Former athletes talk about life with J.D.


"UCO Names Head Coach"



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Coach J.D. Martin
Named To Hall of Fame

Central Oklahoma women's cross country coach J.D. Martin has been selected for induction into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.

Martin, who earned Lone Star Conference Coach of the Year honors last fall after leading the Bronchos to a surprising runner-up league finish in his first year at the helm, will be officially inducted during a ceremony at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City on Aug. 22.

Martin was a track standout at Oklahoma before going on to enjoy a lengthy coaching career with the Sooners. A three-time All-American and the 1960 national champion in the pole vault at OU, he once owned the world record in that event and also won a gold medal in the decathlon at the 1963 Pan American Games.

A native of Erick, Okla., Martin served as track/cross country coach at OU from 1964-97.

He coached 22 individual track and field national champions and countless Big Eight champions during his legendary career at OU, leading the Sooners to six top-five NCAA finishes.

Martin retired from OU in 1997, then joined UCO last fall to take over the women's cross country program.

Joining Martin in this year's class of Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame inductees is L. Dale Mitchell, Mark Price, Wilbur Joe Rogan, Barry Sanders and Thurman Thomas.

(Here's a little info on J.D. from the 1965 Oklahoma Track and Field Brochure)
   J.D., well-known Sooner pole-vaulter and decathlon man, has succeeded Bill Carroll who resigned after a six-year term to become vice-president of a Norman bank.
   At the age of 25, the Erick, Okla. native becomes one of the youngest coaches ever to hold a top coaching post at Oklahoma.
   He captured the 1964 Pan-American Games decathlon title at San Paulo, Brazil and gave up a finals qualifying berth on the 1964 American Olympic team when he accepted the Sooner coaching position.
   In 1960 he swept he Texas, Kansas and Drake Relays championships in his specialty, the pole vault. He also bagged first in the Big Eight indoor and outdoor meets, as well as the NCAA championship. In a quadrangular at Norman, he passed the world record with a sail of 15-9 3/4, but it was not allowed because the bar had to be turned around to keep the high wind from blowing it off. A big fellow, he used only the old-style pole.
   The new Oklahoma mentor who carries 195 pounds on his 6-4 frame, taught industrial arts at Midwest City the last two years after earning a B.S. in industrial education at Oklahoma in 1961.

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