4:05 PM EDT, September 13, 2012
ROCKY MOUNT, Va.
You may know him as a Virginia Tech football player. Now this Martinsville native and Fieldale-Collinsville High School graduate is tackling something much bigger. He's spending his days helping local kids in the classroom and on the field.
Orion Martin made some great plays in his three years as a defensive end at Virginia Tech including a fumble return for a touchdown at an ACC championship game, a big sack against Georgia Tech and an interception at the Orange Bowl against Cincinnati just to name a few.
Now he's moved from the field to the sidelines where he soars as a new assistant coach for the Franklin County Eagles.
"It's been exciting to tell you the truth," Martin said. "I liked it a lot more than I expected. The people here are great and the kids have been great so far."
At practices and games Martin is sharing his skills and experience with young players, but his work in Franklin County hasn't just brought him to the football field it's also brought him inside the classroom.
Martin teaches 9th grade students at Franklin County High School. It's no surprise the students ask questions about his playing days. "They're excited to have a former Hokie player in the classroom so we're always talking a lot of stories about my Virginia Tech playing days ," Martin said. "That comes up everyday so that's exciting."
Martin says he works hard to get to know each student and find out what his or her interests are.
Martin knows it takes patience to succeed. In fact he needed just that when he was starting out his college football career.
While he always dreamed of playing for Virginia Tech, Martin did not start there. Instead after graduating from Fieldale-Collinsville High School it was off Hargrave Military Academy where Martin worked on his football skills before taking a chance and heading to Virginia Tech.
He went to Blacksburg with no football deal but made the team as a walk on in 2005.
Martin said his involvement with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and his strong faith have helped him learn patience. That's something he tries to pass along to students as they work to pick up the material in class.
"It's exciting cause it makes you feel like you're actually getting through to them," Martin said. "Sometimes the pace is a little fast for them but helping them out and slowing them down and making sure they're getting the material at the end of the day it makes it all worthwhile."
Now this former Hokie and new teacher has begun to realize that mentoring students and helping them succeed is way he'll keep on scoring into the future.
To read more about Martin and how his faith is key in his life head to the Our Health section of our web page and read the article our media partner has written on Martin.
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