CLEMSON, S.C. — Former Clemson letterman Carl Martin has been named the recipient of the 2021 Brian Dawkins Lifetime Achievement Award. Since 2013, Head Coach Dabo Swinney has presented the honor to a former Clemson player who exemplifies excellence in the areas of integrity, scholarship, athletics, service, leadership, commitment, dedication, courage, resilience and spirit.
Recipients must be out of school at least 10 years to qualify. Dawkins, who played 16 years in the NFL and was named to nine Pro Bowls and was a finalist for many public service awards, was the first recipient.
“I was overwhelmed when [Clemson Football Director of Career & Professional Development] Rashard Hall called me,” Martin said. “I know who the former winners are and what they have achieved. To win an award with the Dawkins family name on it and to receive the award from Dabo Swinney’s program is a great honor. Brian Dawkins has represented Clemson and the NFL in the highest degree, and I have admired what Coach Swinney has done at Clemson since he first came to Clemson in 2003. He has built an incredible culture.”
A Life Coach with VisionVentures, Inc., Martin specializes in performance goal-setting and relational skill development for pastors, executives, business leaders and other entrepreneurs. Most importantly, he also supervises a mentoring program in Bluffton, S.C., with which a program he has worked for 15 years. The program has had a positive effect on disadvantaged youth through a long-term program.
Martin graduated from Clemson University with a degree in Political Science after being the smallest player on Danny Ford’s National Championship squad in 1981. He played on Clemson teams of 1979-82, earning letters in 1981 and 1982. The Tigers won the National Championship in 1981 and won ACC titles in 1981 and 1982. He played in every game his junior and senior seasons and recorded 10 special teams tackles, among the top totals on the team for that period.
“Carl is a super person,” said Head Coach Danny Ford in an article on Martin during his playing days. “Pound-for-pound, he is the toughest player on the team and possibly the strongest. He has a lot of pride in his team and this school. It means a lot to us to have a player like Carl Martin on this team.”
After his graduation in the spring of 1983, Martin became a graduate assistant in the Clemson strength training department. He then completed his Master’s Degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1987 and earned his Doctorate degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1998.
Martin has served two churches as Lead Pastor, planted a church and has worked for the South Carolina Baptist Convention on the Church Planting Team. He recently completed a role as Associate Pastor of Adult Ministries at Low Country Community Church in Bluffton, a church that welcomes 2000 people to their weekend worship venues.
Martin is celebrating 34 years together with his wife, Peggi Nabors Martin, of Greenville S.C., and the Martins have one adult daughter, Lauren.
Brian Dawkins Award Recipients
2013: Brian Dawkins, 1992-952014: Bill Smith, 1977-812015: Warren Forney, 1991-952016: Jerry Butler, 1975-782017: Jeff Davis, 1978-812018: Mark Richardson, 1979-822019: Michael Allen, 1995-982020: Michael Dean Perry, 1984-872021: Carl Martin, 1979-82