If you are a Baylor volleyball fan (or Baylor fan, in general) you may have heard of the legacy of Molly Martinsen, daughter of volleyball letterwinner Jennifer (Putty) Martinsen (VB ’85-’87). Molly Grace Martinsen impacted the lives of everyone she knew, and some who just heard about this amazing young athlete and her courageous battle. Diagnosed with brain cancer when she was 10 years old, Molly fought with everything she had, desperately wanting to get back on the court with her club volleyball team. She hoped to one day play volleyball for Baylor, and while receiving treatment over the next year, Molly became the unofficial mascot of the Baylor Volleyball team, providing inspiration to the team and everyone around her. Tragically, Molly lost her battle with cancer on May 10, 2012, leaving behind a legacy of faith, love, strength and courage beyond measure.
Molly’s legacy is the driving force behind the Molly Martinsen Challenge, to permanently name each of the 22 lockers in Baylor Volleyball’s recently completed Molly Martinsen Locker Room at the Ferrell Center.
Former Baylor volleyball coach Mitch Casteel and his wife, Beth (Fountain) Casteel (VB ‘82-’85), gave the lead gift to name the locker room in Molly’s memory. Beth was a teammate of Molly’s mom, Jennifer, on the 1985 Baylor volleyball team.
“The pain of losing a child is something that I don’t think any of us ever want to experience,” said Mitch, a longtime volleyball coach who was at Baylor from 1983-88. “Having this memorialize her in a way that can help those other kids, we think, is just a wonderful way to do it, as well as benefit the Baylor Volleyball program.
“Molly will never be able to suit up and represent us on the court. But, through this way, she will forever be present in our locker room and can provide a source of inspiration and be an example to all athletes that represent us going forward,” said Beth.
Dan Martinsen, Molly’s dad, called the Casteels’ donation and naming of the locker room in Molly’s memory “a tremendous gift that they gave us to remember Molly in perpetuity at Baylor, a place where her mom played volleyball and that she loved to go there. We feel very humbled by it.”
Proceeds from the campaign will benefit the One Way Club, Baylor Volleyball’s excellence fund, with a $7,500 donation (or $1,500 per year over five years) giving permanent naming rights for one of the 22 lockers. The goal is to raise $165,000 by the NCAA Volleyball Division I Final Four in late April 2021.
Click here to read the full story written by Jerry Hill for the Baylor Bear Insider.
If you need more information on the Molly Martinsen Challenge, you can contact Nick Florence at Nick_Florence@baylor.edu or 254-710-7557; or Cody Gougler, Associate AD for Resource Development, at Cody_Gougler@baylor.edu or 254-710-2740.
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