PUEBLO, Colo. – After a standout career on the baseball diamond at Lipscomb, former pitcher Ian Martinez-McGraw has decided to turn in his playing glove for a pair of coaching cleats.
On Monday Martinez-McGraw was named the new head baseball coach at Central High School in his hometown of Pueblo, Colorado.
Growing up Martinez-McGraw attended and played baseball just down the street at South High School. With only 2.7 miles separating the crosstown rivals and several of his family members attending Central, Martinez-McGraw found himself very familiar with the Wildcats program when interviewing.
He played on a pair of South teams that advanced to the Elite Eight and earned All-State honors in 2011.
Before signing with Lipscomb, Martinez-McGraw spent two years at Otero Junior College where he went 5-3 with a 4.19 ERA and 74 strikeouts in 86 innings.
It was not until he arrived in Nashville that the 6-foot-3 hurler learned to throw a knuckleball that would help him garner All-Conference honors in back-to-back seasons and become one of the most decorated Bisons in the program’s NCAA era.
In his two years donning the Purple and Gold he compiled a 16-7 career mark with a 3.24 ERA and helped guide Lipscomb to an Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament Championship and a berth into the NCAA Tournament.
In 2014 Martinez-McGraw set the school’s NCAA era single-season record with nine wins and 112.1 innings pitched.
During his senior campaign, not only did Martinez-McGraw earn first team all-conference honors after going 7-4 with a 2.66 ERA, but he was also selected as the Atlantic Sun’s Scholar Athlete of the Year while posting a 3.68 cumulative GPA and graduating Cum Laude as a psychology major.
As a graduate this past spring, some might be taken back by the hiring of someone of his age, and Martinez-McGraw would not disagree, but Central officials were motivated to make the offer because of his diverse baseball experience on and off the field.
“I would consider myself fortunate no matter what age I was,” Martinez-McGraw said. “There are seven high schools in Pueblo. There rarely is a vacancy. This is a great opportunity for me.”
Although he lives in Pueblo, Martinez-McGraw teaches at the GOAL Academy in Colorado Springs, but he said he does not envision his job will interfere with his coaching duties.