Archive for Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Richard “Dick” Martin

March 12, 2008

A casual gathering of family and friends of Richard "Dick" Martin, 75, will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 13, at Lake of the Forest Clubhouse (K-32 between Edwardsville and Bonner Springs on the north side of the road).

Mr. Martin died Saturday, March 8, 2008.

He was born July 14, 1932, the son of Andrew and Majorie Martin in LaCrosse, Wis.

Mr. Martin was raised in Ottawa, Kan., where he developed his life-long passion for sports, jazz and the human spirit.

Dick was a highly successful executive in the world of coaching and athletic administration. He was a successful head football coach at Yates Center (Kan.) High School and Olathe High School. He moved in to college coaching in the mid-60's as head coach at Rose Hulman in Terre Haute, Ind. After a successful 4 -year stint at Rose he moved on to Washington University in St. Louis as head coach and athletic director. During his four years, the teams won two conference championships. At Washington University, he was able to develop a pioneering program that allowed players from disadvantaged backgrounds to enroll and play football while at the same time take advantage of the academics at the school. Additionally he started the St. Louis chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

In 1974, Mr. Martin moved out of coaching and in to athletic administration at the Big 8 offices in Kansas City as assistant commissioner. He accepted the position of athletic director at West Virginia University in 1979. He helped significantly upgrade the facilities and hired the football coach (Don Nehlen) that would take the Mountaineers to the next level.

In 1981, he was hired as the commissioner of the Missouri Valley Conference in Tulsa, Okla. After 20 plus years of moving around, he retired to private business in Kansas City. But his hunger for college athletics led him back into to what would be his final job executive director of the UMKC Athletic Foundation.

Survivors include his wife Margaret (Maggie) Ann Greer; two sons, Michael and Steven; two grandchildren; a stepgranddaughter; and a brother, John.

The family requests memorials to City of Hope. 1055 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90017 or online: cityofhope.org/ donate.

Arr.: Amos Family Funeral Home of Shawnee.

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