This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages) This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. (August 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Abe Martin" Texas coach – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (August 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Abe Martin
Biographical details
Born(1908-10-18)October 18, 1908
Jacksboro, Texas
DiedJanuary 11, 1979(1979-01-11) (aged 70)
Fort Worth, Texas
Playing career
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1932–1935El Paso HS (TX)
1936–1942Lufkin HS (TX)
1944Paschal HS (TX)
1945–1952TCU (assistant)
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
Head coaching record
Overall74–64–7 (college)
Accomplishments and honors
3 SWC (1955, 1958–1959)
Amos Alonzo Stagg Award (1968)

Othol Hershel Martin (October 18, 1908 – January 11, 1979), also known as Abe Martin, was an American football player, coach, and college athletics administrator. He served as the head coach at Texas Christian University (TCU) from 1953 to 1966, compiling a record of 74–64–7. Martin was also the athletic director at Texas Christian from 1963 to 1975.

Early life

Born in Jacksboro, Texas, Martin attended Jacksboro High School and then Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, where he played football under head coach Francis Schmidt. He was part of TCU's first-ever Southwest Conference championship team in 1929. Schmidt gave Martin his nickname after he related his style to that of a newspaper column of the day named "Abe Martin Says". He set conference records for blocking punts and recovering fumbles at TCU.

Coaching career

After graduating from TCU in 1932, Martin began his coaching career at El Paso High School in 1934, where he won two district championships. In 1936, he moved across the state to coach at Lufkin High School, where he compiled a record of 66–10, with four district championships. He left coaching in 1943, but returned in 1944 to coach at Paschal High School in Fort Worth.

In 1945, he returned to TCU to coach football, and in 1953 was finally elevated to the head coaching position upon the retirement of Dutch Meyer. From 1953 to 1966, he coached the Horned Frogs to a 74–64–7 record, during which they appeared in the Cotton Bowl Classic three times, as well as the Sun Bowl and Bluebonnet Bowl once each. He coached seven All-Americans at TCU, including Jim Swink and Bob Lilly.

After his 1961 team upset a previously-undefeated Texas, Longhorns coach Darrell Royal famously described the Frogs as "cockroaches". Martin's casual response was that he had "never received so much criticism for winning a game".[citation needed]

After a disappointing 2–8 season in 1966, he resigned as head football coach. He remained the school's athletic director, a post he assumed in 1963 and held until 1975. In 1972, he was elected to the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in Waco.


Abe Martin Stadium in Lufkin, Texas, is named for Martin.

Head coaching record


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
TCU Horned Frogs (Southwest Conference) (1953–1966)
1953 TCU 3–7 1–5 T–6th
1954 TCU 4–6 1–5 6th
1955 TCU 9–2 5–1 1st L Cotton 6 6
1956 TCU 8–3 5–1 2nd W Cotton 14 14
1957 TCU 5–4–1 2–4 T–5th
1958 TCU 8–2–1 5–1 1st T Cotton 9 10
1959 TCU 8–3 5–1 T–1st L Bluebonnet 8 7
1960 TCU 4–4–2 3–3–1 5th
1961 TCU 3–5–2 2–4–1 5th
1962 TCU 6–4 5–2 3rd
1963 TCU 4–5–1 2–4–1 5th
1964 TCU 4–6 3–4 6th
1965 TCU 6–5 5–2 T–2nd L Sun
1966 TCU 2–8 2–5 T–6th
TCU: 74–64–7 46–42–3
Total: 74–64–7
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth