Joe Fielder on MHS football field

Joe Fielder has been named the new head coach for the Martinsville Bulldogs football team.

Fielder spent the last year as head coach at Chatham High School. In just one year as head coach for the Chatham program, he doubled the number of students participating in football, restarted the JV program which had been dormant since 2019, helped the team to its best statistical team scoring defense since 2007, and led the Cavaliers to a 5-5 record.

“We are excited about the wealth of knowledge and expertise Coach Fielder brings to Martinsville High School,” said MHS Principal Dr. Aji Dixon. “I look forward to Coach Fielder using his experience as a football coach to motivate and inspire our students to be the best that they can be on the field and, more importantly, in the classroom.”

Fielder’s career in coaching began when he was still a student at Ferrum College. While he was earning his degree in physical education, Fielder worked as a student assistant coach for the Ferrum football team. “I was able to learn a lot about the ins and outs of running a program, from building a coaching staff to organizing a program overall, and what recruiting looks like from a college perspective,” Fielder said.

After graduating from Ferrum, Fielder joined the staff at Magna Vista High School as a defensive coordinator. During his 14 seasons at MVHS, he coached the 2015 and 2019 Piedmont District defensive players of the year and the team won consecutive state titles (2014 and 2015), five consecutive district titles, and made playoff appearances each year from 2009 onward.

It was during his time at Magna Vista that Fielder said he became familiar with the Martinsville Bulldog football program. “The community support here is great and they have high expectations of the program,” he said. “This is a place that wants to be successful and has had a lot of success in the past. There is a lot of pride here and a lot of tradition overall and I am very grateful to be given the opportunity to be a part of it.”

Fielder hopes to continue to build on the success the Bulldogs enjoyed under coach Bobby Martin. “I look forward to building on that success and working to make Martinsville a contender in the district, region, and state levels. I want to keep that pride going.”

Building relationships is an essential part of Fielder’s approach to coaching. “I enjoy working with our players and coaches and building those relationships,” he said. “I think it is important to lead our players to not just becoming good players on the field, but to become good people off it. I think football teaches a lot of valuable life lessons and seeing our players learn and grow and become great young men in society is really important to me. There is camaraderie in football that you really won’t find in other places.”

Of course, life isn’t all about football for Fielder. When he isn’t teaching or coaching, Fielder enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, fishing, playing golf, and camping.

“We are excited to welcome Coach Fielder into our Bulldog family,” said MCPS Superintendent Dr. Zebedee Talley. “He brings a wealth of rebuilding experience to our program. I feel that he will greatly impact our student-athletes in a positive way.”