“You win with people!” – Woody Hayes
Legendary Buckeye football coach Woody Hayes felt so strongly about the importance of people that he not only titled his 1973 book You Win With People, he punctuated it with an exclamation point. Ohio State's athletic department frequently uses the motto “The People. The Tradition. The Excellence.” in its publications, and The People is always listed first.
For the members of the Ohio State University wrestling team, the people and the bonds between them are much bigger than the sport itself. Listen to head coach Tom Ryan speak and you hear the passion he has for his men in every word; watch the sidelines at any given dual meet and see men up and down the roster cheering and supporting their teammate out on the mat.
In the case of Myles Martin and his father Greg, the sport has been the vehicle that has built an unshakable bond between them.
The dream of The NCAA stage started in Philadelphia 2011 when Myles and I attended our 1st championships We saw guys that were amazing but I remember specifically watching Burroughs, Robles, and Bubba Jenkins all win on the big stage Ed Ruth wrestled his butt off back to 3rd! pic.twitter.com/SzKisxhMpR— Gregory Martin (@TheMackMan2) March 20, 2019
“Do what you do and be the best version of you,” the elder Martin wrote to his son in a letter Myles read at the NCAA Wrestling Championships last week in Pittsburgh, the four-time All American's final tournament as a college athlete. “To say I'm proud of you sounds so generic because that goes without saying, and it's pretty much an understatement.”
In an age of social media, parents of athletes have become as much a part of the fabric of college sports as the athletes themselves. Greg Martin has become one of the most-followed wrestling parents on Twitter because of his wit, his humor, and his openness about the trials and triumphs of his son on the sport's biggest stages.
“I have had the privilege as your dad of seeing how you have dealt with all the highs, but mainly the lows,” he wrote. “Never get too high or too low on this journey, just appreciate there is a journey.”
The lows were never more pronounced than in the semifinal round in PPG Paints Arena, as Martin's son dropped a decision to Cornell's Max Dean, a wrestler Myles had beaten handily in a pair of meetings prior in the season. That loss was devastating for both Martin men and for Tom Ryan, but Myles got up the next morning and won two more matches to finish in third place and close his senior campaign with just one loss against nearly two dozen wins.
After tossing-turning all night long because of the love I have for my son, when he hurts I hurt, However I always have to keep things in true perspective. Today I wake up feeling grateful of 4 great years, 1 National Championship and 4x AA, Today is simply a new day!!— Gregory Martin (@TheMackMan2) March 23, 2019
Greg Martin has much to be proud of in his son, one of three senior captains on the Ohio State roster this season. In addition to his 2016 NCAA championship at 174 pounds and his four All-America placements, he was named the wrestling student-athlete of the year by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
MyMar's career as a Buckeye may be at an end, but his time with the wrestling program at Ohio State is not. Martin says he'll spend at least the next year in Columbus training to achieve his goals as a freestyle wrestler at the Regional Training Center alongside former Ohio State teammates Logan Stieber, Kyle Snyder, Nathan Tomasello and Johnni DiJulius.
Hayes once said of Archie Griffin that he was "a better young man than he is a football player, and he's the best football player I've ever seen." When it comes to Myles Martin, he is an incredible wrestler and by all indications, an even better young man.