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One of the most accomplished coaches in the rich history of Eastern Kentucky University athletics and the Ohio Valley Conference, Sandy Martin, will be recognized when the University hosts the second annual Championing Women’s Athletics Luncheon presented by ERA Real Estate Professional Hometown Services on Thursday, March 23.

The event, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in McBrayer Arena (registration at 11 a.m.), will recognize Martin for "exceptional contributions and dedicated service to women's athletics" at EKU. Tickets are $25 and should be purchased online at by Monday, March 20. For more information, call 859-622-2046.

Dr. M. Dianne Murphy will be the keynote speaker for the event.  Former student-athletes Niki Avery (women’s basketball 2006-08) and Rachel Vick (volleyball, 2012-16) will also speak.

Martin is the only coach in Ohio Valley Conference history to win OVC Coach of the Year awards in three different sports.

She served as head coach of four different sports at EKU during a 23-year span.  Martin coached women's cross country, women's track and field, women's tennis and women's golf during different parts of the 1975-1998 seasons.  She was named OVC Coach of the Year in three of these sports as she was recognized for track and field in 1979 and 1980, for tennis in 1992, and for golf in 1995 and 1996.

Martin taught lifetime sports skills and skill acquisitions in the physical education program.  She served as an officer in the Women's Kentucky State Golf Association for 30 years and was the Kentucky Representative on the Women's Regional Affairs Committee of the United States Golf Association.

In 2013, Martin was inducted into the Eastern Kentucky University Athletics Hall of Fame. 

Murphy served as Eastern Kentucky University’s women’s basketball coach from 1979 to 1986.  She presided over one of the most successful periods in Columbia University athletics history during her 11-year tenure (2004-2015) as athletics director.  Murphy also spent six years as director of athletics and recreation at the University of Denver, where she led the Pioneers’ program from NCAA Division II to one of the nation’s top Division I athletics programs.  From 1988 to 1995, she was the assistant athletics director at the University of Iowa, serving as the university’s lead administrator for external activities.  Murphy began her athletics administrative career in 1987-88 as the assistant athletics director at Kentucky State University.  From 1986 to 1988, she chaired the school’s Division of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, and served as an associate professor.

Prior to becoming an athletics administrator, Murphy coached basketball for 13 years. She was the head women’s basketball coach at Shorter College (1973-76) and Florida State University (1976-79) before coming to EKU in 1979.

Kristi Middleton, chief external affairs officer for EKU, will serve as emcee of the Championing Women’s Athletics Luncheon.