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Updated 10:00 AM October 26, 2009

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Martin announces plans to retire from athletic director post in 2010

Director of Athletics Bill Martin has announced that he will retire from his position on Sept. 4, 2010. Martin made the date official Oct. 21, sending a letter to President Mary Sue Coleman, and then informed the athletic department staff at an all-staff meeting at Cliff Keen Arena.

Coleman, in a statement, noted Martin's "outstanding leadership" during the nearly 10 years he has worked as athletic director.
File Photo/U-M Photo Services

"(Martin) has not only done a superb job of attracting top coaches for the full range of Michigan sports, but he has also assembled an excellent management team to oversee all aspects of athletics operations," Coleman said. "At the same time, he has firmly established Athletics as a financially strong and self-supporting department while guiding the renovation and expansion of most of our major sports facilities."

Martin officially took over as director of the Department of Athletics on Aug. 1, 2000. On March 6 of the same year, he was named interim athletic director by then-President Lee Bollinger, replacing Tom Goss. At that time, he was initially given a five-year appointment and announced that his first-year salary was to be donated back to the Department of Athletics.

Martin was the recipient of the 2008 Bobby Dodd Athletic Director Award in recognition of his support and the development of programs that promote student-athlete welfare, helping them become well-rounded students and citizens. In April 2005 he received the United States Olympic Committee General Douglas MacArthur Award, the organization's highest award, honoring his leadership as acting president of the USOC (Feb. 2003-June 2004). He also received the 2005 Humanitarian Award from the Jewish Federation of Washtenaw County, its highest honor, and was named the 2000 Ann Arbor News Citizen of the Year for his service and contributions to the community.

An avid sailor, Martin served as president of the United States Sailing Association, the national governing body of the sport, from 1988-91. In 2003 he was awarded the Nathaniel G. Heereshoff Trophy for outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing in the United States.

Martin earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1962 from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, and a graduate degree in economics from the University of Stockholm, Sweden, in 1963. He received his Master's in Business Administration from U-M in 1965. Martin was a member of the board of directors of Wittenberg from 1994-2007. He and his wife, Sally, reside in Ann Arbor and have two sons, Seth and Michael. They have one grandson, William Declan, and welcomed granddaughters Cate and Reese this past summer.

Martin has agreed to remain as athletic director until his successor is on board, at which point he will serve as a special advisor until retiring from the university in September, Coleman said.

Coleman will personally oversee the search for the next athletic director with the help of a small advisory group.

"We expect this process will take a number of months," she said. "With this advance notice, we have the opportunity to make a thoughtful and deliberate choice and to manage a smooth transition."

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