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Gators bring in former assistant

Mark Rulison waited 10 years to replace Jerry English, who coached Land O'Lakes for 27 years. After one season, Rulison resigned for personal reasons. A replacement was found in eight days.

Jamie Martin, a physical education teacher at Land O'Lakes, was hired Tuesday.

"It's not that much of a transition," said Martin, a volunteer assistant in 2001 and '02. "Mark's done a great job."

Rulison said he will assist Martin with organizational duties for a team coming off an 18-win season and region quarterfinal berth.

A standout player at Gaither, Palm Beach Community College and Saint Leo, Martin, 33, also interviewed when Rulison was hired. Since then, she has been an assistant at Land O'Lakes in volleyball, girls basketball and girls soccer.

While she enjoyed the other sports, Martin said she is glad to coach her favorite.

"Growing up, I played (softball) just about every day," said Martin, whose stipend will be about $2,100. "This is something I feel like I was born to do. There's nothing on this planet I know better than this. I like to make an impact on people's lives, and what I know best is athletics. That's how you reach kids."

Athletic director Chuck Moehle selected Martin from among four candidates but declined to name the others.

"I don't know if it's any one thing," Moehle said. "I think she brings an energy."