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Soledad head football coach resigns after one season

SOLEDAD — After one year as Soledad’s head football coach, Jose Martinez has resigned due to personal reasons.

“I resigned for a couple reasons, but the main reason is that it’s not my time,” Martinez said. “I have to step away and take care of my family.”

The former Soledad High alum went 3-7 last season as the Aztecs’ head coach.

When Martinez took the job, he was already behind the other schools in practicing and offseason conditioning. He didn’t become the head coach until after spring ball.

“I came into the season very late,” he said. “The position had been open for a while. One of my biggest reasons for doing it was because nobody stepped up and took the job.”

With very few options, school officials started to reach out to Martinez’s old coach to see his interest in the head coaching job.

“I had many people reaching out to me; friends and ex-coaches,” Martinez said. “They reached out to an ex-coach of mine, then he reached out to me.”

Martinez is thankful for his time as Soledad’s head football coach and hopes to return to coaching after a few years away.

“I don’t regret ever taking the position,” he said. “I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity. It’s helped me grow in different ways.”

School officials have not announced a replacement for Martinez at this time. Some names, however, have already come up as “hopeful” possible replacements; both former Soledad coaches Frankie and Art Berlanga and former alum Marc Villanueva.

Villanueva, who played at Soledad in early 2000, was coaching junior varsity half the season before taking over play-calling duties for the rest of the season. Martinez has endorsed him to be the next head coach for the Aztecs.

“I wouldn’t recommend anybody else but him,” Martinez said. “He’s the perfect guy for the job.”

Jason Gallardo
Jason Gallardo
Jason Gallardo is the sports reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers high school sports for South Monterey County.