Men’s tennis coach Billy Martin is one of eight Bruins being inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame.
Martin’s decorated playing career, particularly on the junior circuit, propelled him into the ITA Men’s Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame in 1996 and earned him the distinction of “Junior Player of the Century,” as named by Inside Tennis magazine. Martin won singles titles in 1973 and 1974 at the Wimbledon Junior Championships, the U.S. Open Junior Tennis Championship and the Junior Orange Bowl.
Martin said his proudest accomplishment as a player came in 1975, when he led the Bruins to a 19-0 dual-match record and an NCAA team championship, also winning the NCAA singles championship before turning professional. In 1977, he reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon and was named Rookie of the Year.
The 58-year-old Martin, who reached as high as No. 32 in the world singles rankings as a player, has compiled a 499-106 record in 22 years as UCLA’s coach, including a national championship in 2005.
“It’s a great honor knowing how many great Bruins are in (the Athletics Hall of Fame) in all the different sports,” Martin said. “To feel like I’m going to be part of that is very humbling.”
A four-time Pac-12 Coach of the Year and one-time Wilson/Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Coach of the Year, Martin has won 11 conference titles, reached the NCAA final four times and only twice finished outside of the top five at the NCAA Tournament as a coach.
At UCLA, Martin has coached two national singles champions and one champion doubles team. While playing under Martin, 25 players have been named to All-American teams.
Martin is the third-longest tenured active UCLA coach, behind swim coach Cyndi Gallagher and gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field.
Other inductees included women’s volleyball outside hitter Annett Buckner Davis, football receiver and men’s volleyball middle blocker Danny Farmer, men’s volleyball opposite hitter Paul Nihipali, rower and swimmer Jan Palchikoff, softball third baseman Janice Parks, baseball outfielder Eric Valent and men’s basketball center Richard Washington.