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GRAND FORKS — Erik Martinson started at UND as a student intern in 2005.

Through the last 17 years, he’s done a bit of everything for the athletic department. He’s worked in finance, game operations and facilities. He’s run the National Collegiate Hockey Conference Frozen Faceoff, NCAA hockey regionals and is currently on the NCAA Ice Hockey Rules Committee.

Martinson’s wide-ranging experience has made him a target for others in college athletics, but UND athletic director Bill Chaves is doing what he can to keep Martinson in Grand Forks.

Chaves announced Monday that Martinson has been elevated to deputy athletic director.

Martinson will serve as the No. 2 in the athletic department behind Chaves.


“Since 2005 when Erik stepped foot on campus, he has earned this elevation through hard work, respect from his colleagues within our department, on campus and in the community,” Chaves said. “I look forward to continue to watch his growth professionally while having him assist me on a daily basis in leading the department.”

As deputy athletic director, Martinson will oversee UND’s external operations department.

Martinson, a Roseau (Minn.) High graduate, previously was an associate athletic director for operations.

Martinson is one of several athletic department employees who received promotions in a department restructuring after associate athletic director for external operations Kyle Doperalski left for a job in Kansas.

Other promotions include:

  • Kara Helmig to senior associate athletic director for internal operations. She’s the sport supervisor for soccer, volleyball and softball and serves as the Deputy Title IX Coordinator on campus.
  • Chad Karthauser to senior associate athletic director and chief financial officer.
  • Tyler Burmeister to assistant athletic director for student-athlete development.
  • Alec Stocker Johnson to assistant athletic director for athletic communication and content.
  • Paul Ralston to assistant athletic director for broadcast properties.
  • Kelsey Wattenhofer to director of learning enhancement, a new role.

UND also announced the creation of a new position, director of web services, to work with Sidearm Sports and oversee as webmaster. UND has not yet hired for that position.
“The opportunity to adjust and evolve our staff is something I could not be more excited about,” Chaves said. “Elevating Erik into the deputy role as well as identifying Kara and Chad as our core senior management team moving forward will allow us to be at both our best and nimble post-pandemic. It also allows us to adjust for others in the department while replacing a senior-level position with a sorely needed web services position.”

NCAA Men's Hockey 2021: Omaha v North Dakota FEB 20
UND deputy athletic director Erik Martinson presents the Penrose Cup to UND in 2021.

Russell Hons / UND athletics

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