After forty years of impact and influence at Southern Nazarene University, Athletic Director, Bobby Martin, has announced his plans to retire June 30, 2019. Martin stepped onto the campus of Bethany Nazarene College (BNC) as a transfer student-athlete in the fall of 1972. He has served his alma mater in a variety of leadership roles including: Dean of Students, Recruiter, Instructor, Coach and Athletic Director. Throughout his career at SNU, Martin has modeled a LiveLast lifestyle for athletes and made their pursuit of a Christ-centered education a first priority.
This LiveLast legacy began in the early 1960’s in a Nazarene mission church on the West Texas District, where – under the ministry of life-long servants of Christ, and SNU alums, Dr.Joe and Deletta Tompkins, and, later, Dr. Charles and Barbara Jones – a young Bobby Martin became a Christ-follower, grew in his faith, and has allowed God to work through him throughout his life.
Recently, the campus family and community honored Martin with a special night of tributes and testimonials. A highlight of the celebration was the announcement that the floor of the Sawyer Center will be named “Bobby Martin Court.” Fans, former student athletes, and the campus family joined in thanking ‘Coach Martin’ for his legacy of forty years of service and dedication to SNU. While his accomplishments and accolades as a student athlete, coach and Athletic Director are well documented, Martin’s greatest passion, by his own account, is to see change in the lives of athletes and coaches each year. Under his leadership, the mission of the Athletic program has been to model the University motto – Character-Culture-Christ.
Martin’s desire to reach young people with the message of the Gospel led to his creation and leadership of the Camp for Champions summer sports camps for kids. Over the decades he impacted the lives of thousands of boys and girls through the camps’ biblically based message of what a true champion is, and personally led scores of young people to a new life in Christ. Regardless of the demands of a busy schedule, Martin has made it a priority to serve as speaker for countless retreats, conferences and training camps over the years.
As Athletic Director, Bobby Martin played a pivotal role in SNU’s transition from the NAIA to the NCAA-Division II in a rigorous, three-year process. This was the culmination of the growth from 4 to 17 varsity sports for women and men over the span of his leadership, and the Crimson Storm is already experiencing success in this new and highly competitive arena, with the most recent accomplishment being historic back-to-back conference championships for the Men’s Basketball program.
"Bobby Martin's contributions to SNU are immeasurable," said SNU President Dr. Keith Newman. "In every role he has provided Christ-like leadership and been a champion for students on their discipleship journey. We are grateful for the sacrificial investment he and Jan have made in this university. May God bless Bobby in some extra special ways in this next season."
To read more about Bobby Martin’s significant impact on intercollegiate sports and Southern Nazarene University, visit SNU Athletics News