Sign up now to take advantage of all the NFCA has to offer. Fastpitch news and updates, coaching education, discounts on store products, Fastpitch Delivery newspaper and much, much more.
INFO & APPLICATION >
Class of 1993
Florida Tech (now Central Florida): 1976-77 (basketball)
Recipient of NFCA Founder's Award
Judy Martino, founder of the NFCA and long-time softball coach at all levels of the game, grew up in Massachusetts as one of 10 children.
Her father was an Air Force colonel, but it was her mother who was regarded as the family "General." The involvement of her parents in athletics had an influence on Martino, who played a variety of sports. Her father had been a semi-pro football player and her mother was captain of her high school basketball team. Martino's brother was a national shooting (rifle/pistol) champion.
Besides playing softball, Martino was the starting guard for her college basketball team at Northeastern University and competed in the first two Invitational Basketball Championships. This was a time before there were collegiate athletic scholarships, and Martino also played collegiate filed hockey and lacrosse, and club badminton, volleyball, fencing and rifle. Her favorite sport was badminton, and she was a nationally ranked "B" player as well as an Eastern Collegiate Doubles champion. In volleyball, she played five years in the U.S. Volleyball Association.
This all-around athlete also started playing softball at age 13 in ASA Women's Major, and was a participant in 14 national championships. Her softball career spanned 15 years, including a stint as an all-star catcher for the World Champion Connecticut Falcons in the Women's International Professional Softball Association.
After receiving her Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Education from Northeastern, Martino taught physical education and coached at the middle school and high school levels until 1977. She was then head basketball coach at Florida Tech (now Central Florida) in 1976 and 1977 before taking the head coaching reigns for volleyball and softball for the University of South Carolina from 1978-80. While there, her teams participated in three national championships.
While getting her master's from the University of North Carolina, Martino served as the assistant volleyball and softball coach from 1980-82. She then extended her coaching career at North Carolina State as the head volleyball coach from 1982 to 1993, during which she was selected ACC Volleyball Coach of the Year for four consecutive years.
During this time, Martino also was instrumental in volleyball and softball at a national level. She served on numerous NCAA national, regional and state committees, including three years on the AIAW Softball Committee and five years on the first NCAA Softball Committee. It was also at this time that Martino founded the National Softball Coaches Association (now NFCA), handling Association duties such as creating and developing the first set of bylaws, representing the organization at the NCAA convention, soliciting membership as well as corporate sponsorship, directing the awards programs and the national convention, and publishing a newsletter.
Martino began her professional coaching career in the Women's Professional Softball League in 1996, serving as the head coach for the Carolina Diamonds for two years, the Durham Dragons for two years and the Ohio Pride for one year. In 2001, she was the WPSL Gold Coach for the 2000 Gold Medal Olympian team that toured for games against the pro league all-stars. In 2004, Martino became head coach of the NPF's Akron Racers, a position she held until 2006.
She became the assistant to the executive director of the North Carolina Athletic Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (NCAAHPERD) in 2001, and presently, works with the Association on a program called In-School Prevention of Obesity and Disease (IPOD), where she administers a combination of grants for over a half-million dollars.
In Martino's spare time, she has worked as the color commentator for the ACC Volleyball Championship and currently is the color commentator for the University of North Carolina ACC video streaming. She is a former high school softball umpire and still works as a high school volleyball official. Martino received the NFCA's Founder's Award and was inducted into the NFCA Hall of Fame in 1993.