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GAME DAY FEATURE: Phil Martelli
Courtesy: SJU Athletic Communications  
Release:  01/27/2007

Jan. 28, 2007

By Joe Greenwich & Amber Tyson

It's not everyday that players or coaches reach career milestones. For that reason, it's always nice to take a look at their accomplishments in order to better appreciate what they've done.

Saint Joseph's head coach Phil Martelli enters tonight's matchup with Penn on the verge of tying Hawk coaching legend Dr. Jack Ramsay for second place on the school's all-time wins list. Martelli currently stands one victory behind Ramsay.

In his 12th season, Martelli has compiled a career record of 233-133, good for a .637 winning percentage. Martelli currently holds the most conference wins of any active A-10 coach with a record of 118-64 in regular season play, and his 12 seasons make him the longest-tenured coach in the league.

Martelli has been known to have teams playing their best basketball towards the end of the season. The Hawks' performance over the final weeks of the past two seasons best exemplifies this ability.

Despite holding a 10-12 record in February, the Hawks won the final five games of the 2005-06 regular season. After three wins in the Atlantic 10 Tournament, SJU reached its second consecutive conference title game but fell one point short of cutting down the nets. The Hawks were rewarded with their sixth consecutive postseason berth but had their run cut short in the second round of the NIT by Hofstra.

The previous season, Martelli guided SJU to 21 wins in the calendar year of 2005 to finish 24-12. The Hawks won their fifth-straight regular season A-10 championship to tie the league record and earned their fifth postseason trip in as many years. SJU went on to reach the NIT championship game before falling on a last-second shot to South Carolina. It marked the second time in Martelli's career that he led Saint Joseph's to the NIT title game.

Coach Martelli's success over the past six years has been unrivaled by any Big 5 or Atlantic 10 coach. He has amassed an overall record of 141-54 over that span, earning an average of more than 23 victories per season. An even more stellar accomplishment is Martelli's 77-19 mark in Atlantic 10 regular season play. Also impressive is the fact that Martelli's teams are 11-6 in postseason play during that time.

Martelli's accomplishments have not gone unrewarded. He was named the 2004 consensus National Coach of the Year after leading the Hawks to a program best 30-2 record, including a perfect 27-0 regular season mark. Martelli has been named Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year on four occasions, most recently in 2005. He has also earned two USBWA District Coach of the Year awards and was named Big 5 Coach of the Year three times.

The man Martelli is about to pass has a number of accomplishments of his own. Dr. Jack Ramsay's 11-year mark of 234-72 gives him SJU's highest career winning percentage at .765. Ramsay led the Hawks to the postseason in 10 of his 11 seasons on the bench. His 1961 squad reached the only NCAA Final Four in Hawk history. After leaving Hawk Hill, Ramsay won 864 games in 21 seasons in the NBA, while leading the Portland Trailblazers to the 1976-77 NBA title. A member of the SJU Basketball, SJU Athletics, and Philadelphia Big 5 Halls of Fame, Ramsay received basketball's highest honor in 1992 when he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. A 1949 graduate of Saint Joseph's, Ramsay is, without a doubt, one of Philadelphia's most decorated sports legends.

While the two men played and coached in two distinct eras of college basketball, both Ramsay and Martelli have displayed similar characteristics in their tenures at Saint Joseph's. Both men have represented SJU with the utmost class and respect. Both have excelled in preparing young men for the future, both on the court and off. Both men have earned the trust and respect of their peers.

They're both pretty good at winning basketball games, too.