August 1, 2000

William C. Martin named athletic director

EDITORS: Bill Martin and other Athletic Department staff will be available for interviews at a media gathering today at 3:30 p.m. at the production facility in Crisler Arena. President Bollinger will be available for interviews as his schedule allows.

Martin photoANN ARBOR---William C. Martin has been named director of the University of Michigan Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. The appointment was announced today (Aug. 1) by U-M President Lee C. Bollinger. Martin has been serving as interim director since March 6.

The appointment will be for a five-year period and will be effective immediately, pending approval by the U-M Board of Regents. Martin, a U-M alumnus, is president of First Martin Corp., an Ann Arbor real estate development firm, and the founder and chairman of the board of Bank of Ann Arbor. Martin has indicated he will donate his U-M salary for the first year back to a special fund to benefit the Athletic Department.

A 17-member search committee chaired by U-M Prof. James S. Jackson presented the names of three finalists for the position to Bollinger. Martin, who initially indicated he was not a candidate, was not among the finalists. Bollinger said he met with the three finalists and carefully considered each candidate, but came to the conclusion that Martin was the best person for the job.

"The search committee's work has been very important to this process," the president said. "They did just what I asked them to do, thinking deeply about the needs of the Athletic Department and looking broadly at all possible candidates. They presented to me three very strong finalists. However, they served in an advisory capacity to me and in the end, the decision was mine. I could not make this appointment with the confidence that I have if not for the committee's terrific work."

Bollinger noted that he has received a great deal of support from both within and outside of the department for Martin to continue as the permanent director.

"We have been incredibly fortunate to have someone with Bill's management experience, understanding of sports and business credentials willing to accept this important responsibility," Bollinger said. "He has exhibited the leadership and vision necessary to see the department through its budgetary challenges while maintaining the athletic and academic excellence that is our tradition and aspiration."

Martin said the growing support for him within the department and his desire to complete a number of efforts he has begun led him to reconsider accepting the position. "I am excited by the challenge of serving as the athletic director at Michigan," he said. "We have a great group of coaches and staff, and I believe this is going to be a fun experience for all of us."

An avid sailor, Martin is president of the United States Sailing Foundation and also served as president of the U.S. Sailing Association, the national governing body of the sport of sailing in 1988-91. He has been on the board of directors of the U.S. Olympic Committee since 1995 and has served on its budget committee.

Martin received a bachelor of arts degree from Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio, in 1962, and a graduate degree in economics from the University of Stockholm, Sweden, in 1963. He received his M.B.A. degree from the U-M in 1965. He has been a member of the board of directors of Wittenberg since 1994, and is a member of the Fales Committee of the U.S. Naval Academy.

In 1968, Martin founded First Martin Corp., a diversified real estate construction, development and management firm that has developed 35 major office, commercial, industrial and residential projects in Ann Arbor. He has served as president of the Washtenaw Land Conservancy since 1981 and also has been a board member of the Ann Arbor Public Schools Foundation and Washtenaw Technical Middle College, a charter school. He has taught courses at Muskingum College, Eastern Michigan University and the U-M School of Business Administration.

Contact: Julie Peterson
Phone: (734) 936-5190
E-mail: juliep@umich.edu