Dr. Martin Pushkin
Written by Bryan Messerly
Dr. Martin Pushkin coached the WVU track and field and cross country teams from 1981-2001 and saw 23 of his athletes earn All-America honors 35 times at his alma mater.
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A two-time NCAA District II women’s track coach of the year, he guided WVU to its first men’s and women’s Atlantic 10 indoor and outdoor track titles (1991 indoor; 1993 indoor and outdoor). Over the course of 20 years, he led his cross country teams to three NCAA appearances while also winning IC4A and District II championships. He was named the A-10 track coach of the year three times and the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Region coach of the year in 1983, 1995 and 1999.
Pushkin had some significant individual achievements under his watch. Former Mountaineer track star James Jett became the first WVU track athlete to win an Olympic Gold Medal in 1992. Pushkin had two individual national champions, Pat Itanyi and Kate Vermeulen, and was responsible for the first female cross country All-American, Charity Wachera. In his athletic career at WVU in the early 1960s, Pushkin was captain of the track team and the first team captain on the soccer team in WVU history.
Before returning to his alma mater, the Charleston, W.Va., native was the head coach at Virginia Tech from 1964-76 before coaching at Northern Illinois until 1980.
A former president of the IC4A conference, Pushkin was active in helping create the WVU Sports Hall of Fame in 1991. He was inducted into the WVU Physical Education Hall of Fame in 2002.
Pushkin is married to Ann, a retired professor who teaches on a part-time basis at the WVU College Business and Economics, and they have two children, Katherine and Richard.