Ken Martin of The Belmont Hill School knows a thing or two about teaching, coaching and winning. He’s been at it for 39 seasons, helping shape the lives of countless young men. Seventeen of his players have been drafted by the NHL. Ken usually, and very politely, deflects personal attention, but he couldn’t escape the glare of one of his most recent wins – career triumph #700, making him the winningest high school hockey coach in Massachusetts history surpassing the legendary Ed Burns of Arlington.
"I was walking down the hallway the other day," gleamed Ken, "and I saw a poster made by one of the students. There was picture of Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds and me. It read ‘The 700 Club,’ and I thought to myself, that’s pretty cool." Ken’s first year as coach at Belmont Hill was 1972 when Richard Nixon
was President, gasoline cost 55 cents per gallon, a postage stamp cost 8
cents and the Stanley Cup champions were – the Boston Bruins.
"I don’t remember my first win but I do remember my first captain. We
only had two seniors on the team. We played outdoors and I remember it
was cold," chuckled Ken.
A number of his former players were on hand at Phillips Andover for #700
– a 7-1 win. A banner had already been made and Ken posed for pictures
with a wide smile, happy to have it behind him, eager to prepare for
teaching his Monday Latin classes and to what he cherishes most about
"I like practice, said Ken, "the games are for the kids but practice is where you institute what you do."
So will he be around for win #750 or #800?
"I don’t know. I take it one year at a time."
That has been his mantra for nearly four decades and still counting. He
is king of the hill for all those that have laced up the skates and been
under his tutelage.