Friday, December 11, 2015

UConn players had fond memories of Jerry Martin

There's so much to celebrate these days within the UConn football family as the Huskies prepare for their first bowl game since the 2011 Fiesta Bowl with a roster full of playmakers on both sides of the ball with one, two or even three years of eligibility remaining.

However, there is also a certain amount of sorrow being felt by some of the veteran members of the squad.

Jerry Martin, the former strength and conditioning coach at UConn, lost his fight with cancer on Nov. 25 just four days after the Huskies became bowl eligible with a stunning win over previously undefeated Houston. Martin had spent more than two decades working with UConn student-athletes including those on the football team but when Bob Diaco was hired, Martin was among those not retained. Still, for the veteran UConn players and especially the 11 who have been with the program for five years, the news of Martin's death hit hard.

"It is terrible, really unfortunate," UConn senior running back Max DeLorenzo said. "I was with Coach Martin for three years. He always enjoyed me, always liked being around me and I liked being around him too. I even knew him my senior year in high school when I came up to visit. He was a good guy who knew a lot about football and the weight room aspects to it. My condolences to him and his family.

He enjoyed being around all of us and he loved coming here and helping young men become men and not just on the football field and winning but learning life aspects, life challenges."

Senior defensive lineman Julian Campenni credited Martin's work with him in playing a role in Campenni playing so much as a redshirt freshman.

"I was fortunate to get three years to be coached by him," Campenni said. "When I was a young guy he kind of looked after me, helped me. He is one of the reasons why I got to play so early because he pushed me and helped to motivate us. He was a great guy, a great coach and he is going to be missed.

"I knew he was sick last year but then I heard he was in remission and doing a lot better, then I found out that he passed and it was unfortunate," Campenni said.


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