Gwynn gets 1-year extension, Martinez promoted

BERNIE WILSON
AP Sports Writer

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn has been given a one-year contract extension as baseball coach at San Diego State.

Gwynn has been on a medical leave since late March while recovering from cancer treatment. He took over the program at his alma mater after the 2002 season.

Along with Gwynn’s extension, the school announced Wednesday that Mark Martinez has been promoted from associate head coach to executive head coach and given a contract through 2017.

Athletic director Jim Sterk says he’s not sure when Gwynn will return.

“We’re hopeful,” Sterk said. “We want Coach as a part of our program as long as he wants to be, but I’m just not sure at this time. We’re just basically extending his current contract a year and then we’ll see where we are this time next year, and we can address it at that time.”

Gwynn was last with the Aztecs on March 25.

He has had two operations for cancer in his right cheek since August 2010. In a complicated surgery in February 2012, surgeons removed a facial nerve because it was intertwined with a tumor inside his right cheek. They grafted a nerve from Gwynn’s neck to help him eventually regain facial movement.

Martinez took over the day-to-day duties for a majority of this season while Gwynn focused on his health. The Aztecs finished 42-21, including victories in nine of their final 11 games entering the NCAA tournament. SDSU won the Mountain West Conference tournament before losing two straight games in the NCAA regionals.

SDSU had a MWC-high six players selected in last week’s big league draft, the most for the program since 2007.

“We’ve got a good group that is running the program and Tony’s been the leader of that,” Sterk said. “They’ve done a good job in his absence and we want to continue the momentum of the program.”

In a statement, Martinez thanked Gwynn and Sterk.

“Tony’s work here over the years has laid the foundation and given the program the opportunity to achieve success on and off the field. His main focus has been stability and this new contract will help ensure that stability and continuity in the coaching staff,” Martinez said. “I appreciate his faith in me as we continue working toward building the program into a national power.”

San Diego State reached the NCAA regionals for the second straight year and third time in six seasons.

In 20 seasons with the San Diego Padres, the lefty-swinging Gwynn had 3,141 hits, a .338 average, won eight NL batting titles and played in the franchise’s only two World Series.

He was a two-sport star at SDSU, playing point guard on the basketball team as well as playing baseball. He still holds SDSU’s game, season and career records for assists.

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