Taren Martin enters her fourth season as the associate head coach of the women's basketball team. Martin joined head coach Randy Norton after three years at the helm of NCAA Division III Eureka College from 2010-13.
In 2015-16, Martin guided guards Chelsee Black and Deanna Kuzmanic to all-conference awards. Black, named to the All-Conference Second Team, became UAB’s 28th athlete to reach the 1,000-point mark, ending her career as the Blazers’ 16th all-time leading scorer. Meanwhile Kuzmanic earned a spot on the All-C-USA Freshman team. Kuzmanic sunk 74 triples on the season, the sixth most in a single season in UAB history. The Wheeling, Ill., native made the third-most 3-pointers in the conference (74), led all C-USA freshmen in triples per contest (2.4) and was second amongst the league’s freshmen in 3-point field goal percentage (.349).
As a team in 2015-16, UAB recorded the highest GPA in the fall under the helm of Norton’s staff (3.39) and its highest mark since 2006. The Blazers led the C-USA in scoring defense, holding their opponents to 57.2 points per contest. The 1,774 points allowed in 2015-16 is the fourth-least allowed by a team in UAB history.
In 2016, Martin was chosen to speak at the 2016 NCAA National Convention Round Table and the WBCA Center for Coaching Excellence.
In her first season at UAB, senior Karisma Chapman earned All-Conference USA First Team honors while senior Ashley Grimes was named to the All-Conference USA Second Team.
During her time in Eureka, Ill., Martin turned the Red Devils into one of the top programs in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. In 2011-12, Eureka tallied 21 wins, the program’s fourth time with 20-plus wins. In 2012, Martin garnered SLIAC Coach of the Year honors, while mentoring 2012 SLIAC Player of the Year, Caty Eeten. In her first year as head coach, the Red Devils earned the highest league finish since 2006-07 while Eeten earned Newcomer of the Year and D3Hoops.com Central Region Rookie of the Year awards.
Martin's 2010-11 squad set the single-season school record with 109 3-pointers made. Eureka also set single-game records with 114 points scored, 11 3-point field goals made and 35 assists in a win over Lincoln Christian. The Red Devils also broke the single-game steals record (41). The Red Devils also excelled in the classroom under Martin's watch, posting GPA of 3.2, while five student-athletes were named to the SLIAC All-Academic Team.
Martin began her coaching career in 2004 at Illinois State as she served as a graduate assistant before being named the first director of operations while completing her master's degree. Martin was a vital part in rebuilding Illinois State's program which saw the Redbirds win three conference titles and make five trips to the postseason in seven years, including back-to-back WNIT semifinal appearances in 2009 and 2010.
Martin played at Illinois State University from 2000-2004. As a senior during the 2003-04 season, Martin averaged 11.4 points, 4.6 assists and 2.6 steals per game in leading the Redbirds to a fifth-place finish and team's best record since 1996-97. Martin received Illinois State's Jill Hutchison Endowed Scholarship in 2003 and the Jill Hutchison Coach's Award for leadership and performance for her. Martin was the first Illinois State player to record 300 assists, 250 made free throws, 150 steals and 100 three-point field goals.
Martin graduated from Savannah High School in Savannah, Mo. where she was a three-sport All-Missouri State athlete in tennis, basketball and track. As starting point guard, she led her team to a second-place state finish three times. She also earned a second place state medal in track for the 4x800 relay.
Formerly Taren O'Brien, she married Patrick Martin in 2005. They have three children, daughter Ryleigh (8), and sons Jackson (7) and Tyson (3).