Diane Martinson

Induction Year: 2013

Diane Martinson

In the early 1970s the college sports scene was, for the most part, dominated by men. That being said, it was also a time when women's sports were finally being recognized as a varsity product on campuses, and UW-Superior was no different.

During that time of women's college sports infancy, the Yellowjackets had a multi-sport star that would make an indelible mark, not only at UW-Superior, but beyond. Her name is Diane Martinson.

Ms. Martinson earned an astounding 16 letters during her athletic career at UW-Superior, lettering four times each in basketball, volleyball and track and field and picking up two letters in both badminton and tennis.

After her graduation from UW-Superior in 1975, Ms. Martinson went on to Portage, Indiana and taught swimming at the YMCA while playing fast-pitch softball on a pair of teams that earned trips to the state tournament. Then in 1976 she tried out for and made a women's professional basketball team known as the "All American Red Heads." She was one of just two players chosen for the team from the tryout that included more than 250 candidates.

In 1976-77 the All American Red Heads played more than 200 games against teams made up of men. Playing by men's basketball rules (which differ from those of the women's game), Ms. Martinson and the Red Heads traveled across 44 states for seven months, typically playing six to seven games per week.

Ms. Martinson left the team after the 1976-77 season to begin her teaching and coaching career, but she wasn't quite done with the Red Heads. On June 10, 2011 Ms. Martinson and the Red Heads were inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tennessee. Then, on September 7, 2012, they were inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.