February 25, 2015

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – Saying that 36 years is long enough, John A. Logan College women’s basketball head coach Marty Hawkins is stepping down from his position at the conclusion of this season.

The JALC Board of Trustees accepted Hawkins’ retirement request Tuesday night and voted to hire eight-year assistant, Amanda Shelby, as his replacement.

“It was time,” Hawkins said. “I talked about my decision with my family over the holidays in Chicago. I just felt 36 years coaching basketball and 45 years altogether in athletics was long enough. Now, I just need to take a deep breath and see what’s next for me. Knowing myself the way I do, I will probably gravitate back to basketball in some capacity at some point.”

JALC Athletic Director Jerry Halstead said Hawkins did good work.

“Marty’s on-court success speaks for itself with our conference, region and national tournament wins,” he said. “He has been an invaluable asset to the entire athletic department with his knowledge and experience of collegiate athletics. He will be missed.”

Hawkins has mostly enjoyed success with the Vols since replacing Logan Hall of Famer, Gary Barton, at the start of the 1994-95 season. He has amassed a 291-216 record in 17 seasons as head coach, including an 11-14 mark so far this season. His overall coaching record, which also includes stints Loyola and Morton Community College, is 521-387.

At Logan, he has guided two teams to the national tournament – once in 2001 (Elite 8 finish) and once in 2011 (Sweet 16 finish).

“I’m proud to have added two national tournament banners to the 10 that Coach Barton put up here,” Hawkins said. “I have a lot of great memories of my time at Logan. The relationships you build with the kids mean a lot. It’s been enjoyable to see so many of them continue their college basketball careers. Some have gone on to become coaches themselves.”

Hawkins said he is “blessed” to have had the opportunity to work at both Loyola and Logan.

“I owe a debt of gratitude to former JALC administrators Dr. Ray Hancock, Don Middleton and John Sala for hiring me and to our current president, Dr. Mike Dreith, the board of trustees, and our athletic director, Jerry Halstead for accepting my retirement request. Jerry has been a great boss to work with over the years.”

Hawkins said he is confident that Shelby will continue a tradition of winning basketball as the new head coach.

“Amanda’s very ready for this job,” he said. “It feels great to be able to pass along to her this opportunity like Coach Barton did to me. I am sure she will do an outstanding job.”

A Chicago native and 1974 DePaul graduate, Hawkins got his start in collegiate athletics first as an equipment manager, and then as sports information director at DePaul.

During his tenure there, he worked in publications, statistics, and radio-television production for the nationally-ranked Blue Demons men’s squad. In 1978, he moved to Loyola University to assume the same responsibilities.

In 1979, he took on the task of building the Loyola women's basketball program while continuing in sports information. He left the administrative post in 1981 to devote his energy to coaching basketball.

Hawkins then steered the program in its move from AWIA Division II to NCAA Division I.

During his tenure at Loyola, the Lady Ramblers won 227 games and three league championships. His teams had four 20-win seasons and victories over Division I powers like Kansas, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, and Illinois. He was named conference Coach of the Year three times and had a graduation rate of over 90 percent.

Hawkins has a bachelor’s degree (with honors) and a master’s degree from DePaul in economics.