to a game that taught me so much.” That same year as a 22-year-old, first-year teacher, Martin also started coaching a high school freshmen girls team. The following year, Martin also added coaching freshmen boys teams at Arrowhead High School, which continued for the next 10 years.
Most recently in 2019, Kevin was named the Junior Academy Director at Strike FC Soccer Club. “While I greatly enjoyed working with high school players, I noticed some trends of player development in terms of gaps in basic skills. I decided to turn my attention to younger age groups around eight years ago, while also coaching my own children for a few years. I felt I needed to learn more about the systems in place that were helping develop players in our area. While continuing to coach high school teams, I started coaching teams in the academy programs, and youngest select programs. It was at this point I found a passion for coaching at the junior academy level,” shared Kevin Martin.
Kevin brings a wealth of knowledge and knows how to design and deliver sessions to improve players at the youngest age groups. His 22 years of both coaching and educational experience will cultivate a learning environment of creativity, fun, and love of the game. These attributes are key to developing young players within these age groups and his influence and impact at FC Wisconsin will be extremely beneficial in the long-term development of our players.
Martin adds, “I am eagerly awaiting this next challenge. FC Wisconsin has an unbelievable record of player development, while helping develop strong collegiate players. I am looking forward to helping grow a strong junior academy base within the FC Wisconsin model. I want players to start learning the game at these early ages to help them set the foundation for development for years to come. Players can learn so much when challenged, but also when having fun in the process. Obviously my style has changed over the years moving from coaching high school players to now coaching mostly five through 10 year olds. At the same time, I don’t know if I have ever had so much joy in coaching! I am thrilled to now be a part of the FC Family and look forward to seeing what we can achieve together."
“We have long had Kevin as one of our dream coaches to add to our staff. He is a great teacher, organizer, communicator, and developer. As our programs continually grows, there is no doubt Kevin is the right person to elevate the entire make up, curriculum, and developmental plan in our junior academy program. Kevin will raise the level of the foundation of our club. Couldn’t have asked for a better hire, and can't wait to see his impact,” said Co-Coaching Director Billy Solberg.
As a club we could not be happier for this perfect fit within the FC Family. Welcome, Coach Kevin!