Kalamazoo Wings Name Former HOF Goalie Joel Martin Next Coach
The Kalamazoo Wings have named former goalie and ECHL Hall of Famer Joel Martin their new head coach, taking over for Nick Bootland who resigned after 17 seasons with the organization to take an assistant's job with the Hershey Bears, the top farm team of the Washington Capitals.
Martin, 39, becomes the 21st head coach in K-Wings history, and will also have the title of Director of Hockey Operations for the team. Martin played fifteen seasons of professional hockey, including nine with Kalamazoo. His play in goal earned him a place in the ECHL Hall of Fame earlier this year.
"The hire of Martin marks the first Black head coach in K-Wings history, joining Cincinnati Cyclones head coach Jason Payne as the only two black head coaches in North American men's professional hockey. Both are active members of the NHL Coaches Association BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color), and the hire is the fourth head coach of color in the ECHL’s 35-year history.
- Kalamazoo Wings announcement.
Martin still holds a number of K-Wings all-time records. He is the K-Wings' current all-time goaltending leader in career games played (422), saves (12,310), wins (229), shutouts (21), and minutes played (24,755). Martin also currently sits Top-4 in every major single-season goaltending statistical category in Kalamazoo Wings history, according to the team.
A native of Fort Worth, Texas, Marting grew up in Alberta. He met his wife Caroline during his K-Wings playing days, and the couple has two sons, Louis and Thomas.