Bill Martin's Legacy as Michigan Athletic Director

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Bill Martin's Legacy as Michigan Athletic Director

On March 6, 2000, the University of Michigan named William “Bill” C. Martin the interim Intercollegiate Athletics Director. Five months later, Martin would officially take over as Director of Athletics.

Since that time, Michigan teams won 72 conference, regular season, or tournament championships, 35 top-five national finishes, and two national championships in women’s field hockey and softball, respectively.

Martin received his BA from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, a graduate degree from the University of Stockholm, Sweden, as well as earned his M.B.A degree from the University of Michigan in 1965.

In 1968 Martin founded First Martin Corporation, a notable real estate firm. He also serves as president of the Washtenaw Country Land Conservancy, is a board member of the Ann Arbor Public Schools Foundation, serves as president of the U.S Sailing Foundation, and has been on the U.S Olympic Committee since 1995.

At the turn of the century, the Athletic program was hindered by a $2.8 million dollar deficit and humiliated by an infamous basketball scandal that left Bill Martin responsible for picking up the pieces, and reinvigorating a nationally renowned program.

It is safe to say that the Athletic Director left the University of Michigan and the Athletic Department in better shape than he found it.

Although Bill Martin is distinguished by many respectable accomplishments throughout his tenure, perhaps most impressive is that he managed to sustain a budgetary surplus at the University of Michigan—only one of six athletic departments in the nation to do so.

A top ten list of Martin’s greatest accomplishments, sports triumphs, notable moments, and contributions to the University of Michigan follow.

Truly, Bill Martin has served both the University of Michigan and the surrounding community well. He enhanced a respected athletics system, attracted top-notch coaches to several athletic programs, coordinated a profound assemblage of athletic personnel, as well as secured both financially and aesthetically sound athletic programs and structures at the University of Michigan.

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