Joseph A. Martucci, Jr. ’70 is this year’s recipient of the “Skip” Prosser Achievement Award, which honors the memory of George Edward “Skip” Prosser ’72, an athlete who showed honesty, integrity, dedication, and determination to serve others throughout his life.
“I’m a big believer in God, family, and the team,” says Martucci. “The team concept is what Kings Point athletics promotes.”
Martucci, a marine engineering major at Kings Point, competed on the rowing team and played on the football team. He was captain of the 1969 undefeated, national and international rowing team—and also played fullback for the Mariners during the 1969 season, when Kings Point won the Lambert Bowl as the best NCAA Division III team in the region presented by the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC).
While athletics kept Martucci fit and focused, the real benefit came from the friendships he made. “My best friends were the guys I rowed with and played ball with at the Academy,” says Martucci. “And they’re still my best friends. That’s what’s unique here—the camaraderie and the interdependence. You depend on your friends to help you navigate your way through.”
After graduating with an unrestricted license as a Third Assistant Engineer and a commission as an Ensign in the Navy Reserve, Martucci received his master’s degree in education and mathematics from the City College of New York (CCNY) in 1975. He taught all levels of math from algebra to calculus and coached high school football and wrestling. “I always wanted to coach and enjoyed working with young people,” he says.
Martucci spent over 30 years sailing and working ashore in the maritime industry, earning his Chief Engineer’s license and attaining the position of Senior Port Engineer. He also pursued his career in the Navy, ultimately earning the rank of Captain. He retired in 2000.
Martucci returned to Kings Point in 2003 to work at the Academy’s now-defunct continuing education program, known as the USMMA Global Maritime and Transportation School (GMATS). He eventually served as Interim Director. “Ever since I graduated, my desire was to return to the Academy to teach and coach,” says Martucci. “Most importantly, it gave me an opportunity to give back.”
Martucci was responsible for leading day-to-day operations at GMATS. While there, he developed and implemented an orientation class for Ensigns in the Merchant Marine Navy Reserve in San Diego, California. He spent much of his time mentoring Navy personnel as well as undergraduates with an engineering focus. Martucci also helped coach USMMA football and worked with the wrestling program.
Today, Martucci works at ACME Industrial, Inc., a marine and industrial repair and maintenance facility owned by his son Joseph III, who graduated from Kings Point in 2000. He continues to support Kings Point athletics through recruiting efforts and financial means. He is also a member of the USMMA Alumni Association and Foundation (AAF) Board of Directors. “I give to a lot of associations, but I believe that the foundation that I received at Kings Point is what actually made me successful in life,” says Martucci. “I don’t know if I could ever pay that back.”
Aside from his son Joseph III, his son Rich also graduated from Kings Point in 2004. When Martucci returned to campus to work at GMATS, he had the rare opportunity to coach his youngest son in football—“a once in a lifetime opportunity,” he says.
Martucci was born in the Bronx, and grew up in New Jersey with six brothers and one sister. He now resides in Asbury Park, New Jersey with his wife of 25 years, Debra. Together, they have six kids: Jeremy, Cory, Dan, Joe III, Patricia, and Rich. He also has an eleventh grandchild due in November. When he is not working, he enjoys spending time with his family, working out, attending New York Yankees games, and showing his support at Kings Point athletic events.
In the future, Martucci hopes to see Kings Point athletes succeed on a competitive level. He stresses the importance of sacrifice and the value of a strong work ethic. “When you can put the organization—the team—before yourself, you will be successful in life,” he says. “Nothing else matters.”
This bio was written in 2016.