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Martin Quits as Coach of Northridge Women’s Team : College basketball: Chandler to take over squad that is winless in nine games. Matadors won just 10 of 36 games under Martin since moving to Division I.

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Janet Martin, the second-year women’s basketball coach at Cal State Northridge, resigned from her position on Thursday, two days after the Matadors dropped to 0-9 for the season.

Martin, who was hired in September of 1990 to guide the Matadors’ transition into Division I basketball, leaves with a 10-26 record.

“I think it (resigning) has been something (Martin) has been thinking about for a while,” said Northridge Athletic Director Bob Hiegert, who accepted Martin’s resignation Thursday afternoon. “I think she was disappointed with the way things were going.”

Martin was unavailable for comment Thursday night. But in comments released by the Northridge athletic department, she said “because of the direction the program is going, I think it is in the best interests of the program that I resign at this time.”

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Assistant coach Kim Chandler, whom Martin hired before the season, will serve as interim head coach for the remainder of the season. Northridge begins a two-game trip against Arizona and Northern Arizona tonight in Tucson.

“From an 0-9 record to this decision today, we’ve reached the bottom,” Chandler said. “The only place for us to go is up. (The players) were upset and shocked like everyone else (by Martin’s resignation). We will stay with what we’ve been doing.”

Although Hiegert believes Martin had considered resigning for some time, the announcement came as a surprise.

During a postgame interview Tuesday--after an 85-51 loss to Cal State Fullerton--Martin predicted that the Matadors would get their first win of the season during the Arizona trip and spoke of increasing the team’s confidence after apparent season-ending injuries to starters Bridgette Ealy and Lisa Senette.

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After her team won 10 games in 1990-91, Martin expressed hopes that the Matadors could play .500 ball this season. But the year began on an inauspicious note when Martin, who came to CSUN after serving as the interim head coach at Colorado State in 1989-90, lost two of her top recruits.

Guard Jill Stephens, a standout transfer from Bakersfield College, was injured in an off-season auto accident and will miss the season. Another recruit, sharpshooter Rachel Ward from Costa Mesa High, left CSUN during the first week of school.

Senette, a senior guard, went down with a knee injury Nov. 9, and Ealy, the team’s most valuable player last season, suffered a similar injury in the second game of the fall.

“It takes a fair amount of time--three or four years--to bring in recruits and build the kind of program you want,” said Dr. Judith Brame, Northridge’s associate athletic director. “Jan lost some recruits early in the season and then Bridgette and Lisa were hurt. Your expectations go down and that changes the perception.

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“I was surprised (that Martin resigned). But I suspect she had been thinking about it for a while.”

Chandler, 25, who came to CSUN after serving as an assistant at Florida Southern College for two seasons, takes over the Matador program without an assistant coach.

Brame, who coached the Matadors from 1974-78 and again from 1980-82, will accompany the team to Arizona and said Thursday that she will help out if needed.

“I have indicated that I will do whatever is needed to be done,” said Brame, who had a 100-89 coaching record at Northridge.

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“But that will be Kim’s decision.”


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