Women's Basketball: Becky Martin taking leave as Terror coach

Becky Martin has patrolled the sideline as McDaniel’s women’s basketball coach for 37 seasons, ever since the Westminster High School graduate finished her standout college playing career for the Green Terror.

This season, things will be different.


Martin announced in a news release Monday she’ll be taking an indefinite medical leave from the women's basketball program and her administrative duties with the college.

McDaniel athletic director Paul Moyer is tabbing former assistant coach Rick Little to return to the staff as interim head coach. Former Terror center Alyssa March (Class of 2016) will serve as associate head coach, which will include handling the day-to-day activities in the office.

Longtime assistant coaches Phil Popielski and Jerry Georgiana will also remain on staff.

“Because I am dealing with some personal medical issues I have had to step away," Martin said in the news release. "I am confident my assistants will step in and do a tremendous job, assuring the program continues to move forward; the players have a quality experience and the program philosophies we have built over the years will continue."

Martin, a Carroll County Sports Hall of Famer, took over the Terror’s women's basketball program in 1981. With a 554-369 record, she is the winningest coach in Centennial Conference history.

"McDaniel College and McDaniel basketball are special to me and to the many outstanding student-athletes we have had come through our program," Martin said in the release. "I want to ensure that remains the case for the young women we have developing in our program during this interim period. We expect a great deal from our players not only athletically, but personally and academically and our standard of excellence will not change."

Martin, a multi-sport star at Westminster High, has led the Green Terror to 18 league playoff berths, a Middle Atlantic Conference division title in 1986, and its first Centennial Conference crown and NCAA playoff berth in 2002 — a feat she accomplished again twice in the next three seasons.

Her team posted 20-win campaigns in six straight seasons (2001-07) and advanced as far as the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament.

In 2013-14, Martin returned her squad to the 20-win club and once again made postseason appearances in the Centennial and ECAC tournaments. A year later, Martin added a second regular-season conference crown and at-large NCAA tournament berth while joining the elite ranks of the 500-win club.

As a 5-foot-9 center in a career spanning from 1976 to 1980, Martin became the team's first 1,000-point scorer, led Western Maryland College to its first conference title (1979-80), and won the division MVP award as a senior.

Martin still holds program records for scoring average in a season (23.0 ppg in 1979-80) and career (19.1). She also still holds the mark for points in a game, scoring 39 against Ursinus in the final game of her career. She finished with 1,299 points.

"I want to thank all those who have reached out with their thoughts and prayers during this time," Martin said in the release. "In addition, I would ask the community to continue to come out and support Green Terror women's basketball in my absence. I am confident both our coaches and student-athletes will continue to earn your respect and appreciate it."

McDaniel College women's basketball coach Becky Martin applauds as time expires in the Green Terror's victory over Gettysburg Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015, in Westminster. The victory marked her 500th career win.
McDaniel College women's basketball coach Becky Martin applauds as time expires in the Green Terror's victory over Gettysburg Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015, in Westminster. The victory marked her 500th career win. (Times File Photo)

Little, an assistant on Martin's staff from 2013-16, brings 22 years of high school coaching experience to the bench.

March played in 95 games, starting 45 times over her final two healthy seasons, over her career as a player. She remained at McDaniel to be part of the Green Terror staff as an assistant coach beginning last season.


"While Becky is taking care of herself, we thought it was important — first and foremost out of respect to her and the program she has built — to provide as much continuity for our women's basketball student-athletes as possible," Moyer said in the news release. "Rick has the experience as a head coach and understands the Green Terror program. Alyssa has been an important part of the program over the last six years and has done an outstanding job working with Becky recently. Phil and Jerry have been for a number of years and also understand the current team. The staff currently in place is what's best for McDaniel, our student-athletes and the women's basketball program.

“Our sincerest thoughts and prayers continue to be with Becky.”