By: Chuck Knight, Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Information Director
NEW ORLEANS, La. – Steve Martin of New Orleans, La., has been named the next commissioner of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference.
Martin was selected by the GCAC Council of Presidents to become the conference’s second commissioner. He will assume the office on January 2, 2014. Martin replaces Dr. Thomas Howell who is retiring from his role as commissioner.
“The COP welcomes Mr. Steve Martin as the new Commissioner for the GCAC,” said Dr. Beverly Hogan, President of Tougaloo College and chair of the council of presidents. “He brings a breadth of experience and skills to this position that we are confident will enable the Conference to grow over the next few years. We look forward to working with him. And as we welcome Mr. Martin, we also want to express our appreciation to Dr. Howell who has served as the Commissioner for many years. He has provided exemplary leadership and services. He has agreed to remain with the Conference as eligibility chair.”
“Steve Martin brings a wealth of experience to the GCAC,” said Kiki Barnes, athletic director at Dillard University and president of the GCAC. “He has a vision and I will work closely with him to help that vision become a reality. We are excited that he is on board and look forward to transforming the GCAC into a premier conference in the NAIA.”
Martin – who is a native of New Orleans – expressed excitement for this opportunity.
“I would like to thank the Council of Presidents for giving me the opportunity to undertake such a vital role as the Commissioner of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference,” said Martin. “I look forward to working with each of the Universities and building on the foundation that has been established by Dr. Thomas Howell”.
Martin attended St. Augustine High School and graduated from Georgetown University. He has an extensive background in accounting, business, finance, marketing and sports administration.
Before beginning his successful career in the administrative side of athletics, Martin enjoyed success on the basketball court. He was an All-American, an All-State selection and a city MVP during his time at St. Augustine High School in New Orleans. From there, he went on to become the first player from New Orleans to be recruited by Hall of Fame Coach John Thompson at Georgetown. Martin was selected by the Clarion Herald as one of the top 100 prep basketball players in the City of New Orleans, as well as the State of Louisiana. After earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration (with an emphasis in accounting), Martin was drafted by the Washington Bullets in 1979.
After college, Martin worked with Ernst & Ernst accounting firm in Washington, D.C. from 1979-80. He then worked as Manager of Accounting for the Machinists National Pension Fund from 1980-82. In 1982, he returned to his native New Orleans as Manager of Accounting for the New Orleans World Exposition and World’s Fair, and from there joined the National Basketball Association League office in 1985 to 2000, where he served as marketing manager and was responsible for several of the league’s successful sponsorship programs and implemented several of the league’s grass roots programs.
From 2000-2002 Martin served as Athletic Director at Dillard University. When the New Orleans Hornets relocated to New Orleans in 2000, he was called upon to take on the role of Senior Vice President. In this capacity he was responsible for establishing partnerships as well as developing and implementing community outreach programs throughout the Gulf Coast Region. Martin recently held the position of General Manager Gone Pro New Orleans.
Martin is married to Stacy and they have two adult children.
The Gulf Coast Athletic Conference has nine full-time members. The membership includes Dillard (La.) University, Edward Waters (Fl.) College, Fisk (Tenn.) University, Philander Smith (Ark.) College, Southern (La.) University at New Orleans, Talladega (Ala.) College, Tougaloo (Miss.) College, Voorhees (SC) College and Xavier University of Louisiana.