Nashville, Tenn. - With the Tigers taking on Vanderbilt on Saturday (12/19), it's hard not to remember the contributions of former Tiger basketball head coach Ed Martin.
Martin served Tennessee State University as men's basketball coach for 17 years (1968-1985), amassing the longest basketball coaching career at TSU. Martin finished with an overall record of 290-169 (.632). He finished his entire coaching career with 508 wins and 268 losses. He tabbed hi 500th win with a 60-41 victory over Morehead State on November, 28, 1984.
During his tenure, Martin managed 15 winning seasons, posting his best record at the end of the 1971-72 campaign, 26-2. In addition, TSU managed six 20+ win season records under the direction of Martin while taking six TSU teams to the NCAA Regional Tournament, winning an Associated Press national championship in 1973.
He is also noted for guiding the collegiate careers of TSU basketball legends such as: Bernard Bailey, Monte Davis, Lloyd Neal, Leonard "Truck" Robinson and Ted "Hound" McClain. Davis, Robinson, Neal and McClain were draft picks and went on to play in the NBA.
As well as TSU, Martin was honored as the most successful coach in basketball at South Carolina State University while winning two SIAC championships as head coach for the Bulldogs.
After TSU, Martin joined Vanderbilt University as a professor and assistant basketball coach. He coached there for four seasons and guided the early careers of notable players as All-American and SEC Player of the Year Will Perdue and Jeff Turner.
He earned his bachelor's degree from North Carolina A&T University and a master's degree from Temple University. In 1951 Martin joined the Philadelphia Stars, a team in the Negro American Baseball League. He played against Hank Aaron and many other future Major League stars, but a shoulder injury ended his promising baseball career.
Martin received numerous honors during his lifetime including the 1995 Human Relations Award from the Nashville region of the National Conference of Christians and Jews. The Ed Martin Academy, an alternative educational learning center at the Charles Davis Learning Center that serves at-risk Metro middle school students, was named in his honor in 1997.
Community organizations in which Martin volunteered included 100 Black Men of Middle Tennessee, United Way, Council of Community Services, Special Olympics, Jewish Community Center, Nashville Boys Club, and Edgehill Community Center. Martin's family, to continue his charitable work on behalf of young people, has established the Ed Martin Foundation for At-Risk Youth. Martin passed away on February 25, 2005, at the age of 75.
At last, on the eve when TSU plays Vanderbilt, remember Ed Martin.