Recent colder temperatures brought out the glass ceiling over the Swinney Recreation Center pool, but according to new Athletics Director Brandon Martin, there’s no ceiling for how high the Roos can jump.
During his inaugural address Wednesday, Martin outlined three priorities for the athletics department going forward. Martin clarified these goals align with Chancellor C. Mauli Agrawal’s educational missions with UMKC.
Martin’s first priority is academic success and development of student-athletes. This goal involves making coaches more than just that—ensuring they are teachers, mentors and guardians for their student-athletes as well.
In addition to serving as athletics director, Martin hopes to teach and inspire students in the classroom.
Currently, UMKC student-athletes have a 3.3 GPA average, and Martin wishes to continue maintaining a high academic standard.
“We have a tremendous, rich history in success for our student-athletes within our department, and that’s something we need to continue,” said Martin. “Everything we do, every decision we make will be in the best interest of our student-athletes.”
Secondly, Martin outlined his goal of competitive excellence. This involves winning more WAC conference championships and NCAA II postseason championships. Martin aims to recruit athletes who bring positive energy, effort and pride to competitions by enhancing facilities.
“All of this will take some time, but it starts today,” said Martin. “It starts today with our unwavering belief and commitment and push towards comprehensive excellence.”
Lastly, Martin aims to inspire the RooNation. Martin believes building a stronger fan experience will help secure corporate sponsorship to extend the brand regionally and nationally.
Through this new athletics program, Martin hopes to not only unite the university, but also the community, alumni and donors.
“This will all be done with a sense of urgency and passion to enhance the visibility and reputation of our department and university,” said Martin. “Everyone on our campus and Kansas City will know about who we are and our vision for our future.”
Martin comes from serving as athletics director at California State University, Northridge. There, he was named one of Los Angeles’ 100 most influential African-Americans, increased athletic donations by 453 percent and increased student attendance at men’s basketball games by 71 percent.
“We want to win more championships, increase fan support and generate more revenue, and I think Brandon Martin is the right man for this job,” said Agrawal. “He’s proven he can raise money and boost attendance at games and is passionate about student-athletes being great students first.”