I have been a cross country/track and field athlete at Tiffin University for the past two years. The primary reason I decided to attend Tiffin University was to run for Coach Ron Martin on the TU distance team. I was confident I would have a positive college running experience that would help me grow as a student-athlete and an individual.
Recently, my experience at Tiffin University has become my worst nightmare. My head coach, Ron Martin, unexpectedly was terminated a few days before finals week of fall 2012 semester. Against his wishes, Coach Martin was forced to tell his athletes about his termination immediately. This timing made a difficult situation much worse. It was very challenging to focus on our studies even though Coach Martin told us not to worry and to concentrate on exams.
This whole situation has left us, as athletes, confused and saddened. There has not been an explanation given to myself or my teammates about why our coach had been forced out of his position, other than that he makes the head track coach, Jeremy Croy, “uncomfortable.” Perhaps Coach Croy is “uncomfortable” because Coach Martin has voiced his disapproval of numerous happenings within the track and field program.
It is important for me to defend Coach Ron Martin because he is the best thing that has ever happened to the track and field/cross country program at Tiffin University. Coach Martin’s cross country teams have been named Academic All-American teams for a number of years because he has always stressed that academics are more important than athletics. The distance team was one of the larger teams in the GLIAC conference. Coach Martin welcomed anyone, talented or not, who was willing to work hard to run for his team. As a result of his termination, numerous athletes have quit the program, even some of those on athletic scholarship.
Unfortunately, it is still unclear to why this program lost an outstanding coach and mentor. Athletes and coaches from all over Ohio have been shocked and saddened by this news. My hope is an investigation will take place to correct problems within the Tiffin University track program and restore the fine reputation that Coach Ron Martin has worked so hard to achieve the past 38 years.