Remembering longtime CaneSport Editor Jim Martz, the Canes Historian

On3 imageby:Gary Ferman12/31/23

CaneSport

The Canes Historian is no longer with us, but his work at CaneSport and legacy in the college football and tennis worlds will live on forever.

Jim Martz, the longtime editor of CaneSport Magazine and CaneSport.com and Founder of Florida Tennis Magazine which has been the voice of that sport in the state for the past three decades, passed away Saturday, the victim of a horrible stroke at age 80.

Martz was one of the first sports writers I met when I walked into the halls of the Miami Herald as an eager young journalism student in 1979. He covered the Miami Hurricanes while I went to the University of Miami and had a profound influence on my choosing of sports journalism as a career.

When I made the decision to found CaneSport Magazine in 1991, Martz got my first phone call and immediately agreed to become the Editor of the Magazine. For these past 34 years, he has graced our subscribers with his unique perspective and knowledge. Martz also has been a regular contributor to our CaneSport.com website for the past two decades.

Martz wrote five books about the Miami Hurricanes through the years, chronicling the early years of the program and then of course the glory days and even the rise of the Miami baseball program under Ron Fraser.

His first book was Hurricane Watch in 1981. In 1989, he wrote Hurricanes Handbook: Stories, Stats and Stuff about Miami Football.

In 1989, Martz authored Hurricane Warning: University of Miami Football about the whirlwind of ups and downs the program had experienced through the 1970’s until the 1980’s brought great quarterbacks, players and coaches.

In the 1990s, Martz wrote Hurricane Strikes: University of Miami Baseball.

And in 2017, Martz wrote Tales from the Miami Hurricanes Sideline: A Collection of the Greatest Hurricanes Stories Ever Told. He brought to life unforgettable events like the Gator Flop, defeating Tulane on a fifth down, playing three games in eight days, converting third and 44 against Notre Dame, Michael Irvin talking smack with Florida State’s Deion Sanders, and Vinny Testaverde being sacked by hamburgers. He rekindled memories of the Jet Lag Kids playing seven road games in one season, including one in Tokyo, and of the Ibis mascot being arrested on the field in Tallahassee and being nicked by a bullet on Bourbon Street.

Along the way, I helped him publish Florida Tennis, which was the official publication of USTA Florida for 15 years and has now been a three-decade mainstay in more than 500 clubs, parks, resorts, academies and shops statewide in addition to having paid subscribers nationwide.

Jim Martz with Arthur Ashe
Jim Martz with Arthur Ashe

Martz worked at the Herald for 21 years from 1970-91, covering the University of Miami for a great portion of that.

He had grown up in the shadows of the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, went to Alma College and the University of Iowa and had his first job at the Des Moines Register. But there was no question which team held the closest place in his heart.

He also had great affinity for the tennis world, which he also covered while at the Herald. Martz was vice president of the U.S. Tennis Writers Association and has been inducted into the Miami-Dade County Tennis Hall of Fame. He wrote several tennis books as well, including coach Rick Macci’s autobiography “Macci Magic, Extracting Greatness From Yourself And Others”, and “Safe Tennis.” And he edited the book “50 Love, Advantage Florida,” which chronicles the first 50 years of USTA Florida.

Jim Martz with George Bush
Jim Martz with George Bush

One thing most people never knew was the decades Martz also spent in between stories and books mentoring kids through the Big Brothers program.

Jim was pure of soul, honest and kind. Words can not express how much he will be missed and the indelible impact he made on many lives. I certainly will miss him.

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