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Always in good company: Graduation speaker Martin believes everyone put in places for a reason: to do best and help others
Aaron Urbanski
JMC 215
Courtesy Daniel Martin
Bailey Martin (left), Leo Martin (center), and Daniel Martin (right) make the strong family Dan Martin credits for his motivation.

Evidently, no one is prouder of senior Daniel Martin than his father Coach Russell Martin. When the call went out for seniors to be featured in The Antelope for the December graduating class, Coach Martin suggested his son.  

“May I recommend Daniel Martin as a senior that has excelled in every area:  academics, athletics for three years, student teaching, married with a child and another on the way for starters, and a great role model for others,” Coach Martin wrote.

The younger Martin, who will speak at his graduation Dec. 17 representing the students, is full of thoughts about his future and the people who were there for him along the way.

“I felt I was well prepared by my education through UNK. It’s definitely been a challenge, but my teachers and classes did a great job of getting me ready for the classroom,” Dan said.    

Now, with plans to be a future high school mathematics teacher and coach, Dan is ready to help others with the confidence needed to succeed in life. “I believe everyone has a purpose, and everyone is put in places for a reason. They’re there to do their best and to help others.”

Fortunately, he has always been in good company. “We’re one big family, and they all care about what’s going on,” he said. Whether it’s his parents, wife (Bailey) or his almost two-year-old son (Leo), he credits the support he has received throughout life for his success and says that has always driven him to be the best he could be. “Every day I get to come home and see the smiles on my wife and son’s faces, and no matter how the day was, the support I get from them always makes it better.”

On the football field, Dan was the definition of a student athlete and more. Others say he has always had a calling to help others as well. During his time as a Loper, he quickly earned the respect of his teammates and coaches as a bruising middle linebacker and a team leader on and off the field.

“Whether it was in the weight room, playbook or team meetings, you always knew Dan had your back or could help in some way,” said former teammate Lance Shifflet. “I have never met a better team player or person than Dan Martin.”

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