Martens takes over Pearland girls basketball program

PEARLAND — Pearland ISD athletic director Ben Pardo knows how important it is to find the right head coach to make sure that the winning tradition continues at Pearland High School.

A few months ago, longtime PHS girls varsity basketball coach Donna Vacek announced that she was stepping away from coaching so she could care for her parents while teaching til 2016 when she will be eligible to retire.

The search for another coach began and Pardo and the committee were very impressed with a young assistant at Clear Falls High School by the name of Lauren Martens.

Coach Pardo voiced his approval at the hiring stating she is the right choice to guide the Lady Oilers basketball program that has seen great success at the regional tournament twice in the last three years.

Martens played high school basketball at Bolingbrook High School (outside of Chicago) and then continued her education and playing career at the next level at Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, and was a member of the Great Lakes Valley Conference Women's Basketball Championship in the 2006-2007 season.

Martens helped coach one year for her alma mater at Bolington to a state championship and a No. 2 ranking by ESPN before landing the assistant coaching job at Clear Falls.

"I'm very excited and feel ready for this," Martens said. "It seemed like the best thing to put myself out there and I am confident that I can continue to lead the winning tradition with the Pearland girls basketball program.

Coach Vacek did a great job at Pearland and I'm hoping we can continue to build on that tradition and success."

Martens comes to Pearland after helping Clear Falls make the playoffs for the last four out of five years in Clear Fall's young history.

"I want Pearland to pursue a district championship and have even great asperations," Martens said. "There is a strong base and I want to push our limits to see how far we can go.

I am stepping in with big goals and dreams and it is good to know that coach Pardo and the administration is behind me 100 percent."

Martens' official date was on June 9 and she has already begun to familiarize herself with some of her players.