UMKC hires Brandon Martin, formerly of Cal State Northridge, as athletic director

UMKC athletic director Brandon Martin
UMKC athletic director Brandon Martin UMKC

UMKC introduced Brandon Martin, formerly of California State Northridge, as its new athletic director Wednesday at a news conference.

Martin has worked in athletics administration for more than a decade. Before Northridge, Martin spent three years as senior associate director for administration at Oklahoma, and oversaw men’s basketball among other sports.

While Martin was at Oklahoma, the Sooners hired Lon Kruger as the basketball coach.

Martin will officially start Dec. 3 and replaces Carla Wilson, who was reassigned to a position in the chancellor’s office in July. Ursula Gurney, the deputy director of athletics and senior women’s administrator, has run the department on an interim basis.

UMKC is a member of the Western Athletic Conference and seeks its first league championship in men’s basketball since becoming a NCAA Division I member in 1987.

The men’s basketball team will play its nonconference games in Municipal Auditorium and play WAC games on campus at Swinney Recreation Center.

Martin grew up in Los Angeles and played basketball for four seasons at Southern California. He played professionally in China, Venezuela and Spain.

In five years at Northridge, oversaw a $15.8 million operating budget. The program saw increases in donations to athletics and men’s basketball attendance.

Martin’s tenure there ended in March. Martin was involved in a verbal altercation with men’s basketball coach Reggie Theus after telling the coach he was being fired.

Theus filed a battery complaint against Martin with the school’s police department. Less than a day later, the school announced neither man would return. Martin had resigned. No arrests were made.

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Blair Kerkhoff

Blair Kerkhoff covers the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals and college sports for The Star.