Martin’s Service to FSC Rewarded With Polk Hall of Fame Honor

Apr 22, 2022

by FSC Staff

Brant Martin’s connection to Florida Southern is deep.

As the son of H.O. Martin ’49, Brant already had tons of Florida Southern equity. H.O. was one of the founding members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity on campus and was a member of the track team.

Brant eventually enrolled at Florida Southern for a few years in 1973-74 before leaving early to work at his dad’s insurance business, but he never strayed far from the Moccasins’ circle.

Whether it was as a committee member for the Pop Sikes Golf Day in support of the Moccasins’ men’s golf team, or the Joe Niekro Pro Celebrity Golf Tournament (formerly the FSC Diamond Club Pro Celebrity Golf Tournament) benefitting the Mocs’ baseball team, Martin was at the forefront of some of the most successful fundraising efforts for Florida Southern athletics.

In total, Martin helped raise approximately $1 million for the Florida Southern athletics programs.

Thanks in part to his service to Florida Southern and an amateur golf career that made him famous around Polk County clubhouses, Martin is set to be inducted into the Polk County Sports Hall of Fame in June.

“I was certainly surprised,” Brant said about getting the call. “It was a great honor at my age to be selected. When I look back at all the Hall of Famers, I probably knew about 75 percent off them. Many of them were good friends of mine I grew up with. I’m honored to be in that group. There’s a lot of people I still keep in touch with. I’m blessed.”

Brant spent more than 30 years as a part of the Pop Sikes and Joe Niekro tournaments before retiring from those boards in 2017. He was a 6th Man’s Club member, supporting the men’s basketball team.

Prior to that, Brant’s acumen on golf courses around Polk County earned him praise and fame.

Brant initially started playing golf at Lakeland High School, earning MVP of the team in 1970. Then, Brant moved on to the Polk Community College golf team where he played two years from 1971-72.

When Brant got to Florida Southern he was a part-time student and could not play for the men’s golf team. Instead, he played against some of them, often beating them.

In addition to Brant’s service to Florida Southern, he also served on the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Lakeland, Inc., and was on the James J. Musso Golf Tournament Committee, where as chairman he helped raise more than $750,000.

In 2009, Brant was presented with the Chuck Anderson Outstanding Service Award, given by Florida Southern in recognition of an individual’s contributions to the FSC Baseball program.

“I have fond, fond memories (of Florida Southern),” Brant said. “I had a good time playing with guys on their golf team and getting to know the professors. I also got to know Chuck Anderson and Hal Smeltzly (former FSC baseball coaches), as well as Charlie Matlock (former FSC golf coach). They were all big influences on my life and became great friends.”