Becky Martin, the longtime women’s basketball coach at McDaniel College who went on an indefinite medical leave last summer, is retiring at the end of the spring semester.
Martin, a Westminster High School graduate, became the Green Terror’s head coach in 1981 and was a staple on the sideline for 37 seasons. She was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer following the 2017-18 season.
Martin said she felt ill in the days and weeks that followed the 2017-18 season, and couldn’t seem to shake certain symptoms. A trip to Johns Hopkins later revealed her cancer, a diagnosis Martin called “disheartening” back in October.
According to the American Cancer Society’s website, the one-year survival rate for all four stages of pancreatic cancer — the fourth-most common case of cancer death — is 20 percent. The five-year survival rate is 7 percent.
“One of the things I’ll say, because of the type of person I am, is I’ve always been a long-odds person,” Martin said in October. “I may not win the war, but I plan on winning a lot of battles.”
In January, the college dedicated the floor in Gill Center as the Rebecca L. Martin Court to honor her legacy to the women’s basketball program and college. With a 554-369 record, she retires as the winningest coach in Centennial Conference history.
Martin led the Green Terror to 18 postseason appearances (15 Centennial tournament berths) and six trips to the NCAA tournament. McDaniel reached the Sweet 16 in 2004.
Martin posted 11 seasons of 20 or more wins — six straight from 2002-07, and three in a row from 2013-15. Over her tenure, she produced 45 all-conference players and three All-Americans.
Martin also served as a senior coach lecturer in the department of exercise science (now kinesiology), including teaching Principles of Sports Coaching for many years.
A Westminster native, Martin came to then-Western Maryland College in 1976 as an undergraduate, participating in basketball, volleyball, and track and field. She joined the Green Terror staff as a graduate assistant following her graduation in 1980, and took over as head coach in 1981 after achieving her master's degree on the Hill.
Martin is a member of the McDaniel College Sports Hall of Fame, Carroll County Sports Hall of Fame and Middle Atlantic Conference Hall of Fame.
McDaniel will conduct a national search for a new women's basketball coach over the coming weeks.
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"I want to personally thank Coach Martin for her long-standing service and commitment to her alma mater, most importantly for her care and concern in developing so many extraordinary student-athletes over the years in our women's basketball program," McDaniel athletic director Paul Moyer said in a news release. "Anyone who has interacted with Becky knows the knowledge and passion that she has for the game, and that her love for McDaniel College and Westminster is only surpassed by the love she has for her former student-athletes.”