Associate head coach of the University of Michigan, Philip Martelli Sr., will be Delaware Valley University’s commencement speaker on May 14.
Martelli will also receive an honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, from the university. DelVal honors Martelli as a Philadelphia sports legend, and for his work with the NCAA on ethics issues, and as a leader in the community.
Before heading to the University of Michigan, Martelli was a sports legend in Philadelphia. Martelli spent 34 years at Saint Joseph’s, with the final 24 seasons as head coach, where he built the Hawks into one of the most consistent Atlantic 10 programs. The Hawks’ all-time leader in career victories (444), Martelli recorded nine 20-plus win seasons including a school-record 30 in 2004. His A-10 record of 218-176 ranks second all-time, trailing Temple’s John Chaney.
Martelli’s teams made 13 postseason appearances (7 NCAA, 6 NIT) advancing to two NCAA Sweet 16s (1997, 2004) and the 2004 Elite Eight. Overall, Martelli was named the A-10 Coach of the Year four times (1997, 2001, 2004, 2005), the USBWA District Coach of the Year twice (1997, 2004) and the Philadelphia Big 5 Coach of the Year four times (1996, 1997, 2004, 2016).
Martelli served as president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) board of directors and as a member of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Ethics Coalition, as well as a board member on the NCAA Division I Oversight Committee. In 2016, he was honored with the Gene Bartow Award by CollegeInsider.com for outstanding achievement and contributions to the game.
But Martelli is more than a legendary basketball coach. He is a leader off the court and a passionate supporter of people and causes.
Martelli has been active in Coaches vs. Cancer, a collaboration between the NABC and the American Cancer Society, and served as chair of national Council for 12 years. He received the 2021 AT&T Guardians of the Game Award for advocacy, education, leadership and service - the four core values of the NABC.
He has received numerous honors for his community work and in 2017, he was the co-recipient of the American Cancer Society’s Circle of Honor Award with Fran Dunphy of Temple. Martelli has also been awarded three honorary doctorates - from his alma mater, Widener University (2004), as well as Cabrini College (2006) and Immaculata University (2010).
He began his coaching career as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Widener College, in 1977, helping the Pioneers reach the 1978 NCAA Division III Final Four and title game. Martelli’s hometown is Media, Pennsylvania and he attended Saint Joseph’s Prep School, class of 1972. He then went on to graduate from Widener College in 1976. He has been married to his wife, Judy, for 44 years and they enjoy large family gatherings with their children and grandchildren.