Article courtesy of UMKC Department of Strategic Communications and Marketing
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The University of Missouri-Kansas City launched a national search in September to find a proven leader who could transform its Division I athletics program, one who could continue its long history of success in developing scholar-athletes while rallying more wins, greater fan support and increased revenue. Today, UMKC announced its pick: Brandon Martin, Ph.D.
“Brandon Martin is, first and foremost, an educator. That’s how it should be. He was a true scholar-athlete as a player at the University of Southern California, and he will lead true scholar-athletes at UMKC,” said Chancellor C. Mauli Agrawal. “He is coming here to build a tradition that our campus and community can rally around with enthusiasm and pride, and I am confident that he will succeed.”
Martin most recently served as athletic director for California State University, Northridge. His history as a scholar-athlete dates even farther back, to when he played basketball at the University of Southern California and earned a Bachelor of Science, Master of Education and Doctor of Education there. He received the Outstanding Dissertation of the Year from the USC Rossier School of Education, “A Phenomenological Study of Academically Driven African American Male Student-Athletes at Highly Selective Division I Universities.”
Martin served as a faculty member at the Division I schools where he also was an athletics department leader, at USC and the University of Oklahoma, where he hired men’s basketball coach Lon Kruger. He has presented more than 40 papers, symposia and workshops at national higher education conferences. In 2014, Martin was appointed to the NCAA Committee on Academics.
“I always had a passion for education. I always knew that I would become a teacher,” Martin said. “I wanted to work in college athletics, but I wanted to be connected to the true fabric and true mission of a university. I knew that I needed a terminal degree.”
Martin served as athletics director at CSUN, from 2013 to earlier this year. While at that Division I program he:
• Oversaw a $15.8 million operating budget, 19 sports and 350 student-athletes
• Raised $1 million in his first 100 days
• Increased athletics donations by 453 percent
• Increased student attendance at men’s basketball games by 71 percent
• Was named one of Los Angeles’ 100 most influential African-Americans
Martin’s goals for UMKC Athletics are straightforward: Become a Top 100 Division I program. Win Western Athletic Conference championships and earn NCAA tournament berths. Provide a first-rate campus life experience for scholar-athletes while producing graduates who not only earn degrees but develop as leaders for campus and community.
UMKC won two WAC regular season championships last year, three WAC postseason championships and contributed more than 2,000 community service hours to the Kansas City area. UMKC student-athletes also excel academically, carrying an average 3.3 GPA.
Martin takes the helm of UMKC Athletics on Dec. 3, 2018. He will be joined by his wife, Rosemary, and their children Germany, Riley and Brandon Jr. He is excited about his future at UMKC and in the community.
“Kansas City is a great sport town, so we just have to get people engaged,” said Martin, who as a senior associate athletics director at Oklahoma made annual trips to Kansas City for the Big 12 basketball tournament. “There’s really no ceiling on how great we can become.”
About the University of Missouri-Kansas City
The University of Missouri-Kansas City, one of four UM System universities, is a public university serving more than 16,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on its six-part mission: placing student success at the center; leading in life and health sciences; advancing urban engagement; excelling in visual and performing arts; embracing diversity; and promoting research and economic development. For more information about UMKC, visit umkc.edu. You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, see us on Instagram and watch us on YouTube. Read our students’ stories at #UMKCGoingPlaces.
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