Name: Dr. Brandon Martin
Profession: Director of Athletics, Cal State University, Northridge
I have put my passion to purpose by: Committing myself daily to the advancement and success of black men. Instead of focusing on stereotypes and myths, I seek to bring out the God-given gifts that young black student-athletes possess. I believe in us!
At the helm of the Cal State University, Northridge (CSUN) Athletic Department stands Dr. Brandon Martin. One of the country’s youngest and brightest athletic directors in Division I athletics, Dr. Martin is using his unique blend of academic scholar, professional athletic experience, authenticity and purpose to drive CSUN forward. Originally from Los Angeles, California, Dr. Martin wanted the best at a very young age. From a premier academic education to a high-level athletic experience, he wanted to compete with the best and, to this day, he demands nothing short of personal excellence.
A graduate internship at USC taught Dr. Martin about higher education, the inner-workings of finance, and how the college business office works. This rotation exposed him to admissions, student affairs and college athletics. Unexpectedly, while still in graduate school, a resignation placed Dr. Martin in charge of athletic administration. Managing grueling 15 hr days was extremely difficult, but it was at this point that he realized athletic administration was his niche, and a place that he could commit to and change lives. Today, with the support of School President Dr. Diane Herring, Dr. Martin is building an athletic program that places principles over all else, while at the same time executing a viable business model.
Discovering that there were not may African Americans in his position, Dr. Martin made a firm commitment to flourish as the head of athletics. “The first thing I want you to know is that I am a change agent,” Dr. Martin tells BE Modern Man. “My value lies in service, and that is service to the people.”
Inspiration to flourish as the head of athletics may come from many sources. Some would say their peers, former leaders in a similar position, or parents who may have filled them with inspiration, but for Dr. Martin he realizes his purpose draws from his spiritual beliefs. He says, “My inspiration comes from God and the many gifts and attributes that he has provided me. Being able to do God’s work through my profession is in all ways fulfilling.”