BETHANY — If you plotted Rocky Martin's career path on a graph, the line would be about as straight as the ‘W' on the side of Putnam City West's football helmets.
From high school to college to middle school and back to high school, Martin is now exactly where he wants to be, as PC West's new head coach.
But to get there, Martin took a less-than-common path.
After a playing career as part of four bowl teams at Colorado State, Martin returned to his high school home at Cherry Creek, Colo., to begin coaching.
Then he spent three seasons as a graduate assistant at the University of Akron, but he eventually realized college coaching wasn't for him.
“I loved college football, but family is so important to me,” Martin said. “We put in hours at the high school level, but college is different.”
At that point, Martin looked for an opportunity to get back to working with younger kids.
His mother's family was originally from Oklahoma, and his parents moved to the state after his father retired from coaching in Colorado. So he started looking for jobs in the state, and landed at Irving Middle School in Norman.
Two years ago, he got hired to coach linebackers on John Jensen's PC West staff, and it was a good fit because, like Jensen, Martin's primary passion was making a difference for young people.
“That's why I got into coaching,” Martin said. “You can change the lives of kids, not only on the football field, but throughout the rest of their lives, by giving them something they can take to heart and carry on with them.”