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Former DWU coach Martin in hospice care

Former Dakota Wesleyan University men's basketball coach Doug Martin is in hospice care, the school's athletic department confirmed Tuesday.

"I've heard he's not doing well," Randy Sprung, an associate professor of psychology at DWU, said Tuesday afternoon.

Martin, who is in his 80s, suffered a stroke in 1992, but continued coaching basketball for the next 13 years. He was a basketball coach for 46 years and led the Tigers to four conference titles and a national tournament berth in 17 seasons.

The South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame inductee coached college men's basketball for 31 years in South Dakota, starting as an assistant at the University of South Dakota from 1974 to 1978. He was Mount Marty's head coach for four years, then was USD's coach for six. His teams were 68-46 at Mount Marty and 51-116 at USD.

Sprung was on the search committee when DWU hired Martin in 1988.

"He was probably the most outstanding candidate at the time," Sprung said. "He was one of the most kind gentlemen. There wasn't a player or person on campus that didn't appreciate what he did for the university and that program."

At Dakota Wesleyan, from 1988 until retiring in 2005, Martin's Tigers had a 252-256 record. He led DWU to conference titles in 1990, 1992, 1995 and 1997, and the 1995 team reached the NAIA Division II national tourney.

He was coach of the year three times while at DWU, earning the award in 1989-90 and 1998-99 in the South Dakota-Iowa Conference and 2000-01 in the Great Plains Athletic Conference. He was the College Men's Coach of the Year for 1990 as chosen by the South Dakota Sportswriters Association. He also was the NAIA District 12 Coach of the Year in 1980, while at Mount Marty.

Martin also was the athletic director at Mount Marty from 1980 to 1982 and at DWU from 1990 to 1999.

Martin coached basketball in Wisconsin from 1959 to 1974, all at the prep level except for two years as an assistant at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

At Logan High School in La Crosse, Wis., Martin played football, basketball and baseball. He was on the basketball team at the University of Wisconsin before transferring to UWL for his final two seasons.

Doug and his dad, Rod, were the first father and son to be inducted into the Wisconsin Basketball Association Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the DWU and Mount Marty halls of fame.

Martin was a high school and college football referee from 1961-91 and a prep basketball ref from 1965 to 1991.

Brooke Cersosimo
Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.