Martha Altmire 2015


Olean High School


Martha Altmire, lovingly known as Miss A, was a longtime girls’ basketball coach (35 years) at Olean High School.  She is known as a tough, no nonsense coach on the court and as a kind hearted caring soul by those who know her well.  The combination of these qualities has certainly helped her to be very successful in the athletic arena over the years.

A pioneer in girls’ sports, Miss A was driven to break barriers at a time when America was first starting to treat the female forum for athletics as an equal to the same forum that existed for males.  Miss A dedicated her career to see that student-athletes under her care were afforded  every opportunity to advance themselves in both their character and personal growth.

During her tenure as the girls’ basketball coach for Olean, she acquired an astonishing 484 career wins including 19 CCIAC League Titles (Division I) and 7 Section VI titles.  In 1982, she coached the varsity team to become the Far West and Western Regional Champions.   For that same 1981-1982 season, the girls’ varsity basketball team set a record for Olean High School by winning 24 straight games.  From 1999 to 2005, her teams won 63 consecutive league games and 6 consecutive league titles.  Additionally, she holds 9 IAABO Tournament championships and her 2002 team claimed the Lockport, NY Lions Tournament championship. 

To honor her legacy, Olean High School dedicated the floor on which her teams played  and named it “Coach Altmire Court”.  Olean’s love for Miss A is also apparent from the dedication of “Martha Altmire Day” in the city of Olean, the Martha Altmire – Offensive Player of the Year Award (given to the best female offensive player in the Big 30) presented by the Olean Times Herald, and her receipt of the Service to Youth Award from the Olean Youth and Recreation  Advisory Board.

Miss A’s resume is not short of career achievements and honors.  For instance, at the time of her retirement in 2006, her 484 basketball coaching wins were ranked top 10 all-time in New York State.  What transcends these successes, however, is her caring and nurturing manner.  She held her athletes to high expectations on and off the court and fostered leadership skills among them; creating a solid foundation for their future success.