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In Memoriam: James R. Martin (BS50, MA57)

coach youth flag football, he shares valuable lessons learned from his own high school coach: Jim Martin. “Coach Martin was a father figure


for me and many other young boys,” says Gambino, a 1969 graduate of Riverview High School. “He helped us grow up to be men.” Martin, an Eastern alum, educator and 1981 Eastern Michigan University Athletic Hall of Fame inductee, made an impact on scores of young students and athletes. Many, like Gambino, became coaches themselves. Martin’s influence was evident at his memorial service, which was attended by more than 300 of his friends and former students and players. Martin died on Sept. 22 in Mt. Pleasant after a brief illness. He was 83. “Coach often spoke about leadership during his halftime speeches,” says Gambino, who played varsity football and JV baseball under Martin. “He said every player on the team had a leadership role, whether or not you were the team captain. That’s the message I try to pass on to my sons.” Martin was born in 1927 and grew

hen Larry Gambino of New Boston takes to the sidelines to

the E-Club in 1976. Martin also served on the EMU Alumni Board of Directors from 1983-84. “Jim was a born leader,” says Jim

Streeter, EMU associate athletic director/media relations. “He was a very self-assured person who had a strong presence, whether at an alumni event or as a member of the E-Club. People really gravitated toward him.” Through the end of his life, Martin

remained active in athletics. He created a seniors softball league at his complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla. after he and his wife began wintering there in the 1980s. He also served as a starter at a private golf course. “Jim really enjoyed people,”

James R. Martin

years before retiring in 1983. Martin is also a member of the Riverview Hall of Fame and Michigan Coaches Hall of Fame. Martin coached several notable

up in Detroit. He graduated from Wayne High School and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Eastern (then Michigan State Normal College). He earned varsity letters in football, basketball and baseball before graduating in 1950. Martin went on to coach for 18 years at Kinde, Flat Rock and Riverview high schools. He then served as principal of Ypsilanti Lincoln High School for 15

Keith Ellis (BS98) is a special education teacher at Adrian High School in the Adrian Public School District.

Brian Hall (BS98) has completed U.S. Navy basic training at the Recruit Training Command center, based in Great Lakes, Ill.

football players during his tenure at Riverview, including former University of Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr and former NFL assistant coach Woody Widenhofer. Although he stopped coaching high school sports in the early 1970s, Martin continued to be involved as a football referee. He also maintained close ties to Eastern, becoming chairman of the EMU Football Bust in 1970-71 and president of

Julie McLaughlin (BS98, MA00) has co-authored a community college first-year experience help book, titled “Thriving in the Community College & Beyond: Strategies for Academic Success and Personal Development,” and is currently an academic adviser at the Cincinnati State Technical and Community College.

says Marlyn Martin, his widow. “He coached one of the softball teams and got some of the guys reacquainted with the sport, including a gentleman in his late 80s who hadn’t played since high school. The kids at the golf course also took to calling Jim ‘Coach,’ which he enjoyed.” Martin’s son, John, was a standout

pitcher for Eastern from 1975-78 and was recently voted into the E-Club Athletic Hall of Fame. “Jim was very proud that he and his

son are members of the Eastern Hall of Fame,” Marlyn says. “Jim loved going to school at Eastern and always felt the need to give back. That’s why he became so immersed in alumni programs. When he became involved in something, whether it was coaching, acting as principal or as an Eastern alum, he truly embraced it.” —Jeff Samoray

Penelope Vandenburgh (MA98) is retiring after nine years as the director of the LaTarte Center of Jackson Community College’s Hillsdale campus.

Julie Artinian (MLS99, MA99) is a licensed professional counselor with private practice available for children

and adults in Tecumseh and Adrian.

Jill Clark (MSW99) has been appointed director of quality and program development for Highfields, Inc., located in Jackson.

Mark Eubank (MS99) will be returning to Afghanistan on his second tour as a Lt. Col. in the Army Reserve.

Eastern | WINTER 2011 33

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