2004 Consensus National Coach of the Year
Four-time Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year (2005, 2004, 2001, 1997)
Past President, Board of Directors, National Association of Basketball Coaches
In 24 seasons as the head basketball coach at Saint Joseph's, Phil Martelli has built a program that is consistently one of the top in the conference, a perennial postseason participant and a key player on the national scene. In doing so, he has earned his place among the top coaches in the school's storied history and is one of the more respected coaches in the game.
Martelli is the Hawks' all-time leader in career victories with a mark of 444-328 (as of completion of 2018-19 season). Setting the school record for wins in a season (30) in 2004, Martelli has guided SJU to 20 or more victories nine times in his 24 seasons, which is the most for any Hawks' coach. His record of 218-176 in Atlantic 10 play is the most conference wins for any active coach and ranks second all-time in the league.
Seven of his players have reached the NBA, with First Round draft picks - DeAndre' Bembry (2016), Jameer Nelson (2004) and Delonte West (2004) - and a second-round selection, Ahmad Nivins (2009). Dwayne Jones and Ronald Roberts, Jr. had NBA stints while undrafted free agent Langston Galloway earned All-Rookie Second Team honors with the New York Knicks in 2015. Nelson (Detroit), Galloway (Detroit) and Bembry (Atlanta) are currently playing in the NBA.
Martelli has been at his best when it counts the most as his 18 postseason wins (7 NCAA, 11 NIT) are the most in school history. He has taken SJU to the postseason in four of the last seven years, and 13 times in 23 seasons at SJU, while winning three Atlantic 10 Championships (1997, 2014, 2016).
A promising 2017-18 campaign was sidetracked by season-long injuries to two of SJU's top players (Charlie Brown, Jr., Lamarr Kimble). But Martelli's Hawks showed their resiliency, and despite suffering 11 losses with a margin of four or less points, SJU won seven of its last eight games to earn the fourth seed in the Atlantic 10 Championship, reach the conference semifinals and end the year at 16-16.
It was the second consecutive year that the injury bug hit Saint Joseph's as the 2016-17 Hawks were plagued by four season-ending injuries, including those to the Hawks' top two scorers, Shavar Newkirk and Lamarr Kimble.
Saint Joseph's 2015-16 team compiled a 28-8 record for the second-most victories for a Hawk team, won its second A-10 title in three seasons and advanced to the NCAA Second Round for the first time since 2004. Martelli, who recorded his 400th career win, earned Big 5 Coach of the Year honors as the Hawks were the third most improved team in the nation. He also had two of the best players in the league, as DeAndre' Bembry was the A-10 Player of the Year and Isaiah Miles was the Most Improved Player, with both earning All-Conference honors.
The 2014-15 Hawks were challenged after losing three All-Conference players from the 2014 A-10 champion team, but saw the emergence of Bembry as one of the league's top players.
In 2013-14, Martelli and his veteran team turned in one of the more memorable seasons in school history, adding another A-10 Championship to his résumé. The Hawks, led by seniors Langston Galloway, Halil Kanacevic and Ronald Roberts, Jr., won 20 of 26 games from mid-December and captured the school's third conference title and its first since 1997. SJU went 24-10 and reached the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time under Martelli, falling to eventual national champion Connecticut in overtime.
The 2012-13 season saw an experienced Saint Joseph's squad earn a second consecutive NIT bid, following the 2011-12 squad that won 20 games and returned to the postseason in the NIT. SJU boasted one of the most balanced squads in school history, as five different players received Atlantic 10 honors, the most ever for the Hawks. During the season, Martelli became SJU's all-time leader in victories, breaking the mark held by Bill Ferguson (309).
In 2010-11, Martelli guided the youngest squad in his career, with three freshman starters, and made a late-season run to reach the A-10 semifinals, following a rebuilding year in 2009-10.
Martelli's 2008-09 squad notched his ninth consecutive winning season. Ahmad Nivins, an AP Honorable Mention All-America, became the third Hawk in six years to garner the Atlantic 10's Player of the Year Award, while also being chosen by the Dallas Mavericks in the 2009 NBA Draft.
The 2007-08 Hawks reached the Atlantic 10 Championship game for the third time in four years and earned the program's 19th bid to the NCAA Tournament, and Martelli's fifth. The 11th-seeded Hawks fell to sixth-seeded Oklahoma in the NCAA First Round, while ending the year at 21-13.
He reached a significant milestone in 2006-07 when he surpassed Hall of Famer Jack Ramsay (234) for second place on the school's all-time list for wins, guiding a young squad to 18 victories.
Martelli turned in another top-notch coaching performance in 2005-06 as the Hawks reached the Atlantic 10 Championship game for the second year in a row. SJU was rewarded with its sixth consecutive postseason bid, but saw the year come to an end in the NIT Second Round, closing with a 19-14 mark.
In 2004-05, Martelli turned in perhaps a more remarkable coaching job than in 2003-04 when he was the consensus National Coach of the Year. Faced with the loss of two NBA first-round draft picks, the 2004-05 Hawks struggled early on, but Martelli guided SJU to 21 wins in the calendar year of 2005 to finish 24-12. SJU posted the conference's best record (14-2), won its fifth straight regular-season title to tie the league record, earned the A-10's top seed and reached the title game. He was named the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year for the second straight season and the fourth time in his career. SJU earned its fifth consecutive postseason bid and made an exciting six-game run in the NIT, falling on a last-second shot in the championship game.
In 2003-04, Martelli guided a focused and unselfish squad that became the most compelling story in college basketball. The Hawks went undefeated in the regular season, reached the pinnacle as the top-ranked team in the nation, earned the school's first-ever number-one seed in the NCAA Tournament, and advanced to the Elite Eight, falling just two points short of the Final Four. Jameer Nelson was the consensus National Player of the Year while he and Delonte West were both first-round selections in the NBA Draft. SJU opened the season ranked 12th in the polls and took the top spot on March 8, 2004, for the first time ever, while finishing fifth in the polls, for SJU's highest final ranking since 1966.
Jameer Nelson was the consensus National Player of the Year and with teammate Delonte West, were both first-round selections in the NBA Draft. SJU opened the season ranked 12th in the polls and took the top spot on March 8, 2004, for the first time ever, while finishing fifth in the polls, for SJU's highest final ranking since 1966. It was a school-record fourth straight season, and fifth in Martelli's tenure, that the Hawks were ranked in the AP poll.
Martelli joined with Nelson to sweep the national coach and player awards, marking one of the few times in history that the top player and coach were from the same school. In addition to the national awards, he was the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year for the third time and a repeat winner of the Big 5 Coach of the Year.
One of the more colorful coaches in the nation, Martelli's personality, wit and accessibility have always made him a media favorite. His popularity grew to an even higher level in 2004, as the Hawks remained unbeaten and the coach was besieged by media requests from all over the country. Because of this, the Saint Joseph's story was well documented by the Philadelphia press and told by countless media outlets nationwide.
He has also served the game, previously as President of the NABC's Board of Directors and as a member of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Ethics Coalition, and is currently on the NCAA Division I Oversight Committee. In 2016, he was honored with the Gene Bartow Award by CollegeInsider.com for outstanding achievement and contributions to the game.
Martelli is not only passionate for coaching, but also for his work in the community. He serves as the chair of the Coaches vs. Cancer National Council and as the co-chair of the Philadelphia chapter of that organization, with the city's coaches becoming one of the top fundraising groups in the nation. He has received numerous honors for his community work and in 2017, he was the co-recipient of the American Cancer Society's Circle of Honor Award with Fran Dunphy of Temple. Martelli has also been awarded three honorary doctorates - from his alma mater, Widener University (2004), as well as Cabrini College (2006) and Immaculata University (2010).
A 1976 graduate of Widener, Martelli began his career on Hawk Hill with SJU's 1985-86 NCAA Tournament team. After 10 years as an assistant at Saint Joseph's, Martelli was named the 14th coach in school history on July 20, 1995, and just the third non-alumnus to follow in the storied tradition of SJU coaches.
Martelli burst onto the scene in his first season (1995-96) and took the squad to the NIT Championship game. He followed that in 1996-97 with the Atlantic 10 regular season and tournament titles, along with a berth in the NCAA Sweet 16.
Prior to his arrival at SJU, Martelli spent seven years as head basketball coach at Bishop Kenrick High School and had a stint as assistant coach at Widener, helping guide the Pioneers to the 1978 NCAA Division III Final Four.
As a point guard at Widener, he was part of the NCAA Tournament teams in 1974-75 and 1975-76, and set the school's single season and career assist marks.
Martelli and his wife, Judy, a former basketball player with the national champion Immaculata College teams in the 1970s, have three children, Phil, Jr., Jimmy, and Elizabeth. Phil, Jr., along with Elizabeth, are Saint Joseph's graduates, while he and Jimmy both hold NCAA Division I basketball positions. Phil, Jr., is an assistant coach at Bryant University and Jimmy is the director of operations at VCU. Phil and Judy have nine grandchildren – Philip Stephen, Marra, Avery, Brynley, Madalyn, Nolan, Callan, Nathan and Griffin.