Bill’s first association with CSC was in 1951. He attended Connors on an athletic scholarship were he was a catcher for the baseball team. He was also a member of the National Honor Society and the ROTC. He graduated with his Associates Degree in 1953 and continued his academics and athletics at Panhandle State in Goodwell, Oklahoma. He finished his education at Northeastern State University with his BS degree and a MS degree in education in 1958. He also received a professional diploma from University of Tulsa in 1971.
Bill taught math and science as well as coaching track, football, baseball, and girls and boys basketball in the high school ranks before returning to Connors. While coaching at Warner High School, Martin’s baseball teams won back-to-back State Championships in 1963 and 1964.
Coach Martin returned to Connors State College as a math and science instructor. During his years at Connors, Bill served as Dean of Men, Federal Programs Coordinator, as well as Baseball Coach for one year in 1971.
Martin’s contribution to the Cowgirl basketball program is probably his most significant accomplishment at CSC. Remarkably, Coach Martin was a volunteer assistant to the program, receiving no compensation (while teaching a full load) all but his last year in the program. He was an assistant to Hall of Fame coach Monte Madewell for 11 years during which the Cowgirls brought national recognition to Connors. Their teams dominated NJCAA women’s basketball winning almost 90% of their games. During Bill’s tenure, they won eight conference titles and reached the NJCAA National Tournament six times. They were National Runners-up in 1989 and NJCAA National Champions in 1985. He was instrumental in recruiting ballplayers for the program, making hundreds of road trips with Coach Madewell to dozens of states. Martin was CSC’s biggest promoter, singing its praises to countless athletes and their parents across Oklahoma and the U.S.
Mr. Bill or “Poppie”, (as the the players called him) and his wife Jeanie were like parents to many students and players. They hosted dozens of meals, boarded players for weekends and holidays and were generally there for whatever they needed.
Bill’s affiliation with Connors State College is a family affair. His wife Jeanie is a graduate and was Food Service Director and taught night class for six years. Their only daughter, Debbie and son-in-law James Fast, also graduated from CSC. Bill has had five generations and over 40 members of his family attend Connors.