LEVELLAND - The South Plains College department of athletics will have two new faces within the staff with the additions of Marty Eakin
and Katie Edens
, both of whom began their duties Aug. 1.
Eakin begins his first year assisting head coach Kerry Doster
with the SPC rodeo teams. The Amarillo native is no stranger to success within the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) as he has been a member of two team championships at the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) and even won an individual national title at the 2004 CNFR, held annually in Casper, Wyo., in the saddle-bronc competition.
While competing for Vernon College, Eakin's fifth place finish in steer wrestling helped the Chaps to the team championship. Eakin then transferred to West Texas A&M University where he competed for his brother, Mark, and had an immediate impact on the program, winning the saddle-bronc in 2004 and was a member of the Buffs' team championship in 2006.
Following the 2006 season, Eakin was named the winner of the Walt Garrison Award, a coveted honor recognizing achievement both inside and outside the rodeo arena.
Eakin says he is excited about the opportunity to begin his coaching career at South Plains College and has a wife, Kassidy, and a son, Wyatt.
Edens begins her first year as the head athletic trainer at South Plains College and is very familiar with the program as she spent the 2011-12 academic year serving as a graduate assistant.
A native of Rochester, Minn., Edens' primary responsibilities include direct care of Texan and Lady Texan student-athletes, supervision of student-athletic trainers, as well as management and administration of the athletic training rooms.
Prior to be hired at SPC - while also while working on a graduate assistant - Edens spent two years working towards a Master's degree in Athletic Training at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center where she was awarded a diploma in May 2012.
Edens is a 2006 graduate of Bemidji State University in Minnesota, earning a bachelor's degree in elementary education with a specialization in mathematics.
Although she enjoyed the classroom teaching experience, Edens said she chose to pursue an advanced degree in athletic training so she could spend more time outside. She applied to only one school, describing the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center as the best in the country for athletic training.