An unfortunate tragedy struck the Chick-fil-A Bowl on New Year's Eve in Atlanta.  After Texas A&M had completed a remarkable comeback against Duke for a 52-48 victory, AP photographer Dave Martin ran out onto the field to capture images of jubilant Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin.  Soon thereafter, Martin collapsed due to an apparent heart attack, was administered CPR on the field, and then ultimately passed away.

Some college football journos tweeted about seeing Martin collapse moments after the final whistle.

Here's more from the AP on Martin's passing…

Dave Martin, a longtime Associated Press photographer based in Montgomery, Ala., died after collapsing on the Georgia Dome field after the Chick-fil-A Bowl on Tuesday night.

Martin, 59, ran onto the field immediately following Texas A&M's 52-48 win over Duke and took photos of Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin being doused with a water bucket by his players. Martin continued to take celebration shots before collapsing.

Martin suffered an apparent heart attack and was administered CPR on the field, according to a statement from the Georgia Dome. He was placed on a stretcher and taken to Emory Hospital Midtown where he died early Wednesday morning, the statement said.

"Dave Martin was an excellent photojournalist, a consummate and dedicated professional and a wonderful person," said AP Vice President and Director of Photography Santiago Lyon. "Wherever his work took him he made many friends and will be deeply missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him."  

One of Martin's last pictures was this fantastic shot of Kevin Sumlin getting the Gatorade bath.

Martin was an AP photographer since 1983 and had covered everything from the Super Bowl to the Olympics in the sports world to news events like conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and Hurricane Katrina.  He was responsible for one of the great sporting images ever captured, Phil Mickelson's leap after winning his first Masters in 2004.  We pass along our thoughts and prayers to his family.


About Matt Yoder

Award winning sportswriter at The Comeback and Awful Announcing. The biggest cat in the whole wide world.