In life you may come across people that greatly affect you and others around you and leave an unforgettable legacy — Frank Martin, a respected coach, educator and mentor, was one of those people.
And so the Frank A. Martin III Memorial Scholarship Fund at the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation, established by Martin’s family, with support of past players and the community, will make sure his special legacy is remembered for years to come.
The scholarship, $500 annually, will be for a graduating Allegany-Limestone Central School senior who plans to attend a two- or four-year college and participated in a women’s sport. Recipients should also demonstrate strong community service and high academic standing with at least a 3.0 GPA. The first award will be made in 2019.
Frank Martin passed away unexpectedly on March 21, 2018, just five days after leading his Allegany-Limestone Central School women’s basketball team to the final four of the state tournament, leaving a community shocked and saddened. He was just 59.
Martin’s four daughters, Heather McIntosh, Kristen Fluent, Brittany Monroe and Caitlin Martin have led the effort to establish the scholarship fund in their father’s memory.
“We have set up this fund to do exactly what our dad has always done, and that is giving to future generations to come,” the four offered together. “The outpouring of love for our dad and what he meant to this community has been very touching.”
Martin, a retired U.S. army lieutenant colonel, led St. Bonaventure’s ROTC program before becoming a principal and women’s basketball coach at Archbishop Walsh Academy. After, he taught history at Allegany-Limestone Central School and coached women’s basketball and volleyball as well as tennis.
Coach Martin led a heralded coaching career. With his beloved Lady Gators, he surpassed 300 career victories this year. Since 1998, Martin captured nine sectional basketball titles.
The Martin memorial scholarship will perpetuate the legacy of a man that his past players will never forget.
“Frank Martin was far more than a coach to me, to all of us,” remarked Christa Wentworth, former ALCS women’s basketball player and 2004 graduate. “He was passionate about everything, and he let you know it. And more than anything he was passionate about us, and we knew that.
“Coach Martin taught us basketball. We were students of the game, but more than anything he made each and every one of us a better person. And most importantly he made us stronger women.”
Former ALCS standout Allison Forness, now a sophomore featuring on the University of Rochester women’s team, echoed that sentiment.
“Playing for Coach Martin shaped me not only into the basketball player I am today, but the person I am today,” she said. “He instilled this passion for the game in every one of his players and truly wanted you to be the best you could both on and off the court.
“Coach Martin poured his heart and soul into everything he did, especially anything he could do to help others,” Forness added. “He is in my thoughts every time I step onto the court, and I could never thank him enough for the way he taught me to play the game.”
CRCF Executive Director Karen Niemic Buchheit stressed the Foundation’s sincere honor in being able to support the legacy of someone who touched the lives of so many.
“In talking to those who knew Frank and played for Frank, one thing is particularly evident: His character, charisma and drive touched people in a special way,” she said. “More than anything, this scholarship allows Martin’s legacy to do what it always did while he was alive — and that is supporting deserving students, telling them that someone believes in them.”
Thanks to the Frank A. Martin III Memorial Scholarship, future ALCS women’s athletes will feel that famous coach Martin love and support for years to come.
Learn more about the scholarship fund at facebook.com/fmartinscholarship.
Donations can be made to the Frank A. Martin III Memorial Scholarship Fund at CRCF, 301 North Union St., Suite 203, or online at cattfoundation.org.
Established in 1994, the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation is growing good by connecting donors to the causes they care about most in the region. Grants from the foundation support many areas, including education, scholarships, health care, the arts, community development, human service, and youth development. To learn more, call (716) 301-CRCF (2723), email email@example.com, or visit online at www.cattfoundation.org. CRCF is also on Facebook (facebook.com/cattfoundation) and Twitter (@CattFoundation).