Martin (Marty) Dittmer came to Ellsworth Community College in 1955 as an instructor of Physical Education, Athletic Director, and Basketball and Baseball coach. He continued in those positions, with the exception of basketball, for 33 years before retiring in 1988.
Marty received his B.A. degree from Iowa State Teachers College in 1950 and his master’s degree in 1965. He also played varsity baseball while earning his degree. He was very successful as the Ellsworth Baseball Coach with the 1966 team finishing third in the national tournament. A number of his players played professionally following their experience at Ellsworth with Rick Folkers reaching the major leagues as a pitcher for the New York Mets and the St. Louis Cardinals. He taught and was a baseball coach at Eddyville and Colesburg high schools from 1950-55. His 1952 Colesburg team won the summer state championship. Prior to coming to Ellsworth, he served in the Navy in the South Pacific as a coxswain from 1944-46.
During his long career Marty received many honors. Among them would be his election as International Vice President of the United States Baseball Federation in 1987. He was a member of that organization from the early 60s and served as its Awards Committee Chairman for ten years, in addition to being the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) representative to the U.S.B.F. Board of Directors. He was nominated for the Iowa Falls Community Service Award in the 70s.
Marty also served as the Secretary/Treasurer of the NJCAA for 30 years and represented that organization at the 1985 World University Games in Kobe, Japan. He also served on the staff of the USA Team for the USA-Japan series in 1978 and was a delegate for the USA Team on its 1981 and 1982 visits to Korea and Japan. In 1986, he served as a host to the visiting Japanese team for the USA-Japan series. Marty was also elected international vice president of the U.S. Baseball Federation for a two-year term in 1987 and was selected to serve on the 1988 United States Olympic Games Committee in Calgary, Canada. He also was on the USA Baseball staff at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Marty served on the National Federation of High School Baseball Rules Committee from 1966-71 and the National Collegiate Athletic Association Rules Committee from 1972-76. In 1995, Marty was elected to the Ellsworth College Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the Iowa High School Baseball, NJCAA Baseball, and the American Baseball Coaches Association halls of fame. As an Iowa Falls community member, he served as the director of the Iowa Falls Summer Recreation Program from 1955-74 and was a member of the Iowa Falls Lions Club.
In 1994, the Ellsworth College Physical Education Facility was named the Martin Ellsworth Dittmer Gymnasium in honor of Marty’s long-term commitment to Iowa Falls and Ellsworth Community College. Marty continues to live in Iowa Falls. Kathy passed away in 2021. They have four children, David, Mark, Kay, and Jeff.