Beyond the Badge

CDCR lieutenant shapes future as head coach

Woodlake High School football coach.
SATF Lt. Manuel "Manny" Martinez, head coach of Woodlake High School football, helps students learn the value of hard work.

SATF employee named Woodlake High School football coach

Lieutenant M. Martinez wearing his CDCR uniform.
Lieutenant Manuel Martinez has been named head coach for Woodlake High School.

In his off-time, Lieutenant Manuel “Manny” Martinez finds balance at Woodlake High School as their new head football coach.

Martinez is very familiar with the school’s, having played for them as a student in the 1990s.

Playing under legendary coach Leo Robinson, Martinez learned to love the sport, and what it takes to coach a winning team.

Robinson holds the Tulare County record as the coach who won the most games, logging 290 victories.

Success is something Martinez hopes to show today’s players.

Playing football under Robinson helped Martinez stay focused, learning how hard work helps achieve goals. He is the first Woodlake High School alum since Robinson to lead his alma mater on the football field.

Martinez’s co-workers at California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison at Corcoran (SATF) are proud of his accomplishments.

Lieutenant, coach rooted in Woodlake

Already a familiar face in Woodlake, Martinez has helped shape hundreds of young male athletes through more than 20 years of coaching youth and high school sports. At the high school, he’s been an assistant coach for 12 seasons.

“I truly believe in the family atmosphere. That was the way I was raised here in Woodlake. It’s a family. I know the kids, I know their families and I know their parents. For me, I think it’s an honor to be able to coach their kids here,” Martinez said. “I want to keep that family atmosphere here in Woodlake. I just got ties with the community, and I think that’s the greatest thing. This is a football community. I want to bring that back like the way it was with Robinson.”

Martinez still resides in his hometown, commuting to SATF every day for his current assignment as the Personnel Assignments Lieutenant.

He said his connection to Woodlake is very special. While urging players to get their education and attend college, he reminds them to never forget where they came from.

By Lt. Brent Urban

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