Coming off a Baltimore Catholic League Tournament championship and an appearance in the finals of the prestigious Alhambra Catholic Invitational, John Carroll School boys’ basketball coach Tony Martin is leaving the Bel Air school after 11 seasons, VSN has confirmed.

“Yes, it is true,” Martin told VSN when asked if a rumor surrounding his departure from John Carroll was valid. “I am taking a great opportunity south where the majority of my family lives. Plus, I have serious health issues with an elderly parent.”

Pending the completion of paperwork, Martin did not want to reveal his new positon, but did say he will be leaving the area to become the head coach at a private high school in Wilmington, North Carolina. He will be relocating his mother, and taking advantage of what he called “a quality of life opportunity.”

“I definitely will be coaching and after weighing several great options, it is clear for a variety of reasons this is a perfect fit for me and my family,” said Martin. “This next opportunity is at a great school with the highest academic reputation in the region, outstanding fiscal strength and resources, tremendous facilities, and an opportunity to once again put my fingerprints on every stage of the building process, while being given the freedom to grow the summer programs. All, while being near family and 15 minutes from some of the best beaches in the country.”

Martin’s Patriots went 27-11 this past winter and played their best basketball in March as they defeated top-seeded Mount St. Joseph in the BCL final on a last second shot by sophomore Immanuel Quickley, the BCL MVP. The Pats then went on to win two games at Alhambra and went toe-to-toe with perennial champion DeMatha Catholic in the final, before fading in the fourth quarter.

In his 11 seasons, Martin posted a record of 266-130 (.672) and his overall head coaching mark is 486-196 (.710).

Perhaps Martin’s finest season came in 2010-11 when John Carroll went 33-5 and swept the championships of the MIAA A Conference and the BCL. The feat earned Martin recognition as the very first Varsity Sports Network Coach of the Year. That year, the Patriots claimed their first ever victories over BCL powers St. Frances Academy and Mount St. Joseph, and went on to defeat St. Frances three more times that winter.

Getting John Carroll into the BCL was a quest that drove Martin from when he first set foot on the JC campus in 2005. The year prior, the Patriots were 0-25 in the MIAA B Conference, but he oversaw a historic turnaround as the team went 17-25 in 2005-2006 and 28-8 the following year. The team matriculated to the MIAA A Conference in 2007, going 21-12, but was not granted a spot in the BCL until 2010 after Towson Catholic closed and created a void in the area most prestigious boys basketball circuit.

In the 1990’s, Martin was the coach Archbishop Spalding and also oversaw that program’s rise to prominence. At Spalding he took over a 3-17 squad and went 69-30 in three years. In his first year, the Cavaliers went 21-8 and won the MIAA C Conference. The following year he skipped the B Conference and took his squad straight to the MIAA A Conference and BCL. That team went 31-5 and won the BCL championship.

His coaching resume also includes stints as an assistant at Cardinal Gibbons, under the late and legendary O. Ray Mullis, as well as Mount St. Joseph, under current Gael leader Pat Clatchey, as well as a brief tenure at Towson University.

His three BCL titles was second-most among current BCL coaches, behind Clatchey, who has six with St. Joe.

In a prepared release, John Carroll athletic director Steve Teter expressed gratitude and pride for what Martin has accomplished at the Bel Air school.

“We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished with Coach Martin,” said Teter. “He was instrumental in developing the basketball program into a national power. He will leave behind big shoes to fill, but we will begin a search for a new coach right away to continue our success on the basketball court.”

“It’s been an honor and privilege to serve The John Carroll School,” added Martin. “The administrative support has been a key component to positively impacting the basketball program and school community as a whole. The wins and championships were great but it is the relationships I have built with our student-athletes that will last a lifetime.”