Phil Martelli, Jr. begins his fourth season on the University of Delaware men’s basketball coaching staff in 2014-15.
Martelli helped lead the Blue Hens to one of the best seasons in school history a year ago as Delaware finished 25-10, tied for the second most wins in a season in school history, and won its first 11 regular season conference games en route to the program’s first CAA regular season title. The Blue Hens secured their eighth regular season league title in school history, while UD’s 14 conference wins tied for the second most in a single season.
UD won 13 consecutive games from Jan. 1 through Feb. 12, tied for the second longest streak in school history, while the Blue Hens’ 11 road victories on the year also ranked second in program history.
Delaware then won three straight contests in the CAA tournament in Baltimore, including a dramatic 75-74 comeback win over William & Mary in the final, to claim the fifth conference tournament title in school history.
The Blue Hens earned the No. 13 seed in the East Regional, battling fourth-seeded and 11th ranked Michigan State before falling to the Spartans, 93-78, in an NCAA Tournament second round game in Spokane, Wash.
Martelli was instrumental in the development of guard Devon Saddler, who set a school record and currently ranks sixth in CAA history with 2,222 career points. Saddler earned All-CAA honors during all four years of his career, and was named to the 2014 Lou Henson Mid-Major All-America Team.
Saddler was joined on the first team All-CAA and All-District 10 teams by fellow senior Davon Usher, who set a UD single season record by scoring 679 points during the 2013-14 season.
During his initial season at UD in 2011-12, the Blue Hens enjoyed their finest season in over a decade as they posted a record of 18-14, finished fifth in the CAA with a record of 12-6, and qualified for post-season play. The overall wins, conference wins, and conference finish were all career bests to that point under head coach Monté Ross, who led the Hens to the post-season for the first time since 2001 with a first round meeting with two-time defending NCAA runner-up Butler in the College Basketball Insider (CBI) Tournament.
The individual awards were plentiful for the Blue Hens as Saddler, the league’s second leading scorer at 18.8 points per game, and Jamelle Hagins each earned second team All-CAA and second team NABC All-District laurels while Jarvis Threatt earned a spot on the CAA All-Rookie team. Hagins, who set the school record for career blocked shots, was named to the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Defensive All-American team while Threatt earned a spot on the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Freshman All-American squad.
The Blue Hens improved on those marks in 2012-13, finishing 19-14 overall and placing second in the CAA with a 13-5 league mark, both program highs for UD since joining the conference. The Blue Hens then advanced to the CAA Tournament Semifinals for the third time since joining the league, and for the first time since the 2002-03 season.
Included among those victories was a win at Virginia, the program’s first over an Atlantic Coast Conference school in 50 years, as Delaware advanced to the semfinals of the NIT Season Tip-Off at Madison Square Garden.
Saddler continued his impressive career, leading the CAA with 19.9 points per game while earning first team All-Conference in addition to NABC and USBWA All-District honors. Hagins, who became the school’s career rebounding leader, was tabbled the CAA Defensive Player of the Year while also earning second team All-CAA and NABC All-District accolades.
Hagins, who ranks among the CAA career leaders in blocks and rebounds, was selected to participate in the prestigious Portsmouth Invitational following his outstanding career.
Martelli had spent the previous five seasons at Niagara before coming to Delaware in 2011-12 to replace R.C. Kehoe, who accepted the head position at Holy Family University.
Martelli helped the Purple Eagles to a 95-69 record during his five-year tenure at Niagara, guiding the squad to an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2006-07 and a National Invitation Tournament berth in 2008-09 when Niagara finished with a 26-9 mark.
Martelli’s duties at Niagara included working with the team’s perimeter players, recruiting, scouting, team travel and film exchange. He also helped mentor Purple Eagles point guard Anthony Nelson, a second team All-MAAC selection this season who led the nation with 3.4 steals per game.
Prior to arriving at Niagara Martelli spent one season at Manhattan College where he was responsible for film breakdown, recruiting, on-court coaching, scouting and player development.
Martelli broke into the coaching ranks in 2003-04 as a graduate assistant coach at Central Connecticut State, and was promoted to assistant coach at CCSU during the following season.
Martelli was a four-year member of the basketball team at Saint Joseph’s University from 2000-03 under his father, head coach Phil Martelli, as well as Ross, who was a Hawks assistant at the time. Martelli, who graduated from SJU in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing, appeared in 35 career games for Saint Joseph’s, helping the Hawks to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances and three regular season Atlantic 10 titles.
Martelli and his wife, Meghan, reside in Media, Pa. with their son, Philip, and daughter, Marra.