Photo and story courtesy of Penn Athletic Communications
PHILADELPHIA -- The University of Pennsylvania's Director of Athletics, Steve Bilsky W'71, has announced the hiring of Robin Martin as the new James P. Tuppeny Head Coach of Men's Track & Field. Martin has been serving as the interim coach since the retirement of Charlie Powell from the position in December.
"Robin stepped in mid-year as interim coach and has done a tremendous job, earning the opportunity to be our Head Men's Coach," said Bilsky. "His dedication and affection for Penn is contagious, and I am confident he will carry on our great history and tradition in track and field."
"It is such an honor and a privilege to be the James P. Tuppeny Head Coach of Men's Track & Field," said Martin. "The history, the unrivaled education, and the possibilities for national-level excellence make Penn an amazing opportunity for a coach. To be able to share a vision for success with a passionate administration is the icing on the cake. I would like to thank Steve Bilsky for his confidence, and his trust. My staff and I are driven to bring this program back to national prominence. We are going to do some great things here."
During Martin's interim stint, sophomore Maalik Reynolds defended his Ivy League Heptagonal championships in the indoor and outdoor high jump and earned All-America honors at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Reynolds finished in sixth-place in the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championship for his second-straight All-America honor; he was joined at the NCAA First Round by teammates Brian Fulton (800), Ryan Cunningham (1,500m) and Jake Brenza (shot put). Two other athletes, Tim Carey and Karl Ingram, earned second-team All-Ivy in the 400-meter hurdles and javelin, respectively, and four athletes -- Mako Bekelja, Matt Chylak, Robby Harwood and Fulton -- received All-East recognition for their performance in the 4x800m relay at the IC4A Championships.
One of the finest runners in Penn's illustrious track & field history, Martin has spent the last four years as a coach within the program. He spent the 2008-09 and 2009-10 years as a volunteer assistant working with the middle distance runners, then came on as the program's top assistant for 2010-11 working primarily with sprints, middle distance and as an assistant cross country coach. Last year, Martin helped guide James Finucane into the school record book in two events and aided the 4x800-meter relay team that won both the Heptagonal and IC4A titles.
Martin also worked with Darryll Oliver to three straight NCAA Championships appearances in the 800 meters. In 2008-09, Martin helped guide Oliver to the outdoor Heptagonal title in the event. Oliver and Fulton each qualified for 2009 NCAA Regionals in the 800 meters, with Oliver posting the third-best time in school history and Fulton reaching ninth all-time.
As an athlete, Martin was a two-time All-America and 11-time Ivy League champion from 1996-2000 wearing the Red and Blue. He was third at the NCAA Championships as a junior in the 800 meters, and also a world junior champion in the 4x400 relay. Martin holds the school record in the indoor 500 meters and is on the program's Top 10 lists in the indoor 1,000m (2nd), indoor 800m (3rd), outdoor 800m (3rd), and outdoor 400m (6th).