In this message, I wish to pay tribute to my trusted colleague and valued friend, Assistant Commissioner Glenn Martinez. Glenn passed away due to a very aggressive cancer that took him from us too soon. His loss is devastating to me and to all of us within the CIF Southern Section Family. He will always be remembered and will truly be missed.
I first met Glenn in 1987, when he was the highly successful Head Baseball Coach at Bishop Amat High School and I was an Assistant Baseball Coach at Lakewood High School. It was a Quarterfinal game that day and we happened to prevail, on our way to winning the Southern Section Baseball Championship that year. I came away from that experience very impressed with Glenn’s team and with him as a coach. They played the game the right way, with passion, effort, enthusiasm and class. That said a lot about his players, but even more about their coach. From there, I would see him over the years at various games, tournaments, playoffs, etc. When I became an Assistant Commissioner for the CIF Southern Section, Glenn had moved to Charter Oak High School as Vice-Principal and Athletic Director. We often saw each other at different meetings, events and championships and our relationship continued to grow during that time.
When I became Commissioner of Athletics in August, 2011, my first task was to fill the Assistant Commissioner position that I had held. Glenn was my choice. He had the background, knowledge and experience that I knew would serve us well. From his first day with us, until his last, we had a special bond between us because we both had the same job and understood what it was all about. That led to many, many conversations we had together and memories that I treasure very much. Glenn made significant contributions to our organization. He launched our Athletic Trainers Advisory Committee, was the driving force behind our Athletic Administrators Summit, started our Girls Wrestling Championships, and so much more. He definitely made a positive impact on our stakeholders during his tenure and helped us all move forward in service to young people.
For those who did not know him well, Glenn might have appeared to be quiet and reserved in his demeanor. Nothing could be further from the truth. He had a great sense of humor, liked to inject some sarcasm into his comments and really enjoyed a good laugh, which he did often. Here are some other things you may not know about Glenn. He was an outstanding baker. Chocolate cake, lemon bars, brownies, you name it. He was a big Disneyland fan, as an Annual Pass holder, which him and his wife Yolanda used constantly, and you could find him and Yolanda anytime and anywhere that Big Bad Voodoo Daddy was playing. Speaking of Yolanda, their relationship defi ned what a marriage should be. They were partners in everything. Yolanda accompanied Glenn to a football game every Friday night and would post pictures on Facebook saying how exciting it was to be wherever they were for, “Friday Night Lights.” On the night of their 40th Wedding Anniversary, they went to Rancho Cucamonga High School for the first game in their new football stadium. Who does that on their 40th Wedding Anniversary? A great wife does!
Glenn was not shy about telling everyone that being an Assistant Commissioner was his, “dream job” and he certainly approached it that way. He was the first one in our office every morning and gave everything he had for our organization. The outpouring of sympathy and condolences we have received from the countless number of people he touched is proof of that.
Godspeed Glenn Martinez, until we meet again.
This article was written by Rob Wigod, CIF-SS Commissioner