Head Coach Taren Martin
Taren Martin will enter her second season as women’s basketball head coach at Eureka College in 2011-12. Martin, the ninth head coach in EC women’s basketball history, was named head coach in May 2010. Martin was also named Assistant Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator effective Oct. 1, 2010.
In her first season as head coach, Martin guided the Red Devils to nine wins and a sixth-place finish in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, the Red Devils’ highest league finish since the 2006-07 season. Her nine victories were the second-most by a head coach in a debut season in Eureka women’s basketball history.
Martin’s first season saw the emergence of several new faces, including guard Caty Eeten, who earned the SLIAC’s Newcomer of the Year and D3Hoops.com Central Region Rookie of the Year awards in her first season in the Eureka backcourt. In all, the Red Devils earned two SLIAC Player of the Week awards and forward Khassandrae Brown was one of three players in the league to rank among the top-five in scoring, rebounding and minutes played.
Martin’s 2010-11 squad also proved to be one Eureka’s top 3-point shooting teams, as the Red Devils set a new single-season school record with 109 3-point baskets made. Eureka also set single-game records during the 2010-11 season with 114 points scored, 11 3-point field goals made and 35 assists in a victory over Lincoln Christian on Jan. 20, 2011. The Red Devils also broke the single-game steals record with 41 thefts against the Red Lions on Feb. 9, 2011.
The Red Devils also excelled in the classroom under Martin’s watch, posting a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 as a team, while Jaquie Flanagan was one of two student-athletes from the program to be named to the 2010-11 SLIAC All-Academic Team.
In addition to the success achieved by the Red Devils on the court and in the classroom, Martin and the Red Devils have been a positive influence in the Eureka community. The women’s basketball program has compiled nearly 600 hours of community service since 2010, going to recess at local elementary schools, volunteering at a retirement home in Eureka, volunteering during Eureka’s annual Reagan Festival, offering instruction at youth basketball camps in the fall and summer, raking leaves in the community, and being an angel tree buddy for children during the holiday season.
A native of Savannah, Mo., Martin comes from a family of outstanding athletes. Her dad was inducted into the Missouri Western State University Athletic Hall of Fame, having earned two-time All-America honors for baseball. He is also a member of the Missouri State Cross Country/Track Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Martin’s sister, Jaime (O’Brien) Dial, won two Missouri state titles in tennis and track. She went on to Missouri Western State University where she played basketball and tennis. Having those two individuals as mentors, Martin had big shoes to fill.
Martin graduated from Savannah High School in Savannah, Mo. where she was a three-sport All-Missouri State athlete in tennis, basketball and track. As starting point guard, she led her basketball team to a second-place state finish three times. She also brought home a second place state medal in track for the 4x800 relay.
Martin played her collegiate basketball at Division I Illinois State University in Normal, Ill. She began her four-year playing career for the Redbirds in 2000, eventually helping ISU to one of its greatest turnarounds in program history. As a senior during the 2003-04 season, Martin averaged 11.4 points, 4.6 assists and 2.6 steals per game in leading the Redbirds to a fifth-place finish in the Missouri Valley Conference and a 16-13 record, a nine-win improvement from the previous season and team’s best record since 1996-97.
Martin received Illinois State’s Jill Hutchison Endowed Scholarship in 2003 and the Jill Hutchison Coach’s Award for leadership and performance for her efforts during her senior season. Martin was the first Illinois State player to record 300 assists, 250 made free throws, 150 steals and 100 three-point field goals.
After playing four seasons as a player for the Redbirds, Martin began her coaching career in 2004 with two-time Missouri Valley Coach of the Year and current University of Missouri women’s basketball head coach Robin Pingeton. Martin served as a graduate assistant for one year before being named Illinois State’s first Director of Women’s Basketball Operations while completing her master’s degrees in communication.
In addition to her coaching duties, Martin oversaw the day-to-day operations of the program, worked with the guards and did tireless work behind the scenes. She also developed communication plans, organized day-to-day activities, community service work, public relations and marketing. Martin was a vital part in rebuilding Illinois State’s program which saw the Redbirds win three conference titles and make five trips to the postseason in seven years, including back-to-back WNIT semifinal appearances in 2009 and 2010.
“We’re very excited to welcome Coach Martin to Eureka College to lead our women’s basketball program,” Bryant said on the date of her introductory news conference in May 2010. “We are privileged to have chosen someone with Taren’s experience. She will bring a new level of professionalism and vigor to the Red Devils.”
Formerly Taren O’Brien, she married Patrick Martin in 2005. They have a four-year-old daughter, Ryleigh, and a three-year-old son, Jackson.
Assistant Coach Paul Bryant
Paul Bryant will enter his first full season as a women’s basketball assistant coach at Eureka in 2011-12.
Bryant began his coaching career at the collegiate level during the 1996-97 season as a men’s basketball assistant coach at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio. He went on to become the head coach at Sinclair the following season, directing the Pride for six seasons from 1997 until 2003. During his six seasons, Bryant won 88 games, led Sinclair to four NJCAA Division II regional appearances, two national tournament berths and a national runner-up finish in 1998. He was named the Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year.
Prior to the 2003-04 season, Bryant became the men’s basketball head coach at Urbana University in Urbana, Ohio. While guiding the Blue Knights, Bryant was chosen as the American Mideast South Division Coach of the Year and American Mideast Conference Coach of the Year. Beginning in 2004, Bryant served as an Associate Director of Athletics at UU. He left Urbana in 2008 to accept his current position at Eureka.
Before entering the collegiate coaching ranks, Bryant coached basketball from 1989 until 1996 at the Dayton Jewish Center.
Bryant played four years of college basketball between North Idaho College and Alaska Pacific University before earning a bachelor’s degree from APU in 1989 and a master of education degree from Urbana. Bryant is a member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, Black Coaches and Administrators and the National Association of College Directors of Athletics. He also served as the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Administrative Council Chair during the 2010-11 school year.
In addition to his duties with the Eureka women’s basketball program, Bryant is also in his fourth year as the Eureka College Director of Athletics.
Assistant Coach Mike Donovan
Mike Donovan will join Taren Martin’s staff for his first season as a collegiate assistant coach in 2011-12.
A native of Antioch, Ill., Donovan played four years of prep basketball at Antioch High School. He contributed as a small forward for the Sequoites and also played four years of boys volleyball. He graduated from Antioch in 2006.
Donovan attended Illinois State University and contributed to the women’s basketball program at ISU as a practice player for three seasons from 2008 until 2011. There, he met Eureka head coach Taren Martin, who served as ISU’s Director of Basketball Operations through the 2009-10 season. Donovan is due to earn a B.S. in physical education from ISU in December 2011.
In addition to coaching at Eureka, Donovan is in his second season as the eighth grade boys basketball coach at Thomas Metcalf School in Normal, Ill. He has served as an assistant physical education teacher at Metcalf since 2009 and completed his student teaching there in fall 2011.