DEREK V. MARTIN
Derek Martin was born in 1962 in Chicago, Illinois. Derek’s officiating career began in 1974 while playing AAA hockey for the Chicago Saints in Bridgeview, Illinois. A longhaired, part-time musician and referee named Bud Monaco recruited Derek with a unique sales pitch. Monaco stated, “If they will let a hippy referee, they’ll let a black referee.
At that point, Martin had no idea he would be become the first black referee in professional hockey, and the first black referee in the National Hockey League (NHL) training program. Derek began his officiating career working local youth hockey on the south side of Chicago and the suburbs. Derek became an expert on rules and rules interpretation.
In 1984, Derek was selected by the Officiating Program Director with two other officials to begin the USA Hockey National Referee-training program in the United States Hockey League (USHL), a junior development league. While Derek continued to officiate, he served as the Referee-in-Chief of the USHL from 1986 to 1989. Derek developed the first junior only rulebook in 1987. This rulebook provided both the teams and the officiating staff a single point of reference for the rules within the USHL. USA Hockey approved and adopted the USHL version for all junior hockey leagues in the United States. Derek began working professional ice hockey in the International Hockey League (IHL) in 1984 – 1985. He was honored to be selected to work the Turner Cup Finals as a linesman in his first year. In 1986, Derek was selected to referee in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Division 1 College Hockey.
During his tenure as a professional ice hockey administrator for the International Hockey League, Derek’s responsibilities included identifying on-ice officials that had the ability to excel at officiating games in the International Hockey League (IHL) and mentor these officials with the goal that they would develop and be promoted to officiate games in the National Hockey League (NHL). His success in the mentoring and development of professional hockey officials is evidenced by the fact that he played an integral role in the promotion of seven officials from the IHL to the NHL, including Scott Zelkin, and also identified and promoted the following officials from Illinois to officiate games in the IHL: Stephen Campbell, Peter Cichy, Allen Stensland, Craig Welker, Matt Shotton and Chad Wiener.
During Derek’s officiating, coaching and administration career in the game of ice hockey, the game has taken him around the world. He had the opportunity to share the ice or the boardroom with some prominent hockey personalities including Bud Poile, Gordie Howe, Brian Burke, John McCauley, Brian Lewis, John D’Amico, Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Chris Chelios and Thomas Berry Jr.
Derek currently serves as a supervisor of officials with the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC).
Here are several Derek’s career highlights:
- IHL Turner Cup Finals
- USA Olympic Festival
- 1989 IIHF World Junior Championship
- 1991 Canada Cup
- 1993 IHL All Star Game
- 1989 CHL Finals
- USA Hockey Rules Interpretation Committee
- USHL Referee-in-Chief
- USA Hockey Inline District Referee-in-Chief
- USA Hockey National Training Staff
- Officiated over 900 professional games.