GGC hires Martelli as first women's soccer coach

There is no question that location made Georgia Gwinnett College's head women's soccer coaching position appealing to Domenic Martelli.

A Lawrenceville resident since he moved to Georgia in 2000, he lives near the campus and his wife Kirsten teaches at nearby Twin Rivers Middle School. His two children also are in the Mountain View cluster.

But the lure of staying close to home is only a small part of why Martelli, Georgia State's head women's coach from 2000 until earlier this year, pursued the GGC job.

"I think I would have wanted this job if it was a half hour from my house," the 44-year-old said. "The leadership of President (Daniel) Kaufman and Dr. (Darin) Wilson (GGC's athletic director), their vision, all of that is why I'm buying into this 110 percent. I want to be somewhere where I'm happy, where I'm wanted, where I can help. Not just with my team, but for all the students here."

Martelli is well-known locally in the soccer community, both in the Georgia Olympic Development Program and as Georgia State's longtime women's head coach. He had a 109-106-25 record with the Panthers, ushering the program from its early days to its current spot as a Colonial Athletic Association contender. His final team was 7-12-1, but his previous four squads had winning records.

A New York native, Martelli coached previously from 1993-2000 as an assistant with the women's team at Army. While at the West Point academy, he also was an instructor in the school's Center for Enhanced Performance.

Before his coaching career, he played four seasons at Ohio State.

His latest challenge is starting GGC's women's soccer program, which makes its debut in August. He's in the process of building his first team that will play at the school's $13.5 million athletic complex.

"We're starting off on campus (for players)," Martelli said. "There's a lot of interest already from students who already attend Georgia Gwinnett. Then we'll look at high school seniors in the area. We've had a lot of interest. It's a little overwhelming the interest in women's soccer here, but that's good. Then we'll look at transfers from other colleges. Those players will give us some experience and some upperclass players, so we're not all freshmen."

Martelli joins a growing GGC athletic department constructed by Wilson that also includes another former Georgia State coach -- new GGC head baseball coach Brad Stromdahl. He was previously an assistant coach at Georgia State.

Women's soccer and baseball are two of the inaugural varsity sports at GGC for the 2012-13 season. The others are men's soccer, men's and women's tennis and women's fastpitch softball.

"We are certainly excited to have Dom here at GGC to lead our women's soccer program," Wilson said. "He brings with him a wealth of collegiate soccer experience as well as various soccer connections throughout the metro Atlanta area. Dom will immediately begin recruiting in Gwinnett County to field a competitive team in the fall."