- INSIDE ATHLETICS
- STUDENT ATHLETES
- FAN ZONE
- GRIZZLY CLUB
Experienced coach and former player Domenic Martelli is the first women's soccer coach in Georgia Gwinnett College history. He came to GGC in November 2011, following 18 years of NCAA Division I coaching experience, and has begun the Grizzlies' program with great success. He now has 133 wins over his head coaching career, with a record of 133-117-28 over 14 seasons.
The 2013 season saw Martelli and the Grizzlies earn the program's first-ever ranking in the NAIA Women's Soccer Coaches' Top 25 Poll and a postseason berth in the first year of full eligibility as GGC went 14-4-1. The team finished with nine defensive shutouts to rank in the nation's top 15 and went 8-2 on its home field during the regular season.Two of the team's three regular season losses came against teams that finished in the final regular season poll's top 15- including No. 2 Northwood (Fla.)- while the Grizzlies handed No. 10 St. Thomas (Fla.) its only tie of the season. Senior Jocelyn Baker took home Association of Independent Institutions Player of the Year honors and went on to become Georgia Gwinnett College's first female All-American. The team prevailed in countless close games under Martelli's direction, going into double-overtime five times and winning seven total one-goal games.The Grizzlies also experienced strong success against NCAA opponents for the second straight year, defeating Division II squads Young Harris (2-1 in OT), Georgia Southwestern (7-0) and West Georgia (1-0 in 2OT), while knocking off Division III squad Agnes Scott (2-1). Georgia Gwinnett earned the number three seed as it hosted the school's first-ever postseason tournament, the 2013 A.I.I. championships. Seven total Grizzlies earned postseason selection to the All-A.I.I. squad.
In his first year heading the Grizzlies program in 2012, Martelli led GGC to a terrific season in its inaugural campaign. The team posted a strong 10-7-1 record, while going 6-2 at home in Lawrenceville. With less than nine months to recruit and field a team, create a schedule and launch his program, Martelli certainly started the Grizzlies off on the right foot.
Starting with a 9-1 victory Opening Day on Aug. 25, 2012, in Georgia Gwinnett College's first-ever intercollegiate athletics contest in any sport, the team never looked back during the year. Martelli's squad defeated three NCAA Division II squads in its first season, taking down Young Harris College in Lawrenceville and besting Clayton State University and Georgia Southwestern University on the road, all one-goal margins. The Grizzlies also posted seven shutouts on the season and outscored their opponents overall, 45-22.
Martelli also orchestrated the transition of many players from previous two and four-year schools, as well as many true freshmen experiencing collegiate athletics for the first time. Five different Grizzlies posted double-digit points on the season, led by junior Amanda Dale's 25. Eleven separate players tallied goals during the season, including four freshmen. In goal, freshman Mo Gutierrez started and played every minute of each contest, leading a Grizzly defense that surrendered only 1.22 goals per game.
The Grizzlies performed particularly well at home, boasting a five-game win streak and outscoring their opponents by a 27-8 margin in Lawrenceville. GGC opened its beautiful synthetic-turf field on campus Sep. 29 with a 7-1 victory over Bob Jones University.
Martelli joined GGC with 18 years of Division I coaching experience. He had spent the last 12 seasons at Georgia State University, where he is the winningest coach in the school's history with a record of 109-106-26. Martelli guided the GSU women's soccer program from the early stages of its existence into one of the top teams to watch in the exceptionally competitive Colonial Athletic Association.
In his final GSU season, Martelli lead the Panthers to 7-12-1 overall record and a 4-6-1 CAA record with a heartbreaking 9th place finish, 3 points out of the conference top 6 finish.
Martelli took the 2010 season's team picked one spot from the bottom up seven places to one of the coveted final four positions to compete for the CAA Championship title. Although the Panthers did not come away with the CAA title, they compiled one of the most notable and rewarding seasons in the program's 17 year existence. They earned an NSCAA Mid Atlantic Regional ranking for 5 weeks. With one CAA Rookie of the Year, four members named to All-CAA teams, an ESPN Academic All-American and a 12-7-2 overall record, and a 6-4-1 CAA record, the best since joining the CAA, Martelli's 2010 team certainly made a name for itself in the Panther history books. Georgia State finished with their 4th straight winning and season and an NCAA RPI final ranking of 98.
The 2009 Panthers posted a 7-6-6 (1-5-5 in conference) record to complete a run of three-straight winning seasons. Junior goalkeeper Heidi Blankenship became the first player in school history to be named All-CAA first team after finishing the year as the conference leader in saves and saves per game, and finished second in shutouts. Blankenship was also named to the NSCAA Mid Atlantic All-Region second team. Freshman forward Sarah Bennett earned a spot on the CAA All-Rookie team after leading the Panthers in goals (7) and points (16), making her the second player in school history to earn an All-Rookie mention.
The 2008 season saw the Panthers open the with a six-game win streak, good for the best start in school history at 6-0-0. Senior captain Kay Harbrueger put together a phenomenal season, all of which was spent near the top of the national scoring list. Candace Gonzales made Panther history by being named a finalist for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. Martelli took GSU to an 11-9-0 record (4-7-0 CAA), finishing in a tie for eighth place.
In 2007, the Panthers navigated their way to a 9-8-1 record (4-6-1 CAA) tied for 6th giving GSU, its first winning record since 2004. State began the year at 4-1, its best start since 1998, and finished with an RPI of 104. The Panthers entered the final match of the season with a chance to secure a CAA championship berth but fell just one goal short, earning a 2-2 tie at UNC Wilmington.
In 2005, Georgia State completed its first season in the CAA and finished with a 9-11 overall record and a 3-8 conference mark. The Panthers found their spark at the end of the season by earning all three of their conference victories in the final five games.
Martelli's fifth season at the helm in 2004 saw some unexpected turns as his team finished 7-7-5 overall and 4-4-2 in the Atlantic Sun. Under Martelli's guidance, the Panthers extended their home unbeaten streak to 18 consecutive contests.
Georgia State enjoyed its best season under Martelli in 2003 with a 16-6 overall record and 7-3 mark in Atlantic Sun Conference play. The squad tied the school record for most wins during the regular season while posting its best winning percentage (.727) since 1997. Georgia State qualified for its eighth consecutive A-Sun Tournament berth and reached the conference semifinals before falling to Florida Atlantic. The Panthers put together a nine-match winning streak during the 2003 season and recorded nine shutouts. Georgia State was also ranked in the NSCAA South Region for 4 weeks. Martelli's team earned a NCAA RPI ranking of 88, at the time marking the highest ranking of any Georgia State women's team since 1994.
In 2002, the Panthers celebrated their first winning season under Martelli as they compiled a 9-6-5 overall mark and finished 6-3-2 in league play, finishing fourth overall and playing in the conference tournament before falling to eventual champion UCF in the semifinals.
In 2001 in Martelli's second season at the helm, the Panthers won seven of their final 10 contests and knocked off fourth-seeded Jacksonville, 2-1, in the conference tournament before falling to eventual champion UCF in the semifinals. Georgia State finished 9-12-1 overall and 5-4-1 in A-Sun action.
In his first season as coach of the Panthers during 2000, Martelli guided the team to an 8-10-2 record and a fourth-place regular season finish in the Atlantic Sun. After opening the season with six straight losses, Martelli and the Panthers rebounded by winning eight of their final 12 matches and earning a 0-0 tie against in-state-rival Georgia. State scored an overtime victory over Jacksonville State in the A-Sun quarterfinals before falling in the semifinals, 1-0, to Jacksonville.
Prior to his arrival at Georgia State, Martelli was an assistant women's coach at the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. (1993-2000). He helped lead the Black Knights to a Patriot League championship, four top-10 regional rankings, two ECAC post-season tournament berths and an 88-55-4 record. During his seven-year tenure, Martelli coached one NSCAA second team All-American and seven NSCAA East Regional All-Americans.
In addition to his time at West Point, he spent four years as the head coach of the Eastern New York Olympic Development Program, where he led both the under-14 and under-16 teams to the Women's East Regional semifinals. He served from 1993-96 as the head coach and trainer for the Newburgh Storm club team and led the squad to the finals of the under-17 Boys New York State Cup in 1995. In 1990 and 1991, Martelli joined his father, Tony, a former assistant coach on Army's men's soccer staff, in coaching the Hudson Valley Boys Scholastic Team in the Empire State Games. As a senior at The Ohio State University, he launched his coaching career as the head coach of the Buckeyes' women's soccer club program.
Since moving to Georgia, Coach Martelli has been a member of the Region 3 Olympic Development Program staff. Martelli guided the '85 Girls Georgia ODP team to the Region 3 ODP championship, where it qualified for the National USYSA Championships in the spring of 2003 and finished third. During the summer of 2005, Coach Martelli helped lead the women's Georgia Amateur State Team at the Region 3 national qualifying tournament in Huntsville, Ala., to a second-place finish. He was the head coach of the very successful Atlanta Silverbacks Super Y PDP U-17 Girls team for two years. In 2007, Martelli served as assistant coach for the U19 Region 3 ODP team.
Martelli's playing career began on those very same club teams he later coached. He was a member of the Empire State Games Boys Scholastic Team in 1984 and Open Men's squad in 1987, earning a silver medal. His on-field days culminated with a standout career at Ohio State, where he was a four-year team member from 1985 to 1988.
An experienced clinician, Martelli was an assistant director at the West Point soccer camps and an instructor at numerous camps across the nation. He holds a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Advance National Diploma, USSF "C" license and is currently a candidate for a NSCAA Premiere license. In 2008, Martelli was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America National top 25 ranking committee.
Martelli has a bachelor's degree in business administration from The Ohio State University, where he played collegiate soccer, and a master's degree in elementary education from Mount St. Mary's College.
Domenic and his wife, Kirsten, are the proud parents of their daughter Brielle, and son, Nicolas.