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CSUN’s search for athletic director continues with third open forum

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Continuing the search for a new athletic director, CSUN held their third open forum Thursday afternoon, welcoming Brandon Martin, University of Oklahoma’s senior associate athletics director for administration.

Northridge previously hosted Ken Weiner, UCLA’s senior associate athletics director for business operations and Janet Lucas, UC Riverside’s executive associate athletic director.

Martin has a familiarity with the Los Angeles area, having graduated from USC, and worked for USC from 2000-2010 in different capacities. Rising through the ranks, Martin left the school in 2010 as senior associate athletic director to take the Oklahoma job.

Focusing on what he plans to achieve if hired at Northridge, Martin delved right into his plans for the school.

“The first thing is, I’m not viewing CSUN from a deficit standpoint,” Martin said. “I think we have everything we need here, we have the people who want success. Coaches who have great pedigree, and I’m looking to take Northridge to a place of national prominence.”

Understanding that coming from a Big 12 school in Oklahoma to CSUN in the Big West is an adjustment, Martin is focused on the opportunities that Northridge can provide.

Martin outlined a plan for the school to return it to national prominence, starting with getting donors and the community involved in sports again.

“I think I have to aggressively reach out to students, aggressively reach out to faculty, and reach out to the fans,” Martin said. “The best uniting tool we have is the strategic plan I would put in place. The first 100 days, I want to meet with 100 donors. I want to meet with the students and tell them our vision, and talk to them about the importance of them being involved in what we do.”

One of Martin’s biggest priorities if hired at CSUN is his master plan of upgrading CSUN’s sports facilities to have them host championship games and show the school off in a national spotlight.

Corporate sponsorships and signage, that is present in bigger schools arenas and stadiums, is another item on Martin’s agenda to improve CSUN’s exposure and financial standing.

If hired as athletic director, Martin has no sights set on expanding the athletic program, but rather focusing on the sports now and their continued success.

“We have had success in soccer, volleyball, and a few other sports,” Martin said. “We need to start prioritize the sports that can position us for national prominence, who can position us for postseason play in the NCAA tournament, whichever sport that is. So that we can have visibility so we can engage the fans, so the fans can get excited to increase attendance, donations and support.”

Northridge will host its last two athletic director open forums on February 7 and 14, giving the search committee five possible choices for their new hire.

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