February 14, 2019
One of Coach Becky Martin’s favorite days of the year, the day her former players come home to the Hill for the annual alumnae basketball game, was made especially meaningful on Jan. 19 with a ceremony and celebration to officially dedicate the Gill Center court in her honor.
Martin, a 1980 alumna who earned a master’s degree in Physical Education Administration in 1981, was a champion student-athlete and is the winningest coach in Centennial Conference history. The Westminster native is a member of both the McDaniel College Sports Hall of Fame and the Carroll County Sports Hall of Fame.
Over 37 seasons, Martin led the women’s basketball team to 18 post-season championships and six NCAA appearances, including the 2004 NCAA Sweet 16. With her flexible style, calm demeanor and generous sense of humor that belied her intense competitiveness, her players came to understand that she cared as much about them off the court as she did about how they performed in competition, and her relationships with them have lasted well beyond their college years.
In case there was any doubt of her indelible impact on the Green Terror program, her signature, Rebecca L. Martin, is now sealed in thick black ink on both ends of the court.
McDaniel alumnae and friends of the Green Terror women’s basketball program have established The Rebecca L. Martin Court Endowed Fund, which provides for the naming of the court used by the men’s and women’s basketball teams, volleyball team and wrestling team, and supports the annual maintenance of the hardwood floor.
“This is needless to say an overwhelming and humbling experience to say the least,” said Martin, who has taken an indefinite medical leave after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The students, alumnae, colleagues and community members crowding the bleachers gave her a standing ovation. Many of them had shown up early to cheer on the current team in its 60-72 game against Dickinson’s Red Devils. In the alumnae game held after the ceremony, the “oldies” trounced the “youngies,” thanks to the tradition of awarding extra points to the oldies team for every one of their children in attendance.
Martin beamed, and occasionally wiped away tears, as she hugged her extended family of former players and their parents, as well as other friends from the past four decades. She told the crowd that “no one enjoys winning, and the pursuit of victory more than me.” But, she added: “The most gratifying moments of my career have always been watching our players walk across the stage at graduation. Witnessing and playing a small role of our players’ evolution into empowered, self-confident young professionals has been an amazing privilege.”