In October 2020, Martin “Marty” Erzinger was known for his illustrious career in finance, steering the ship at Sanctuary Advisors, a prominent wealth advisory consultancy in Denver, Colorado. But Marty’s roots in the hustle and bustle of the financial world are intertwined with the memories of his past, distinctly marked by the colors of the University of Colorado Buffaloes – the ‘CU Buffs’, as the team is fondly referred to.
In the late 1970s, Marty Erzinger made waves on the University of Colorado football field. His knack for academia and his gridiron skills secured him a full-ride sports scholarship, a ticket that opened the door to a future Marty himself could barely envision then.
This educational journey set Marty on a lifelong bond with the CU. This relationship would thrive over four decades, nurtured by his active involvement in fundraising, recruiting, and financial backing for the university. A glance at Marty’s life trajectory highlights the pivotal role of his college years, illustrating the deep roots of his unwavering loyalty to CU.
On the Gridiron and Beyond
The turn of events in the fall of 1978, during Marty’s tenure as a CU Buffs footballer, thrust him into a dilemma. The shakeup in the coaching staff following an unfortunate injury demanded a decision from Marty. He was at a crossroads: continue his scholarship through academic endeavors, step away from the athletic program, or embrace a new role as a coach and recruiter for the CU Buffs.
Fate nudged Marty towards the latter.
This choice painted a new horizon for Marty. He embraced his new role as an undergraduate assistant, focusing on in-state recruiting. Marty was the bridge that connected prospective CU Buffs footballers with the campus and coaching staff in the 1978/1979 academic year.
Despite being the offspring of a construction worker and a medical technician, Marty found his calling in this new role, becoming a defacto ambassador for the university, thanks to his congenial approach towards the parents of CU Buffs football hopefuls.
However, this period was also fraught with uncertainty for Marty as his scholarship had expired. Concerned about his academic future, Marty turned to Eddie Crowder, the then-Athletic Director of CU Buffs. Marty implored Eddie to fund his final year of schooling, promising to return the favor once he began his professional journey. Eddie gave him a nod of approval.
Investment Insights and Inroads
A family connection in the summer of 1979 led a 21-year-old Marty to the bustling world of Wall Street. Despite his unfamiliarity with high-stakes stock market investing, Marty soaked up all the knowledge he could, visiting the exchange, devouring information, and mastering it swiftly.
This experience sparked a metamorphosis in Marty, turning him into a connoisseur of the stock market. Looking in hindsight, Marty attributes his success in sales to his stint as a recruiter for the CU Buffs.
A Promise Honored
Three years later, in 1982, Marty landed a job with a financial firm offering a matching grant program. Even though CU Buffs football wasn’t having its best season that year, Marty was unwavering in his support, staying true to the promise he made to Eddie Crowder. Starting that year, Marty began annually contributing $10,000+ to the CU Buffs football scholarship program, a tradition he maintained for a quarter of a century, with his employer matching his contributions initially.
However, Marty’s support for CU didn’t end there. Together with his wife, Suzie Erzinger, they financially supported five students through CU, further endorsing the university. In 1994, Marty took up a seat on the CU Foundation Board’s investment committee, pouring his energy into fundraising endeavors until 2010. During his tenure, he served with distinction as a director and trustee for two consecutive four-year terms.
During this period, Marty crossed paths with his future wife, Suzie, courtesy of a mutual friend. Suzie, a former collegiate diver at the University of Michigan, and her mother, a 1940s Olympic skater, shared Marty’s passion for college sports, making their union feel almost predestined.
Even after orchestrating an endowment for the CU Buffs Class of Champions (comprising the Buffs football team members from 1975-1977) and supporting five footballers through CU degree programs, one might expect Marty to feel a sense of accomplishment and consider his mission accomplished. But if you know Marty, you know he cannot rest on his laurels.
Marty’s commitment to the University of Colorado endures true to his character. In his own words, he confidently affirms, “I’m a lifelong supporter of CU. I always have been, and I always will be.” This assertion in October 2020 mirrors Marty Erzinger’s enduring dedication to an institution that helped shape his life and career.
Realted: Marty Erzinger – YouTube