UMKC Athletics proudly announced the hire of Dr. Brandon E. Martin on November 14th, 2018 as it's new Director of Athletics. The announcement occurred at a special event at the Swinney Recreation Center on the UMKC campus.
Before his arrival at UMKC, Dr. Martin served as the Director of Athletics at California State University, Northridge from February, 2013 until 2018. CSUN is a member of the Big West Conference and sponsors 19 intercollegiate sports programs. Martin was responsible for CSUN’s Division I athletics program that included a $15.5 million operating budget and 350 student-athletes in eight men’s and 11 women’s teams.
“Dr. Martin’s knowledge, passion and enthusiasm for his work was evident in the interview process.” Kathy Nelson, President and CEO of the Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation said. “I am excited to work closely with Brandon to continue the forward momentum of Roos athletics.”
Martin, 43, is among a small number of elite African-Americans who head intercollegiate athletics program at universities and colleges in the United States. According to the 2015 College Racial and Gender Report Card from The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports in all of Division I institutions, African Americans hold only 8.6 percent of athletics director positions.
Martin is passionate about the well-being of student-athletes and the championship experience. "We want to create an environment for our student-athletes to achieve comprehensive excellence," he contends. "Intercollegiate athletics offers an unparalleled opportunity for young women and men to prepare for success in life."
In 2016-17, CSUN Athletics boasted 99 student-athletes named to their conferences' All-Academic Teams, and the previous year 95 earned a 3.2 GPA or higher, the most ever at CSUN. CSUN’s women’s basketball, women’s track & field and softball programs all won Big West Championships in 2015, while men's and women's soccer each captured Big West Championships in 2016 and women's track & field won again in the spring of 2017. CSUN Athletics’ women’s programs were named to the Capital One Cup Top 100 list as one of the 100 best Division I Women’s Athletics programs in the country in 2014-15 as well. In 2016-17, CSUN had three All-Americans, nine individual Big West Champions, three Big West Coaches of the Year and eight Big West Players of the Year.
In Martin’s first year as Director of Athletics at CSUN, he honored CSUN’s faculty, retiring jersey #58, symbolizing the year the university was founded (1958). He initiated a new administrative structure within the intercollegiate athletics department, proposed a comprehensive vision and oversaw a series of historic moments in CSUN’s athletics history. Propelled by his mantra of comprehensive excellence, Martin pioneered the addition of Beach Volleyball as CSUN’s 19th intercollegiate sport and hired three new head coaches in Men’s Basketball, Baseball and Women’s Golf: Reggie Theus, Greg Moore and Gina Umeck.
Martin sparked the creation of “Matadors Rising,” a new visual identity and complete re-branding initiative within CSUN Athletics. One unique feature of that campaign included an effort to connect with CSUN's Spanish-speaking students, fans and alumni. “Matadores Ascendiendo” was developed as the primary messaging for Latino supporters and beginning in the summer of 2014, press releases, game day promotions and social media communications were also communicated in Spanish.
In the spring of 2015, Martin launched the CSUN Sports Network, which provides expanded video content in English, and in Spanish through CSUN Deportes, on GoMatadors.com. The CSUN Sports Network produced increased coverage of live games and events as well as feature content for fans and stakeholders of Matador Athletics.
In 2016, Martin announced a multi-year, department-wide partnership with Under Armour, naming the brand the exclusive outfitter and supplier of CSUN Athletics. The new partnership commenced in July 2016 and made CSUN Athletics Under Armour's first public institution partner on the West Coast and its first Big West Conference non-football partner.
During his tenure at CSUN, Martin increased athletics donations by 453% over a four-year period. This fundraising success has resulted in several noteworthy athletics facility upgrades and enhancements including a new athletics administration conference room, a men’s basketball locker room expansion, new spectator seating in The Matadome, graphic displays, lobby renovations for the basketball facility, a redesigned concourse and plaza for the soccer complex, renovations to the Women's Basketball and Women's Volleyball locker rooms and a Fueling Station, the first of its kind in the Big West Conference. At the same time, the department's operating budget has grown from $10.3 million. Martin also negotiated a corporate sponsorship agreement with Learfield, resulting in a sponsorship revenue increase of 963% since Matador Sports Properties' (MSP) first operating period of the 2013-2014 season.
Dedicated to tangible development, Martin designed and launched the Matador Excellence Fund - First Annual Giving/Priority Point Program in CSUN Athletics history. This program has been instrumental in reengaging former CSUN letter winners and alumni nationwide. Since his arrival at CSUN, annual giving donations have increased by 68%.
In 2014, Martin was appointed to the NCAA Committee on Academics. He also serves as the Chair of the Big West Men’s Basketball Advancement Committee and is a member of the Big West Conference Diversity and Inclusion Committee. In 2016, he was named Chair of the AASP Athletic Directors Task Force. He is also a member of the NCAA AASP Grant Selection Committee.
Previous to his appointment at CSUN, Martin served as a Senior Associate Athletics Director for Administration at the University of Oklahoma. Prior to his time in Oklahoma, Martin worked at the University of Southern California (USC) as the Senior Associate Director of Athletics. Martin served as the primary administrator and liaison with the USC admissions office and student affairs division.
Coupled with his athletic duties and pursuits, Martin served as an Assistant Professor of Clinical Education in the USC Rossier School of Education. Martin presented more than 40 papers, symposia and workshops at national higher education conferences. His dissertation entitled “A Phenomenological Study of Academically Driven African American Male Student-Athletes at Highly Selective Division I Universities” won the 2005 USC Rossier School of Education Dissertation of the Year Award. In 2005, he also earned the National Association of Academic Advisors award for Student-Athlete Excellence in Research.
Martin is a distinguished member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity—Xi Boule. He has also proudly served in other service capacities including: Board of Directors for the Los Angeles Sports Council, San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission Advisory Board, Board of Directors for the CSUN Black Alumni Association, Board of Directors for the Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation, Board of Directors for the Norman Addiction Information & Counseling Center.
Martin is married to his wife Rosemary and is the proud father of Germany (17), Riley (9) and Brandon Jr. (6).