By Jarrett Guthrie

RUSKIN – Victor Martinez has been named the new baseball coach at Lennard High, he confirmed to 813Preps on Monday. Martinez has been part of the Longhorns coaching staff since 2007, working primarily with the infielders.

He replaces Kennedy Duran who started the program in 2006 and served as the only coach in Lennard history before announcing last month that he will assume the same position at Hillsborough County’s newest school, Sumner High.

Martinez is a Ruskin native and graduate of East Bay, where he played baseball. He said coaching with Duran at Lennard from the start has been a great learning experience and hopes to continue the growth of the Longhorns program into the future. In 2019, Lennard posted an 18-7 season, reaching the state playoffs for the first time. Prior to the early end of the 2020 season, Lennard was 3-5 and next year should return a veteran team, losing just four seniors

“I started at Lennard, basically when we were brand new with Kennedy, so it has always felt like we’ve built this program together,” Martinez said. “I’ve always considered (Duran) a big brother, taking a chance on me when I was 20 years old, and going forward I’ve learned a lot about how to run a great program and I look forward to continuing that.”

RELATED: Lennard’s Duran tapped to launch new Sumner High baseball program.

Martinez said he is looking forward to this challenge and feels like he is in a great position assuming the head role at a program where he already has a strong relationship with the players and the community.

“We are going to continue to build on the things we have done here from the start,” Martinez said. “It is not a new program that I’m going into, we are in a great place with what we started here with (Duran) and we are looking to compete and keep building the culture here at Lennard High School.”

Duran said he is extremely excited for Martinez to be replacing him at Lennard, adding that he is confident he is the right person to continue to build the program.

“He is going to do an outstanding job and the program is going to continue to grow and get stronger,” Duran said. “He’s an outstanding person, I call him a friend and I’m really going to be rooting for him to succeed.”