Huntsville, Ala. (WHNT) It's not likely Huntsville would be called "The Hockey Capital of the South" without the likes of Doug Martinson. A local probate attorney who not only helps support UAH financially, he literally makes the game happen. Martinson has been officiating college hockey in Huntsville for 36 seasons.
"I first started when I was a sophomore in high school when UAH had a club team," Martinson said.
This past weekend, Martinson hung up the black and white striped jersey after 36 years in the game. He still hopes to officiate some youth hockey every now and then, but this is it for the college level. "I'll be 53 this year so I think the age is catching up with me. The game is getting a lot faster and I haven't."
Back in 1980, Martinson did the job for free; he's just a hockey fan and wanted to be a part of the game. Now the job pays significantly more, but it's still a far cry from his day job as a probate attorney in downtown Huntsville. He still plans to attend games and support UAH in anyway possible.
"He's passionate, you have to be passionate about the game to do what he's done and not only that, he's one of those great supporters," Chargers head coach Mike Corbett said while grinning about his relationship with Martinson. "If you notice, he has a banner around the rink and I believe he supports the Havoc as well so just in general he's a guy who has been a hockey supporter."
High praise from a coach who's job it is to disagree with most referees. Doug is a little different though, and and feels good about his relationship with the players and coaches throughout the years. "It's fun to see all the people in hockey, it's a small fraternity and a lot of fun to be a part of."