Anthony Martin will return to the Abbeville County School District for the first time in nearly a decade, this time as defensive coordinator for the Dixie High School football team.

Martin, who still lives in the county, worked the past nine years at Crescent High School, serving as a wrestling coach and assistant football coach.

“I’m excited for a fresh start and to get back to where I’ve been with people I know, and being involved with the church and the community, so this is good news,” Martin said.

Martin was an assistant football coach at Crescent each year he was at the school except this past fall. He has also coached football at Newberry and Abbeville.

Martin joins a Dixie staff that went 0-9 last season.

The team will continue a rebuild next season that follows one of the school’s best years in its history in 2018, in which the Hornets made the Upper State championship.

Asked if he’s interested in starting a wrestling program at Dixie, Martin said he’s ready to if interest is there from the athletic department and athletes, but nothing is certain.

“I want to follow the lead on Vic (Lollis) and (assistant principal) Mr. (Paul) Prescott on that,” Martin said. “If they want me to do it, I’ll do it. But I’m not trying to force the hand.”

Martin started the Abbeville wrestling program in 2005. He coached current Abbeville coach Bill Glace.

“The first donation we got for that was from Dennis Botts,” Martin said. “And my former wrestler, Bill Glace, is the coach now and Bill’s been doing awesome.”

Fifteen years after Martin started the program, it has been one of the most successful in Class 2A/1A.

The Panthers consistently send multiple state qualifiers each year and had a four-time state champ in Chandler Smalley two years ago.

Contact sports writer Skylar Rolstad at 864-223-1813 or follow him on Twitter @SkyRolSports.