Is Don Martindale Related to Wink Martindale?

What is the relationship between coach Don Wink Martindale and Host Winston Wink Martindale

If you’re an enthusiast of the NFL or fascinated by television shows, you may be wondering if Don Wink Martindale is related to Winston Wink Martindale. They don’t have a blood relationship. Neither they are colleagues nor friends. But they do have one relationship which is through their wives.

Both of their wives Sandy and Laura are second cousins and share a great-grandparent. Coach Don Wink Martindale is serving as the defense supervisor in the NY Giants, and Winston Wink Martindale is an illustrious television host such as Gambit and Tic-Tac-Dough. 

Who is Don Wink Martindale?

Don “Wink” Martindale is a name known for his defensive skills in American football. His birth took place on 19 May 1963, in Dayton, Ohio. His journey into the world of sports began at T-M High School, where he gained recognition as an outstanding defender for the team. 

The peak of his high school career was marked by earning the title of state champion in his senior year. Certainly, this early success set the stage for a promising future in football.

His academic focus continued at Defiance College as he continued to excel on the football field. He was a freshman when the beginning of his widely recognized nickname, “Wink,” happened. 

is wink martindale related to wink martindale
Coach Don Martindale at Field (credit: news)

A teammate who was inspired by the famous host of ‘Wink Martindale’ gave him this nickname. Martindale’s nod to the game show host became a hallmark of his identity, forming a distinctive link between football and game shows.

Navigating Coaching Dynamics: Struggles and Triumphs

According to recent reports, New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll appears to be at odds with defensive expert Wink Martindale. 

Speculations about strained relations between the two have emerged, raising questions about the impact on the team’s performance. Martindale dismisses these notions, stating that the tension is caused by the shared desire to win.

Martindale clarifies that coaching staff dynamics can vary significantly particularly between the head coach and defensive coordinator. He underscores that the relationship between Daboll and himself is similar to the previous year. The main difference is the team’s success on the field, which inevitably influences the overall atmosphere.

When asked about aligning perspectives with Daboll, Martindale responds with a touch of humor, saying, “I don’t always agree with my wife. He’s the head coach, and it’s my responsibility to support his strategy. That’s precisely what I’m committed to.” 

There is an inherent nuance in coaching relationships, where different viewpoints can coexist within a shared commitment to achieving success.

Conflicts between head coaches and coordinators are not uncommon in football. It was the Giants’ on-field success that overshadowed off-field tensions during the 2022 playoffs, despite any underlying discord. Martindale and Daboll are at odds this year as the Giants struggle at 4-8, making it difficult to ignore the disparity.

Who is Winston Wink Martindale?

Winston “Wink” Martindale was born on December 4, 1933, in Tennessee. He began on a journey that would establish him as a luminary in the world of game shows. 

how many game shows has wink martindale hosted
Winston Martindale with wife Sandy (credit: Insta)

His career began at 17 when he became a radio DJ at WPLI, earning a modest $25 weekly stipend. The path of his career led him to Memphis, a city in which he went to Memphis State University and rose to prominence as a radio luminary.

In 1959, Martindale began recording widely popular music, including the chart-topping “Wild Card.” 

The subsequent move to LA in 1959 marked the beginning of his television journey, where he hosted the series premiere, “What’s This Song?” in 1964. According to IMDb, he has overseen more than 20 different game shows, including High Rollers, Gambit, Debt, and Tic-Tac-Dough.

Is Don Wink Martindale related to Winston Wink Martindale?

Don and Wink are unrelated by blood even though they have the same last name and nickname. They are relatives as distant cousins through marriage. This means that Don Martindale’s wife, Laura, and Wink Martindale’s wife, Sandy, are second cousins and share a great-grandparent.

The two Wink Martindale have met a few times and become friends over the years. They even appeared together, like when Don Martindale invited Wink Martindale to a Baltimore Ravens game in 2018. They’ve also exchanged autographs and memorabilia from their careers.

These two Martindales stand as illustrious and esteemed figures, each leaving an indelible mark in their respective fields. The mutual admiration between them is evident, as Don Martindale expresses a desire for a meeting and extends gratitude for the bestowed nickname. 

Once, Wink reciprocates the sentiment by sending a signed photograph to Don, accompanied by a message: “Love Wink…keep up the great work!”


So is Don Wink Martindale related to Winston Wink Martindale? No! The Martindale connection weaves a fascinating story that spans the genres of American sports and television. Don and Winston are unrelated by blood, but share a relation through their wives. 


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