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Henry Martinson gets his dream job: Marion girls’ basketball coach
He was an assistant in 2019-20, and last year, he coached Central City to its first winning season in 10 years
MARION — Henry Martinson has his dream job.
“It’s what I’ve always wanted,” said Martinson, who was selected as head girls’ basketball coach at Marion High School on Thursday, pending board approval. “This is the job for me.
“It has definitely been a crazy couple of weeks. I had an interview, and I thought it went pretty well. When I got the offer, I didn’t need any time to decide.”
Martinson, 47 and a 1993 Marion graduate, succeeds Josh Claypool, who resigned in May after two seasons and a 35-11 record. Martinson was an assistant for Claypool during the 2019-20 season.
In the two seasons before that, and also in 2020-21, Martinson was the head coach at Central City. The Wildcats were 12-10 last season, their first winning record in 10 years.
Central City was 27-39 in Martinson’s three seasons.
Back at Marion, Martinson will captain a ship that has been cruising nicely. The Indians — soon to become the Wolves — have won or shared six consecutive Wamac Conference divisional titles and have averaged 20.7 wins through the last seven seasons.
Marion was 14-9 last year and returns 72 percent of its scoring for 2021-22.
Four starters will be back, led by 4A third-team all-stater Sadie Struchen, a senior-to-be who averaged 10.6 points per game.
Other key returners include Madison Prier (will be a senior) and Regan Rice and Ella Bockenstedt (juniors).
“I feel really fortunate to be part of this program,” Martinson said. “I’ll make some tweaks and we’ll have a little bit of a different look. We’ve relied on the 3-pointer for so long. We’re going to try to manufacture points some other ways.”
Marion athletics director Mike Manderscheid announced Martinson’s hiring early Thursday morning.
“Henry is a person of integrity and will foster positive experiences for our players through the game of basketball,” Manderscheid said.
Martinson is an employee for the Marion Public Services Department.