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Wrestling had been a varsity sport at Old Dominion since 1957. Sadly, after 63 years on campus, the administration at ODU recently announced that they were terminating the program citing financial concerns and Covid-19.
Steve Martin had been at the helm for the last 16 years of the team's existence. Here's a numbers-driven look back at some of the incredible accomplishments Martin achieved during his reign as head coach of the Monarchs.
Since taking over, Martin has helped qualify 68 student-athletes to the NCAAs. The Monarchs have averaged over 12 team points at the last 12 contested NCAA Tournaments.
Prior to Martin's hire, the Monarchs had averaged just 2-and-a-quarter points over their last eight NCAA tournaments, failing to score a single point in two of those championships.
A breakdown of the Martin era tournaments for Old Dominion is below.
During that run, the Monarchs boasted of one of the most impressive students of all the NCAA athletes. In 2014 and 2015, middleweight Tristan Warner won the Elite 90 award, presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average at the NCAA Championships. Warner, a communication & criminal justice major had a 3.979 and 3.984 in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
Watch Warner defeat Chattanooga's John Lampe way back in the 2012 Southern Scuffle:
Martin saw his Monarchs climb the All-American podium steps a total of ten times during his career. Those ten placers are below.
Watch Larry Early, ODU's last All-American, beat Steve Bleise to make the 2019 NCA quarterfinals:
The complete breakdown of all the tournament finishes for Martin's 68 national qualifiers is below.
One of the most accomplished wrestlers Martin every coached was Jack Dechow. The four-time qualifier placed fourth as a freshman. The Illinois native never again reached All-American status, but did put together one of the most impressive senior seasons that didn't result in a top-eight finish. Dechow beat three NCAA champions in the 2016-17 season.
Those wins were Mike Macchiavello two-times (in a December dual and the Midlands round of 16), Myles Martin (in the Midlands quarterfinals), and Drew Foster (in the MAC finals). Highlights of the Martin win are below.
Dechow received the #8 seed at the 2017 NCAAs and lost to two-time NCAA champ Gabe Dean in the quarterfinals by tie-breakers. His next bout would be a rematch with Myles Martin, which Dechow would lose, also by tie-breakers, to end his collegiate career.
Old Dominion also registered 22 conference champions and 23 conference runner-ups between the years of 2005 and 2020.
Coach Martin recruited nationwide, with starers from coast to coast. He also helped develop talent in his home state of Virginia and the talent-rich Tidewater area. The number of national qualifiers Martin coached by home state is below.
And here is a map of the hometowns of those qualifiers.
Before coming to ODU, Martin was head coach of high school powerhouse Great Bridge, located in nearby Chesapeake, VA. Martin coached 40 Virginia state champs at Great Bridge and won seven straight team titles.
At Old Dominion, Martin racked up a total of 172 dual meet victories, which fittingly tied him for most all-time with the program's first head coach, Pete Robinson.
The Monarchs of Old Dominion and head coach Steve Martin will be dearly missed in future NCAA seasons.