Wesleyan and D&E mourn loss of soccer legend

Dr. Tom Martin was a coach and player on NAIA title teams

BUCKHANNON — West Virginia Wesleyan and Davis & Elkins College are mourning the loss of Dr. Tom Martin.

Martin, who was a standout soccer player and coach at both colleges, passed away this past Friday at the age of 70.

Martin served as the head soccer coach at Wesleyan from 1978 to 1985. He posted a record of 114-31-9 and led the Bobcats to four West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles and to two NAIA championships during his tenure. Martin was named the national soccer coach of the year after both title seasons.

Martin also coached the Wesleyan men’s tennis team to a WVIAC title and NAIA National Tournament appearance.

He was also the first individual to win national soccer championships as a player and coach.

Martin helped lead Davis & Elkins to NAIA titles in 1968 and 1970, and to a runner-up finish in 1969 as a player.

After coaching at Wesleyan, Martin guided James Madison University to prolific success with a 359-164-58 record during his 29 seasons. JMU captured five Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Championships and won the regular season seven times. He was named CAA Coach of the Year in 1987, 1989, 1993, 2000,and 2011. James Madison qualified for 10 NCAA Tournaments under his leadership, highlighted by consecutive quarterfinal appearances in 1994 and 1995.

Martin’s 478 victories rank seventh all-time among coaches with at least 10 years leading a Division I program and 18th among all coaches at all four-year institutions across all divisions.

In addition to his selection to Wesleyan’s Athletic Hall of Fame, Martin is a member of the D&E Athletic Hall of Fame, West Virginia University College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences Hall of Fame and the James Madison University Athletic Hall of Fame.

Martin is survived by his wife, Cherylen, and son, Sean. Graveside services were schedled at 10 a.m. today at Beverly Hills Memorial Gardens in Morgantown.


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