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PHIL MARTELLI
Courtesy: SJU Athletic Communications  
Release:  09/01/2004
Click here for Phil Martelli bio (pdf) Phil Martelli guided Saint Joseph's to a magical season in 2003-04, as the Hawks went undefeated in the regular season, reached the pinnacle as the top-ranked team in the nation and earned the school's first-ever number-one seed in the NCAA Tournament, as the Hawks advanced to the Elite 8. The affable Martelli captured all of the National Coach of the Year awards as he guided a focused and unselfish squad that captured the hearts of a city and became the most compelling national story of 2003-04. Led by the Player of the Year Jameer Nelson, the Hawks became the first team since 1990-91 to go through the regular season without a loss (27-0), while setting the school and Atlantic 10 records for the best start. SJU opened the season ranked 12th in the national polls and moved up throughout the year, taking the top spot on March 8, 2004, for the first time ever. He guided SJU to its fourth NCAA appearance in nine seasons, and its first back-to-back berths since 1982. The top-seeded Hawks reached the Elite 8 for the first time since 1981 before falling to Oklahoma State in a heartbreaking 64-62 loss. Martelli joined with Nelson to sweep the national coach and player of the year awards, a feat which is a rarity. Martelli won the 2004 Naismith Award, the Henry Iba Award (USBWA), the inaugural Rupp Cup, the Coach of the Year awards by both Associated Press and Chevrolet, and the NABC Co-Coach of the Year award. The Hawk mentor was also chosen as the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year for the third time and won the Harry Litwack Award as the top Eastern coach. Martelli's Hawks also won their second outright Philadelphia Big 5 title and their fourth straight Atlantic 10 regular season crown in 2003-04. The team was ranked fifth nationally, for the highest final ranking since 1966. The 30-2 record gave SJU an impressive 98-27 record over the past four season. A 10-year assistant with the Hawks prior to taking the university's head coaching position on July 20, 1995, the native of Drexel Hill, Pa., set the school record with 30 victories this season, and has led Hawks to more than 25 wins three times. In 2002-03, Saint Joseph's went 23-7, won its third consecutive regular season conference title, and earned an NCAA berth. The 2000-01 Hawks reached the NCAA Second Round and his 1997 squad made it to the Sweet 16 while also winning the Atlantic 10 Championship. The team's two NIT trips under Martelli's reign came in 1996 and 2002. In his first season, 1995-96, he led SJU to the NIT Championship game, becoming just the fifth first-year head coach to take a team to the tournament's Final Four since the field expanded in 1980. A three-time Atlantic 10 Conference and Eastern Basketball Coach of the Year (1997, 2001, 2004), Martelli is one of just five Hawk coaches to record 100 career wins, and he notched his 150th in the '03-04 season opener against Gonzaga. His 11 postseason wins (6 NCAA, 5 NIT) are second on the SJU all-time list, trailing only the legendary Jack Ramsay's 12 tourney triumphs. Martelli, who compiled the third-longest tenure as an assistant in Saint Joseph's history began his Hawk Hill career with SJU's 1985-86 NCAA Tournament team. In his decade as an assistant coach, he also helped guide the Hawks to two NIT appearances, 1992-93 and 1994-95. Prior to his arrival at Saint Joseph's, Martelli spent seven years as head basketball coach at Bishop Kenrick High in Norristown, Pa. At Kenrick, he led his team to a school record six straight Catholic League playoff appearances. In 1982, he was named prep Coach of the Year by both the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News, while earning the same honors in 1980 and 1982 for Montgomery County from the Norristown Times Herald. He began his career as the junior varsity coach at Cardinal O'Hara High during 1976-77. He moved on the following year to become an assistant at his alma mater, Widener University, helping to guide it to the NCAA Division III Final Four. A 1976 graduate of Widener, Martelli was a point guard on the Pioneers' NCAA Tournament teams in both 1974-75 and 1975-76. He is very active in the community and is a dedicated and key player in Coaches vs. Cancer. As part of the "Philly Six" group, Martelli and the other five city coaches have been one of the more successful groups in raising awareness and increasing resources for the fight against the disease. The "Philly Six" received a Coaches vs. Cancer Champion Award from the National Asssociation of Basketball Coaches in 2004. Martelli received an honorary doctorate of Public Service from Widener at the University's 2004 Commencement. Martelli was inducted into the CYO Hall of Fame in 2004 and is also a member of both the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Catholic School Hall of Fame and the Delaware County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. He and his wife Judy have three children, Philip (22), Jimmy (21), and Elizabeth (17).