Meet Marty Hughes, AKA Kayakjak
In 1997 Marty Hughes, '82, bought a kayak off of Ebay that would change his life.
As an avid fisher, Marty quickly learned that with his kayak he could get a lot closer to fish than he could on a boat. Fast-forward and now Marty owns Kayakjak's Outfitters and Fishing Guide Service, where he teaches many people how to fish on a kayaks and is nationally recognized by the kayak fishing community. More importantly to him though is that he teaches them how to appreciate the outdoors.
Teaching was always in Marty's talents long before he started kayak fishing. As an education major, he specialized in history and physical education with a special endorsement for k-12. He went on after graduation to become an elementary school PE teacher for 33 years in three different schools. He wanted to be a teacher because he wanted to give back what people gave to him. In high school, he had many mentors in his coaches and teachers that he wanted to use his talents in teaching to do the same.
Being a part of the outdoors was also a long running passion for him before Kayakjak. Marty came to Doane after attending a junior college because Scott Nisely befriended him. Marty ran track and cross country for Doane and held the 10,000 meter record for 25 years. He also did the marathon for Doane and went on to run many marathons after graduation.
The track and cross country teams were like a family to Marty, having many reunions long after graduation. Coach Beile's work ethic, like many Doane athletes, was carried through in Marty when he entered the workforce.
When Marty wanted to retire from teaching, he felt called by God to do something more. He was approached to be an administrator for Parkview Christian High School in Lincoln, where he is starting his second year there, and he doesn't plan on leaving anytime soon. He hopes to build a whole new school there by the time he leaves.
Marty gets the chance to spark passion in his students every day, similar to the passion he was given through his experiences at Doane. He appreciates how Doane took him, a small town kid, and helped him realize how to use his talents and gifts. This is something he wishes Doane never goes away from.
When Marty isn't transforming the future generation of America, he can be found in his kayak, a place where he goes nearly every day during season to find solace reminiscing on his past and looking forward to his future.