|City/State:||North Platte, Neb.|
|High School:||North Platte|
Matt Martin is in his 23rd season as the Huskers’ recruiting coordinator in 2019, and is also in his 15th season coaching the Husker women’s sprinters, hurdlers and relay teams.
One of the premier recruiters in the country, Martin’s Nebraska recruiting classes have combined to win five Big Ten Conference team titles and 24 Big 12 Conference team titles, as well as 227 individual titles. The Huskers have also been a powerhouse at the national meet, as they have produced 29 national champions, 263 All-Americans and seven top-five team finishes behind Martin’s recruiting efforts.
Martin’s work ethic to bring in top-notch talent has not gone unnoticed on the national scene, as the Huskers’ 2000 and 2006 men’s and women’s recruiting classes were ranked in the nation’s top 10 by Track and Field News. The 2008 class was ranked No. 10, and most recently the 2014 women’s recruiting class was also ranked No. 10.
Since Martin started recruiting for the Huskers in 1997, he has been instrumental in personally bringing in athletes who have earned 19 All-America honors and 18 individual conference titles. In total, Martin has been the lead recruiter or played a key role in bringing in 22 student-athletes who have combined for 70 All-America honors, in addition to many others who competed at a championship-caliber level at conference meets.
One of Martin’s noteworthy recruits - Nicholas Gordon of Kingston, Jamaica - picked the Huskers over Florida State and Arkansas. In his career, Gordon won a national title, earned three first-team All-America honors, won two Big 12 titles and made a trip to the IAAF World Championships. Gordon was also honored as the 2010-11 Nebraska Male Student-Athlete of the Year. Martin also played a critical role in recruiting Chad Wright (six-time All-American and 2012 NCAA discus champion) and recently all-conference runners as freshmen Mara Weekes and Ellie Grooters in 2011. Martin also helped attract 10-time All-American Mara Griva, six-time All-American Carl Myerscough and four-time All-Americans Levi Gipson and Melissa Price to NU.
Although Martin has proven to have one of the best eyes for talent in the nation, he has also been impressive as an individual coach once student-athletes arrive on campus. Martin’s NU sprinters, hurdlers and relays have combined for 16 All-America honors, 13 individual conference championships and one NCAA title, placing NU athletes among college track and field’s elite runners.
During the 2018 season, Lakayla Harris ran the fourth-fastest 60m time in school history, 7.38, to take the silver medal at the Big Ten Indoor Championships. Harris finished fourth in the 100m at the outdoor conference meet, and her wind-aided time of 11.35 tied for fifth in school history in any conditions. She also moved into the outdoor 200m top 10 with a wind-aided PR of 23.15. Jasmine Barge ran the fourth-fastest 100m hurdles time in school history with a wind-aided 13.14, and the women’s 4x400m relay placed fifth at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships.
Martin’s sprinters and relay teams combined for three runner-up finishes at the Big Ten Indoor Championships in 2014 and one third-place finish. Chantal Duncan placed second in the 400 meters, and Grooters took third in the 600 meters. The 4x400m relay team (Duncan, Grooters, Shawnice Williams, Weekes) took second to garner second-team All-Big Ten honors as well. In 2017, the women’s 4x400m relay team reached the Big Ten Outdoor Championships podium with a third-place finish while running three freshmen and one sophomore.
Martin helped coach the men’s 4x100m relay team to a berth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. In addition, his efforts guided the 2012 women’s indoor distance medley relay team to a seventh-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Bellevue, Nebraska native Lukas Hulett excelled under Martin, earning All-America honors indoors and outdoors in the 400m as a sophomore in 2008. As a freshman in 2007, Hulett earned indoor All-America honors in the 400m and was a member of the All-America indoor 4x400m relay team along with fellow freshmen Scott Wims and Dan Christensen and senior Nate Probasco. Hulett then carried his success to the outdoor season, qualifying for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 400m.
In 2007, Wims went on to post a seventh-place finish in the 200m at the outdoor championships for his second All-America finish. He and Hulett were two of five Martin-coached Huskers to qualify for the 2007 NCAA Championships.
Under Martin’s supervision, Wims went on to win the 200m crown at both the U.S. Junior Championships and the Pan Am Junior Championships, while also finishing third in the 100m at both competitions. Additionally, NU freshman Dax Danns competed for his native Guyana at the Pan Am meet, finishing third in the 200m.
The top hurdler in NU women’s history, Priscilla Lopes-Schliep concluded her outstanding career in 2006 under Martin’s watch. An eight-time All-American and five-time Big 12 champion, Lopes-Schliep was the national runner-up in both indoor and outdoor high hurdle events for the fourth and fifth consecutive national competitions during her final season as a Husker. She served the role as NU’s high-point scorer at both conference meets.
Lopes-Schliep led the way for the Husker women’s team in 2005 with two more silver-medal finishes in the 60m and 100m hurdles at the NCAA Championships just one season after claiming her first national title in the 60m hurdles as a freshman.
Martin also tutored former Husker and 2004 Olympian Nenad Loncar, who won a conference title in the 60m hurdles as a senior in 2005.
NU’s men have also benefited from Martin’s presence. The 4x100m relay team of Arturs Abolins, Oliver Williams Jr., Nate Probasco and Dusty Stamer won the Big 12 outdoor title for the second straight year in 2005, the first time in Nebraska history that the men had won the event in consecutive seasons. In 2007, NU’s 4x400m relay team of Wims, Christensen, Probasco and Hulett finished third at the Big 12 indoor meet and went on to qualify for the national outdoor competition.
While Martin’s athletes have excelled on the collegiate level, they have also participated on the world stage. His latest success was Lopes-Schliep, who earned the bronze medal for Canada in the 100m hurdles at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. The medal was the first medal for Canada in track and field since Donovan Bailey in 1996. Lopes-Schliep then continued her success in 2009 as she took silver at the IAAF World Championships in Berlin, Germany.
Lopes and Loncar each represented their home nations in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, while Lopes-Schliep followed with a berth in the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki, Finland. She reached the semifinals of the 100m hurdles at the competition.
In 2004, the North Platte, Nebraska native coached Lopes-Schliep to her first national championship in the indoor 60m hurdles, as well as two other All-America honors in the 60m dash and outdoor 100m hurdles. His 4x100m relay team of Shelldon Simpson, Oliver Williams Jr., Probasco and Stamer also earned All-America status by placing eighth at the NCAA outdoor meet.
A former sprinter/jumper for the Huskers from 1990 to 1993, Martin was an undergraduate coach for Nebraska in 1994 and was a graduate administrative assistant for Nebraska in 1995 and 1996. As an undergraduate coach, Martin helped Gary Pepin coach Nicola Martial to an NCAA outdoor title and a runner-up finish at the 1994 NCAA Indoor Championships. During that same time, he also helped coach Angee Henry to All-America honors as a freshman and a U.S. Junior National championship in the long jump.
Martin, who graduated from Nebraska with a degree in business administration in May 1994, completed his master’s degree in athletic administration in August 1999. His father, Doug Martin, was the former head track and field coach at North Platte High School for 23 years, and was on the Husker staff as a volunteer coach.
Martin is married to the former Michelle Delka of Lincoln. The couple has two daughters, Jocelyn and Reese, and a son, Elijah.