Martinek inducted into Wrestling Hall of Fame

Todd Martinek, Decatur’s head coach for wrestling, was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame last month. The induction was held Nov. 14 in Annapolis.

“It was a very nice honor, especially for my family and parents who think it’s a huge deal. It’s nice to be considered as one of the best coaches in the state of Maryland,” Martinek said.

The 2021 season will be Martinek’s last year of coaching at Decatur. He has been awarded with this induction into the NWHOF, where he will be honored for years to come. After retirement of coaching he will continue to help with the War on the Shore wrestling tournament, held at Decatur.

Most of Martinek’s life has revolved around the sport, including wrestling in high school, college, and coaching high school programs since college graduation.

He won the state championship as a student at Bel Air High School in 1989. “I always tell the kids if you win a state final you will always be considered a champ,” he said. “When you’re 50 years old, people will still refer to you as a champion. My best friends still do, which is a cool honor.”

After high school, Martinek moved onto Salisbury State University, where he captained the school’s last team in 1992, before the wrestling program at SSU was stopped.

Following his college graduation, he became the head wrestling coach at Bennett High School for eight years (1994-2002). He then moved onto Decatur, starting as an assistant coach before becoming the head coach for three years.

Martinek returned to Decatur again in 2012, where he has been the head coach ever since. He has coached five state champions and 46 state place-players while at Decatur.

Martinek has had many achievements in his wrestling career, supporting his induction into the hall of Fame. He has been declared Bayside Coach of the Year at both Bennett and Decatur, started an annual competitive wrestling tournament held at Decatur called War on the Shore, and hosts an All-American summer wrestling camp, featuring coaches from Princeton University.

He is one of the few Hall of Fame inductees who has wrestled, coached, and refereed a state final– and “there’s only two other people that have achieved all those things,” he said. “However, they didn’t win as a coach and a wrestler. It’s nice being a previous referee when you’re a coach, because you can understand certain calls that should or shouldn’t have been made,” he added.

Martinek has achieved wrestling success throughout his lifetime, making him a qualified inductee of the NWHOF.