One of the most successful coaches in University of Delaware history, Tina Martin concluded her 19th season at the helm of the Blue Hens women’s basketball team during the 2014-15 campaign.
A native of Williamsport, Pa., Martin was hired May 14, 1996 to supersede Joyce Perry, who led the Hens for 18 years. Martin signed a five-year contract extension in 2012 that will keep her at Delaware through the 2016-17 season.
During her tenure, Martin has transformed the Blue Hens into perennial championship contenders, first in the America East and currently in the Colonial Athletic Association, which Delaware joined during the 2001-02 slate.
In 18 seasons, Martin has led UD women’s basketball to an overall record of 376-209 (.643) while posting a mark of 222-118 (.653) in regular season league play. Martin is amongst the league leaders with 198 conference (regular season and tournament) victories, the second most for active CAA coaches and third all-time.
On Jan. 13, 2013, Martin coached her 500th career game, a 63-46 win at Old Dominion. Additionally, she notched her 350th career victory with a 71-66 overtime decision over Hofstra on Jan. 5, 2014. Martin has coached the most games and is the winningest coach in Delaware men’s and women’s basketball history.
Under her guidance, Delaware has recorded 20-win seasons in 12 of the last 16 seasons and made postseason appearances in 11 of the last 15 years, including four in the NCAA and seven in the WNIT. The Hens have placed fourth or better in league play all but five times during Martin’s tenure and have advanced to the league championships semifinals or better 14 times in the last 16 years, including six appearances in the CAA Championship contest.
Despite losing one of the most memorable and talented classes in school history, the Blue Hens bounced back from graduating seven seniors and a career total of over 6,500 points, 3,200 rebounds and 1,100 assists in remarkable fashion following the 2012-13 season. Delaware was predicted to have a “down” year after graduating 2013 WNBA Rookie of the Year, Elena Delle Donne, in addition to Danielle Parker, Lauren Carra, Kayla Miller, Trumae Lucas, Jaquetta May and Chelsea Craig, but proved everybody wrong during the 2013-14 slate.
Delaware fielded nine freshmen and sophomores in 2013-14 with just three juniors and seniors, a far cry from the squad that reached the NCAA Sweet 16 just a season earlier. The returning Blue Hens combined for a total of 1,505 minutes (20.8 percent), 383 points (15.8 percent) and 269 rebounds (7.5 percent) in 2012-13. Fellow CAA schools predicted Delaware would finish fifth in the league while just one player (Akeema Richards) was chosen to the Preseason All-CAA Second Team.
This all served as motivation for UD as the Blue Hens returned to the CAA Championship game for the fourth straight season and earned a berth into the WNIT following a year where Delaware went 20-11 overall and 10-6 in the conference. The Blue Hens traveled north for a WNIT First Round contest wherein the eventual tournament champion, Rutgers, edged UD, 65-61.
The Hens also continued a school-record 44-game CAA winning streak before falling to James Madison on Jan. 12. The streak dated to the 2010-11 season and was the most in the league since Old Dominion won 95 consecutive contests from 1995 to 2001.
In that momentous 2012-13 season, Martin led one of the most illustrious squads in Delaware history as the Hens saw another record-breaking year. UD finished the season with an incredible 32-4 mark, went undefeated in CAA play for the second consecutive year and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the first time in school history. The Hens finished atop the CBI Mid-Major Poll for the second straight season while receiving a No. 15 spot in the Associated Press Poll and a No. 16 spot in the USA Today/Coaches Poll.
Delaware also recorded a school-record 27 straight victories, besting the team’s streak of 21 consecutive wins during the 2011-12 slate, and good for third nationally behind Baylor and Notre Dame.
Martin guided the Blue Hens to a No. 6 seed in the 2013 NCAA Tournament, where Delaware defeated No. 11 West Virginia, 66-53, before upsetting No. 3 North Carolina, 78-69, at a sold-out Bob Carpenter Center to advance to the Sweet 16. UD was unable to make a comeback against No. 2 Kentucky as the Hens ended their run with a 69-62 loss to the Wildcats in Bridgeport, Conn.
Martin was instrumental in the development of the team’s seven sensational seniors that included three 1,000-point career scorers in Lauren Carra, Elena Delle Donne and Danielle Parker, two 1,000 career rebounders (Delle Donne and Parker) and a second-overall WNBA draft pick (Delle Donne).
Delle Donne, one of Delaware’s most decorated student-athletes, wrapped up her time with the Blue Hens as a four-time All-American, three-time CAA Player of the Year and atop 11 career record lists and holds countless single season and single game records while Parker finished her career with the most rebounds and games played in Delaware women’s basketball history.
During the 2012-13 campaign, Martin’s Blue Hens saw nearly 70,000 fans pass through the turnstiles of the Bob Carpenter Center, an average of over 4,000 per game at the 5,000-seat venue. Delaware sold out “The Bob” five times throughout the year, including hosting a record crowd of 5,098 for a 61-60 win over James Madison on Feb. 24, 2013. In total, nearly 104,000 spectators saw Martin’s squad compete in person during the 2012-13 season. The Hens were also featured nationally various times on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 and the Comcast Sports Network.
The 2011-12 Blue Hens collected a record-breaking year with a 31-2 record while going undefeated in CAA play and winning the first postseason game in school history.
Delaware set a previous school record for wins in a season including a record 21 straight victories and claimed the first CAA Tournament title in UD history. The Hens earned a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament and posted a 73-42 win over Arkansas Little Rock, the first postseason win by a men’s or women’s basketball team in school history. Delaware ended the year ranked No. 14 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll after climbing as high as No. 7 in early March.
Along the way, Martin earned her 300th career victory on Feb. 12 when the Blue Hens defeated Georgia State, 94-56, while recording the most points scored by UD in Martin’s tenure.
For her efforts, Martin was named the CAA Coach of the Year for the third time in her career.
On Jan. 6, 2011, Martin became the winningest men’s or women’s basketball coach at Delaware, earning her 267th career victory with a 61-51 win over Northeastern.
After a 15-40 record in her first two seasons as a head coach, Martin led the Blue Hens to a 16-11 record in 1998-99 and a 21-8 mark and a trip to the America East semifinals in 1999-2000. The team’s 21-8 record was the best for a Delaware team since the 1989-90 season.
It all came together during the 2000-01 slate for the Hens as Martin led an experienced Delaware squad to the finest season in school history at the time. UD put together a record of 26-5, setting records for wins in a season and consecutive victories (17) while cruising to the America East regular season title with a 17-1 mark. The Hens moved through the America East Tournament, defeating Boston University and Hartford in the first two rounds before rallying to defeat host Vermont in the championship game.
That victory gave Delaware its first ever America East title, the team’s first conference championship since 1991 and the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance. The Hens advanced to the NCAA East Regionals at North Carolina State and hung tough with the 19th ranked Wolfpack before falling 76-57. UD also received its first ever votes in the USA Today Top 25 Poll during the season.
Among other milestones during the season included Martin winning the America East Coach of the Year Award for the first time and senior guard Cindy Johnson earning All-America East honors for the third straight year. Martin was instrumental in development of Johnson, a 5-8 guard who became Delaware’s all-time leading scorer and was the first UD player to be invited to the WNBA Draft Camp in 2002.
Delaware made it two straight post-season appearances in 2001-02. As first year members of the CAA, Martin helped guide the Blue Hens to a 23-7 record, the second highest win total in school history at the time. She was runner-up for league Coach of the Year honors. Delaware placed second in the CAA regular season standings behind nationally-ranked Old Dominion with a mark of 15-3 while advancing to the CAA Tournament semifinals. UD earned its first ever WNIT berth before falling to Atlantic 10 regular season champion George Washington, 78-71, in the opening round.
The remarkable string of success continued in 2002-03 as Martin led an unheralded team to a 22-9 record and a 15-3 league mark, tying Old Dominion for the regular season title. It marked the first time since 1992-93 that the Monarchs did not win the league regular season title outright. The Hens moved through the CAA Tournament before falling to host ODU, 66-58, in the championship game. Still, Delaware qualified for the WNIT for the second straight year, falling to host Saint Joseph’s, 65-47, in the opening round.
Once again, Martin finished as runner-up for CAA Coach of the Year honors. CAA Co-Defensive Player of the Year Allison Trapp earned a WNBA tryout the following season.
The 2003-04 team barely reached the 20-win plateau, but did enjoy a successful season, going 19-10, placing fourth in the CAA regular season with a record of 10-8 and advancing to the CAA semifinals before falling to eventual champion Old Dominion.
The 2004-05 squad produced one of the finest seasons in school history as Martin led the team to a 25-6 mark while going 16-2 in the CAA. Delaware claimed the CAA regular season title and tied the school record for consecutive wins in a season with 17. UD ended Old Dominion’s 122-game home CAA win streak with its victory in Norfolk in January and then became the first CAA team since the 1992-93 Richmond Spiders to sweep Old Dominion in the regular season. The Hens received votes in the USA Today Top 25 Poll over the second half of the season.
Delaware fell in the CAA Championship game, 78-74, to Old Dominion, but did earn a berth into the WNIT. The Hens hosted St. John’s in their third WNIT appearance in four years and came up short, 48-42 to the Red Storm.
Martin earned CAA Co-Coach of the Year honors, sharing the title with Drexel’s Denise Dillon.
The winning ways continued in 2005-06 as UD posted a record of 22-8, placed third in the CAA regular season standings and advanced to the CAA Tournament semifinals before falling to James Madison in the final seconds. The Hens still earned their fifth post-season appearance in six seasons, advancing to the WNIT for the fourth time before a 64-57 loss to Pittsburgh in the opening round.
During the 2006-07 campaign, Delaware tied the school record with 26 wins and tied the school record for conference wins with 16. The Blue Hens also received votes in the AP Top 25 Poll for the first time in school history. With a win over Hofstra on January 4, Martin became the quickest men’s or women’s basketball coach to reach the 200-victory plateau.
UD fell in the CAA semifinals to James Madison that season, but garnered the school’s first ever at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament. The Hens were unable to come up with a victory as Michigan State defeated Delaware, 69-58, in Lansing, Mich.
Tyresa Smith, who was the CAA Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, became the first Delaware player to be drafted into the WNBA that spring when the Phoenix Mercury selected her with the 18th overall pick.
Having graduated four key members of the NCAA Tournament team, the Blue Hens suffered a 7-24 season in 2007-08 before bouncing back and securing a .500 record of 15-15 in 2008-09.
In 2009-10, Delaware returned to dominance with a solid 21-12 season highlighted by CAA semifinal and WNIT appearances. The Hens smashed their previous attendance record having seated over 16,000 more than ever before that season and lost seven games by five points or less. UD ended its season by dropping a 67-49 game to Richmond in the opening round of the WNIT.
Despite a loss in the CAA Championship as the No. 7 seed in the 2010-11 season, the Blue Hens secured 20 wins for the ninth time under Martin and for the second straight year. Delaware was selected to the WNIT for a second straight season and was denied its first post-season win as the Hens fell, 58-55, to the eventual WNIT Champion University of Toledo.
As a graduate assistant coach, Martin played a big part in rebuilding a Seton Hall University program that went from three straight losing seasons to one that made back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 1994 and 1995 under head coach Phyllis Mangina. The 1993-94 Pirates went 27-5 and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16, the best season in SHU history. The team finished the season with its first-ever national ranking, placing 14th overall.
The following season, Martin helped lead the Pirates to a 24-9 record and yet another NCAA Tournament appearance, advancing to the second round.
Martin was a two-time NCAA Division II All-American at Lock Haven (Pa.) University and was a four-time Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference All-Star and two-time league Player of the Year. She finished as PSAC’s all-time leading scorer with 2,157 points and had her number (33) retired at Lock Haven.
Martin began her coaching career at Lock Haven in 1986-87, where she served as an assistant before moving on to Seton Hall as a graduate assistant.
Martin’s siblings have also enjoyed successful careers in athletics as her brother, Dave, is currently the director of athletics at the University of Scranton, while her twin sister, Theresa, previously served as the athletics director, basketball coach and softball coach at Gunning Bedford Middle School in New Castle, Del.
Martin's Year by Year Head Coaching Record
|Conference Record (Finish)||Highlights|
|1998-99||16-11||10-8 (5th)||America East Quarterfinals|
|1999-00||21-8||13-5 (3rd)||America East Semifinals|
|2000-01||26-5||17-1 (1st)||NCAA East Regionals
America East Champions
America East Coach of the Year
|2001-02||23-7||15-3 (2nd)||WNIT First Round
|2002-03||22-9||15-3 (tie, 1st)||WNIT First Round
CAA Tournament Runner-Up
CAA Regular Season Co-Champions
|2003-04||19-10||10-8 (4th)||CAA Tournament Semifinals|
|2004-05||25-6||16-2 (1st)||WNIT First Round
CAA Tournament Runner-Up
CAA Regular Season Champions
CAA Co-Coach of the Year
|2005-06||22-8||13-5 (3rd)||WNIT First Round
CAA Tournament Semifinals
|2006-07||26-6||16-2 (3rd)||NCAA Tournament
CAA Tournament Semifinals
|2007-08||7-24||6-12 (9th)||CAA Tournament First Round|
|2008-09||15-15||7-11 (9th)||CAA Tournament First Round|
|2009-10||21-12||11-7 (5th)||WNIT First Round
CAA Tournament Semifinals
|2010-11||20-14||10-8 (t-5th)||WNIT First Round
CAA Tournament Runner-Up
|2011-12||31-2||18-0 (1st)||CAA Regular Season Champions
CAA Tournament Champions
NCAA Tournament Second Round
CAA Coach of the Year
|2012-13||32-4||18-0 (1st)||CAA Regular Season Champions
CAA Tournament Champions
NCAA Tournament Sweet 16
|2013-14||20-11||10-6 (2nd)||CAA Tournament Finals
WNIT First Round
|2014-15||15-17||8-10 (7th)||CAA Tournament Semifinals|
|Totals||376-209 (.643)||222-118 (.653)||-|
|Alma Mater:||Lock Haven|