Longtime Allegany/Limestone girls basketball coach Frank Martin has died unexpectedly, according to Section VI girls basketball chairman Chris Durr.
Martin just last week was on the sideline coaching the Gators in the New York State Public High Schools Athletic Association final four at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy. A/L lost 55-50 to Syracuse Academy of Science, which lost in overtime in the state final to Millbrook.
The Gators finished 23-2 under Martin and ranked fourth in the state. Martin guided A/L to nine Section VI championships and won 302 games. The Gators won their first under Martin in 1998. They won five championships over a period of six seasons from 2004-09 with 2006 being the only year in that run the team failed to win the title.
Martin also coached girls volleyball and tennis. According to his bio on Twitter, he's a high school teacher, father of four daughters and grandfather of six.
He touched many lives within the community, according to the Allegany/Limestone Twitter account's announcement of Martin's death.
"He was just a player's coach," Durr said. "A coach's coach, a mentor and friend and certainly someone younger coaches could look up to and an amazing human being.
"He always cared about girls basketball and what was best for girls basketball. … He was a very positive human being. We're certainly going to miss him in the coaching world and girls basketball in the section."
Today we lost an amazing coach, friend, mentor, and teacher! Our thoughts and prayers are with the Martin Family and the entire Allegany-Limestone Community!
RIP Coach Frank Martin! You will be missed!
— Section6GirlsBBall (@Section6GirlsBB) March 21, 2018
Though the Gators were disappointed they lost in last Friday's state semifinal, senior Morgan Davis still appreciated the moment because of coach Martin's influence.
"It's super hard to have lost when we were so close but as Mr. Martin tells us, this isn't the best in life to come," Davis said after the loss to Syracuse Academy of Science. "We all know this was a magical ride for the time being and the short years we've lived so far, but in many years this isn't the best thing that'll happen to us. There's just so many better things ahead that this is just one of the great things we've come to."