KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The University of Missouri-Kansas City today announced that Dr. Brandon Martin has been hired to transform its Division I athletics program and continue its long history of success in developing scholar-athletes while rallying more wins, greater fan support and increased revenue.
"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. 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. "There's really no ceiling on how great we can become."