Tyler Martin knows exactly what he is getting in to.
The new North Forsyth swimming coach is a former Raiders swimmer himself, graduating from the school in 2011. Three of those years he swam for Kris Hunt, who resigned after this past season with an indelible legacy in the sport in Forsyth County.
“I think without her input and her hard work in just getting swimming up in Forsyth County, you wouldn’t see all this success that you see,” Martin said. “She was kind of a trailblazer.”
Martin now follows in her path, taking over for a North program coming off arguably its best season, particularly for the boys. The Raiders finished a program-best one point shy of fifth place in Class 6/7A at the state meet, thanks in part to senior and Arizona State signee Jack DalMolin contributing to four medals.
Martin was an assistant on that team, as he has been since 2014, along with coaching with the Chattahoochee Gold swim club the past two years, so he’s well aware of what North has returning.
DalMolin graduates, but all three of the other members of North’s state championship 200 freestyle relay team return, led by Daniel Brisuda.
The Lady Raiders lose top swimmer Rachel Sullivan, but Martin says the team will add one of the top freshman in the state in Hailey Galbraith.
And though North has just five divers on its team, four qualified for the state meet last season.
Still, Martin would like to see North’s competitive depth increase, so he says his biggest task will be to start a feeder program out of Little Mill and North Forsyth middle schools.
“That hopefully gets the kids involved in the sport earlier, so by the time they get to high school they’re high-caliber swimmers and you’re reading about them in the paper winning state titles like the Jack DalMolins of the world,” Martin said. “I guess growing the sport and getting kids involved earlier is going to be one of my main goals as head coach.”
It would certainly be an appropriate extension of Hunt’s tenure at North and in the county. The veteran started the county’s first high school swimming program at South Forsyth, winning coach of the year from the Georgia High School Swim Coaches Association in 2003. Hunt came to North in 2008 and increased participation, improved the program’s schedule and started the first diving program in the county.
Martin watched it all happen. He was a sophomore when Hunt came to North.
Now, he’ll be the head coach.
“It means the world to me,” Martin said. “Swimming has been my life for the last almost decade, so it means a lot to me to take over, and I just hope I can continue the success and continue to grow the program.”