Hoops coach hired

PAT FRIDGEN
GARY MARTIN

The suspense ended Thursday night, when the Greencastle-Antrim school board hired a boys varsity basketball head coach.

Garon Gembe resigned March 4 after serving 25 years as a coach in the district, the last 10 at the top post.

Gary Martin, 46, Mechanicsburg, was unanimously approved by the board. He brings 18 years of coaching experience with him, most recently as an assistant at Penn State University Harrisburg.

Principal Ed Rife introduced him. "Garon is a tough person to replace. We had many qualified candidates. Gary will take the program to the next level."

Martin said he saw basketball as "a total team effort. I'm coming in with enthusiasm and motivation to get the best out of each player. I'd like a state championship. Luck is a part of that. I'll put the time in and hope everything clicks."

He has been employed at Pinnacle Health for the past 23 years. His coaching duties sent him to Cedar Cliff High School and several other secondary schools in the greater Harrisburg area, and Dickinson College.

He has an elementary education degree from PSU. In his basketball days he played forward, due to his height of 6-5.

He and his wife Karen have two sons, Jordan, 24, and Andrew, 21, and a granddaughter.

Martin said he was "putting out feelers" for the junior varsity coach position. He scheduled a meeting for Tuesday afternoon with basketball players and then with coaches. He, Rife and athletic director Vicki Ritchey would interview interested JV coach candidates.