COOS BAY — Marty Stallard just wanted more time in the day.
He wanted to run a few more errands, work out some more and to grab a bite to eat. Having not eaten since his early lunch and having led practice for the Marshfield boys varsity, JV and freshmen basketball teams, he sat down in a booth at Wendy’s for a 9 p.m. dinner, ready to talk about his favorite subject: basketball.
Marshfield boys coach Marty Stallard encourages the players during a drill in practice Wednesday.
After retiring from over 30 years of teaching, his days are still full. Stallard, who declined to give his age but graduated from Powers in 1967, has only added to his plate as he is back in a head coaching role, this time directing the Marshfield boys.
“I’m still competitive, I like being around the kids, I like teaching, I still get excited when it’s game time. I still get excited when the season starts. When things come together, I like it, I enjoy it,” said the coach who has won over 500 high school basketball games.
“And I think I’m pretty good at it.”
Stallard has put some time in as a coach. In nearly five decades of coaching he made stops at Powers, Brookings, Chemawa (for a year) and then, for over 25 years, Myrtle Point. He has coached track and field, football and basketball.
But regardless of where he has been or who he has coached, Stallard has stuck to his system. To him, his system means hard work, discipline and fundamentals. He prides himself on having his teams work harder in practice than they do in games and he wants his teams in tip-top shape. This system helped Stallard lead the Myrtle Point girls basketball team to state titles in 2003 and 2006.
“I think the system that I use and the way that I coach, they either buy in or they leave. The strong survive and some people perceive it as maybe you’re too hard on them or whatever but no. Kids like discipline and they like to work hard but they just don’t know it,” said Stallard who mentioned working hard on 10 different occasions during our conversation.
After coaching stops around Oregon, Stallard wound up in Myrtle Point, where he has been inducted into the school's Hall of Fame, in 1988. Inheriting a team that had won one game in the year before he took over, it was just a matter of time before the Bobcats started winning big.
Longtime South Coast basketball coach Marty Stallard is in his first week as head coach of the boys basketball team after serving as assistant…
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In the first year the team improved to 8-12 which was followed by a 14-6 season. By year three Myrtle Point was in the playoffs, which quickly became a tradition as Stallard’s team went on to win 19 league titles including a run of 88-straight league wins.
And for Stallard, he sees each victory as the product of this system.
“You work hard or you go home, it’s as simple as that,” he said. “Everyone has the same opportunity.”
For the past four seasons Stallard has been an assistant coach for the Marshfield girls basketball team.
He helped the Pirates win their first girls basketball state title in 2018 and was named assistant coach of the year by the Oregon Coaches Association last spring.
But now, having essentially swapped positions with Doug Miles who coached the Marshfield boys last year but is now an assistant coach for the girls team, Stallard is preparing for coaching a boys basketball team for the first time in decades.
“When I started coaching and heard about Title IX I thought, I’ll never coach girls and from day one when I coached I didn’t coach girls, I coached athletes,” said Stallard. “So the difference between a girl and a boy is one is bigger and stronger than the other. It’s the same game, same rules, same everything.”
With the Marshfield boys coming off back-to-back league titles, Stallard is coming into a team that is looking for a new identity. With the bulk of last season’s production having graduated, he has fresh faces and an unproven group to work with.
“We can be decent down the road. We’re going to get better as we go, but right now it’s if they buy in and work hard and improve on things, we’ll get better as the season goes on,” said Stallard after day two of practice. “It’s a different system, different coach, totally different, but the goal is still to win the league and that’s what we’re going to shoot for, to win the league and do the best you can. Win as many games as you can.”
The Pirates open the season on Dec. 4 on the road at Brookings-Harbor. Marshfield’s home-opener is on Dec. 6 against North Marion.