HARRISONBURG, Va. -- James Madison Athletics mourns the loss of Dr. Tom Martin, head coach of JMU men’s soccer for 29 seasons from 1986-2014, as he passed away late last week at age 70. Martin was just recently inducted into the JMU Athletics Hall of Fame on September 13.
“All of us with JMU Athletics are saddened to hear the news of the passing of a JMU Athletics legend, Dr. Tom Martin,” Director of Athletics Jeff Bourne said. “Many will look at his career achievements with the all-time victories, consecutive NCAA quarterfinal appearances, multiple other NCAA runs and CAA Championships, but what set Doc apart was his approach to college athletics and the profession of coaching. He worked to develop his student-athletes as individuals in all facets: academics, leadership, teamwork, life skills and more. It was those traits that earned him the Hall of Fame induction that we celebrated just a few weeks ago. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Martin family, his wife Cherylen, son Sean, Tom’s siblings and extended family.”
Martin guided JMU men's soccer to prolific success with a 359-164-58 record in his 29 seasons, achieving an average of 12.4 wins per season and .668 winning percentage.
For his 38 combined years as a head coach with stops at Trine (1977) and West Virginia Wesleyan (1978-85), Martin's 478 victories rank seventh all-time among coaches with at least 10 years leading a Division I program and 18th among all coaches at all four-year institutions across all divisions. His .687 career winning percentage ranks 37th among coaches with 10 or more years in Division I. The Dukes qualified for 10 NCAA Tournaments (1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2011, 2014), highlighted by consecutive quarterfinal appearances in 1994 and 1995.
JMU captured five CAA Championships (1992, 1993, 1994, 2001, 2014) and won the regular season seven times (1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 2000, 2011). Martin was named CAA Coach of the Year in 1986, 1989, 1993, 2000 and 2011.
Current JMU Head Coach Paul Zazenski said, "On behalf of the JMU men's soccer family we would like to offer condolences to the Martin family in this difficult time. Doc Martin was such an integral part of what this program represents. We were very saddened to hear the news of his passing. Although many of our coaches and players never knew Doc, the stories about him from numerous alumni make us feel like we did. There was no doubt he was passionate about the game of soccer and that was evident in his illustrious history of success. His coaching legacy will propitiate through time. Our thoughts go out to Doc's family and to all those who he meant so much to throughout his lifetime. RIP Doc."
Before JMU, Martin led WVWC to consecutive NAIA National Championships in 1984-85 to earn national coach of the year accolades. He also captured a pair of national titles as a player at Davis & Elkins College in 1968 and 1970 along with a runner-up finish in 1969.
In addition to his coaching career, Martin served an administrative role for JMU as interim director of athletics in 1998-99. He served as an instructor for multiple academic courses at JMU, including in an expanded capacity for the Hart School upon his retirement from coaching in 2014.