Maggie Martin Leads the Dutchmen
In purple and white overalls, the senior leads the TCU student sections on game day.
Maggie Martin, the head Dutchman, gets the TCU student section loud and keeps traditions alive. The Dutchmen, named for coaching legend Dutch Meyer ’22, have led cheers in the student crowd at football and men’s basketball games since 2017. Martin, a senior, has been repping the purple and white since 2019.
I started looking at Texas schools because I wanted to go somewhere warm. I toured TCU, Baylor and SMU all on the same trip. I just fell in love with TCU. My mom was crying by the end of our tour. Our tour guide was talking about why she had chosen TCU, and my mom just lost it. She knew. She was texting my dad, “I know she’s going to go here.”
I love the Fort Worth area as well, and that helped my drive to come to TCU. It’s nice having a downtown so close to campus.
I just felt like I fit in as soon as I set foot on campus. It just felt like home.
What’s your favorite sport to play?
I ride horses. I have my own horse, and I brought him down to Texas. I rode horses a lot through high school, but I didn’t look into the equestrian team because I wanted to have a college experience that wasn’t centered around horses. His name is Hasta, like hasta la vista. He’s a Belgian Warmblood.
How did you become a Dutchman?
The very first football game my freshman year was the first time that I felt I was a part of the TCU community — just being in the student section with everyone cheering together. I really fell in love with TCU Football in particular, but TCU sports in general, my freshman year.
I was really good friends with Patton Maynard ’20. He founded and headed the Dutchmen. He mentioned it when we were talking about sports, and he got me in contact with TCU Athletics. And then I interviewed to be a Dutchman and got in.
What was that selection process like?
You get nominated by current Dutchmen, so Patton had nominated me for the interview. You interview with three members of the TCU Athletics Marketing team, and then you find out if you’ve been selected.
One of the things that I want to implement is a tryout. I think if someone was comfortable screaming Riff Ram in front of a group of five people, I think they would do really well at football games.
Do you remember the first time you heard Riff Ram?
Oh, I was so confused. I had no clue what they were even saying.
Why did you want to be a Dutchman?
I’m actually not super-extroverted, so it’s interesting that I enjoy it. It honestly just sounded really fun. I was involved in something similar in high school, and I wanted to continue that in college.
The thing that really truly made me fall in love with it was during the 2019 football season. We went into triple overtime against Baylor. Baylor’s coach, Matt Rhule, in the press conference afterward said that our student section was really hard to play in front of because we were so loud. It’s moments like that. Or when I’m standing at the front of the crowd and I turn around to see the entire student section on its feet screaming for our team. Knowing that we play such a big part in supporting the football team is so fun, but also rewarding at the same time, especially when we hear comments from coaches who noticed that.
There are so many times my friends will text me during the game to say, “Oh my gosh, you’re on the big screen just making a fool of yourself.” Just getting to be up there is fun, especially when the student section is a little quieter, and we turn around and we’ll say something into the microphone and the student section gets louder — that’s the best part of being a Dutchman because we know how much of an impact we have on the student section.
How many Dutchmen are there?
There are 17 of us. The same group covers football and men’s basketball. For football, all 17 of us are there for every game. For basketball, two of us are at each game. Frog Army takes care of the student section at basketball games with the giant cardboard cutouts and setup. Dutchmen are there for the yells.
We’re building up the members each year. I’m hoping as the group gets a little bit bigger each year, there are going to be more opportunities to get involved in more sports.
What responsibilities do you have?
We arrive at Amon G. Carter Stadium three hours before kickoff. For basketball, it’s an hour and a half. We help set up the student section for TCU Athletics Marketing. If there is a card stunt, for example, the Dutchmen set up the cards. We also distribute pompoms and towels for students to wave around in the student section. We throw T-shirts during breaks. If a section isn’t looking or sounding very enthused, we’ll send more Dutchmen over.
A lot of people think of us as just the student section leaders. We like to think of ourselves more like student culture. We try to build and maintain traditions and sometimes create new ones. In the fall with the cheerleaders we started “Calling all Frogs!” We play a video on the big screen, and one side of the stadium yells “Go!” and the other side responds with “Frogs!”
We help keep traditions like yelling Riff Ram after touchdowns and singing the alma mater after a game. When the football team pulls up in front of the stadium for Frog Walk through the tailgating tents and fans, the team follows the Dutchmen and spirit squads.
We will have booths on campus the Fridays before football games to give out stickers and posters. We encourage students to come to the games and to be excited.
When the opposing basketball team is attempting a free throw, we lead the student section in getting loud to throw them off. If we’re on defense, we get loud. If we’re on offense, we’re quiet. On third downs in football, we’ll hold three fingers up.
What’s up with purple and white striped overalls?
Patton came up with it. He wanted something that really made us stand out in the student section. And he definitely succeeded in that because overalls are very noticeable. The front pocket is embroidered with TCU and our last names, and Dutchmen is on the back.
We have an official initiation in the fall where we get our overalls. It was really intense when I did it. Patton scared me: He gave us a long list of historical facts about TCU and especially about TCU Football. Patton asked us a question from the long list, and we had to answer correctly. Once we answered, we got to shake his hand and find out where our post was in the stadium. At our posts we met our new co-Dutchman.
A rule within the Dutchmen is that if we win, we can’t wash our overalls. We can only wash our overalls after a loss. You can imagine how sweaty they get after standing in the Texas heat for like seven hours, but it’s bad luck if we wash them after a win. We just have to put on the dirty overalls for the next game. It’s a little gross if we’re playing really well and have a win streak going.
Do you have laundry tips?
I use scent boosters so even if I don’t get to wash my overalls for a couple weeks at least maybe they won’t stink too bad.
The overalls make a lot of noise, and I wash them by themselves. I would always get made fun of in the dorms with the group washing machines because the overalls’ buttons would clink clink clank so loud. This year one of my roommates is also a Dutchman so we can wash our overalls together. It’s not as loud, but it’s still pretty obnoxious.
Do you get to keep your overalls?
Yeah. I’m already thinking of how I’m going to frame them.
I think even seeing the overalls in my closet just brings back many fun memories from the football games, so many fond memories like beating No. 15 Texas in 2019 and rushing the field. People recognize the overalls because not many people on campus have those overalls. There’s so much love for TCU and TCU sports in the Fort Worth area.
What do you think the Dutchmen mean to TCU?
It’s the culture and the camaraderie. We are symbolic of the student section and the hype of the student section. We’ve been in the Big 12 commercial, Riff Ram videos and all over TV on game day.
What has been your proudest moment as a Dutchman?
At a postgame press conference, if Gary Patterson mentioned the student section really showing up that day, it was so rewarding. He always said that when the student section is loud, the players become so much more hyped as well, and they play better. That’s what I always strive for: I know we did a great job during the game if coaches comment afterward, “The student section was great today.”
Do you have an embarrassing moment?
We don’t go on our phones during the games, so I don’t know if I’m on the TVs at home until later. My parents have definitely texted me because I was on TV. I was wiping the sweat off my face, and it was pretty embarrassing to see that video.
But you’re also in overalls in the Texas heat.
A lot of the guys will go shirtless under the bibs. The pants are pretty thick material. We tell people to size up so they can get them a little loose and get some airflow. I’ll bring a huge water bottle and refill it probably four times
What do you think being a Dutchman has taught you?
Definitely how to use my voice. I’m not the most extroverted person ever. I love what we do so much, but it’s definitely very exhausting.
And how to always be positive. It’s really hard to do our job if the team isn’t doing well and we’re standing in front of an empty student section. But we always have to stay happy and keep trying and stay loud no matter what.
What are your goals as head Dutchman this year?
I enjoy being part of Athletics Marketing, but my goal for my senior year and my last year with the Dutchmen would be getting us officially recognized as a spirit organization. In the game flyers there’s no Dutchmen section. We recently got a page on the GoFrogs website.
What I really want is to be recognized on senior day. Since the cheerleaders, Showgirls and Rangers are official spirit organizations, they get recognized on senior day with the rest of the football or basketball seniors. We put so much time and effort into our roles, and I really want that recognition to give back to the group and everything they’ve done.
Editor’s Note: The questions and answers have been edited for length and clarity.