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  • Writer's pictureMaine Baseball HOF

Martel, Dennis (2013)

Dennis Martel, a graduate of Marshwood High School and the University of Maine, has been baseball coach at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Ill., for 26 seasons and has amassed nearly 700 career victories with an NCAA Division III national championship (2010), two regional titles and eight conference championships. IWU teams have made appearances in four consecutive and 11 overall NCAA postseason tournaments.

Martel graduated in 1977 from Marshwood High, where he was three-sport athlete and a two-time all-conference player and four-year letterman in baseball. He is a 1984 graduate of the University of Maine with a degree in physical education and coached basketball at Bangor Community College for four seasons.

His Illinois Wesleyan baseball teams have compiled an overall record of 687-417-3 (.622) and a College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin record of 332-143 (.699) with eight championships. In 26 years he has experienced only two losing seasons and only one in CCIW play and his teams have won 24 games or more in 14 consecutive seasons.

In 2008, Martel eclipsed the win total of Jack Horenberger to become the school’s all-time baseball coaching leader in victories. Horenberger had 509 wins in 37 seasons as IWU skipper.

For leading his team to the 2010 national title, Martel was named the American Baseball Coaches Association/Diamond Sports Division III “National Coach of the Year” as well as the regional “Coach of the Year.” The 2010 national championship team won 11 of their final 12 games to finish with a 31-21 record. The Titans were the No. 4 seed in the CCIW tournament and staved off elimination twice on the final day to win the tourney and earn a berth into the NCAA regional, where they were the No. 6 seed (in the six-team regional) and swept four games to advance to the national finals for the first time since 2001.

Martel was also the ABCA regional “Coach of the Year” in 2001 as the Titans advanced to the Division III College World Series for the first time in school history and earned a seventh place finish. The Central Regional champions, the 2001 Titans set a school record with 37 wins.

Martel has coached two first-team ABCA All-Americans, six second-team honorees and three third-team selections. In addition, he has had over 60 players named to all-region teams and more than 130 have earned all-conference honors. Six of Martel’s players have signed pro baseball contracts with major league affiliation - lefthanded pitcher Cory Lapinski (2005, Houston Astros), righthanded pitcher Drew Himes (2005, Houston Astros), rightbanded pitcher Steve Schilsky (2002, Oakland A’s), outfielder James Rinne (1998, Arizona Diamondbacks), catcher Jay Ahrendt (1996, Baltimore Orioles) and catcher Mike Brown (1991, Los Angeles Dodgers).

An assistant professor of physical education, Martel also spent 21 seasons as IWU’s full-time assistant basketball coach before becoming director of basketball operations in 2007. He earned a master’s degree in athletic administration from Illinois State University.

Dennis and his wife, Michelle, are the parents of three daughters - Sara, Jenna and Anna.

From Illinois Wesleyan University

OVERALL: 829-528-3 (.611) [32 seasons through 2019]

• NCAA Division III national championship, 2010

• NCAA Division III, seventh place, 2001

CCIW: 409-200 (.672) [32 seasons through 2019]

• 9 CCIW championships

In 2019, Dennis Martel begins his 32nd season as baseball coach at Illinois Wesleyan. He has the most coaching wins at the school and led the team to the 2010 NCAA Division III national championship, for which he was named the American Baseball Coaches Association/Diamond Sports Division III “National Coach of the Year” as well as the regional “Coach of the Year” for the second time.

In 2013 Martel was inducted into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame at its 43rd annual ceremony and banquet on July 28 in Portland, Maine.

Martel, Dennis (13)

Martel, Dennis (13)

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