Martinez Headed to Auburn for Reunion?

Veteran defensive backs coach Willie Martinez could be re-joining Auburn's new defensive coordinator.

Auburn, Ala.--Veteran coach Willie Martinez looks to be a leading candidate to join Auburn's football staff replacing secondary coach Phillip Lolley.

If hired by the Tigers, Martinez would be reunited with Brian VanGorder, the man head coach Gene Chizik hired in January to coordinate the defense. Chizik has not said when he will have a new coach on board to complete his 2012 staff.

If Martinez makes the move to Auburn it will be the fourth college that Martinez and VanGorder have worked at together. The first was Central Florida, followed by Central Michigan and then Georgia.

Willie Martinez is shown while coaching for the Oklahoma Sooners.

Martinez spent the previous two seasons as a secondary coach at the University of Oklahoma. He is no stranger to the SEC. Martinez was on the staff at the University of Georgia from 2001-2009.

He was secondary coach for UGA defensive coordinator VanGorder from 2001-2004 in Athens and took over as defensive coordinator in 2005 when VanGorder took a job as an assistant coach for the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars.

Martinez stayed at Georgia as defensive coordinator through the 2009 season before taking a job with the Oklahoma Sooners.

If hired by the Tigers, Martinez would be the third new member of AU's staff for the 2012 season along with VanGorder, who replaced Ted Roof, and Scot Loeffler, who replaced Gus Malzahn as coach of the quarterbacks and offensive coordinator. Malzahn is head coach at Arkansas State. Roof is currently the defensive coordinator at Penn State.

Lolley has been at Auburn since 1999, arriving from North Jackson High School. His first year at Auburn he was a conditioning coach and coached the secondary from 2000-2003. From 2004-2008 he worked as director of NFL relations and also served as a staff liaison with high school coaches. He has moved into an administrative role for the football team.

Lolley moved back to an on-the-field coaching role in 2009 when Chizik took over as head coach and has been in charge of the cornerbacks the past three seasons.

Martinez began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at the University of Miami, where he played on a national championship team. His first full-time coaching position was in 1988 at Bethune-Cookman, a college in Florida where he worked with the quarterbacks and receivers.

He coached at Boca Raton, Fla., High in 1989-90 and Olympic Heights, Fla., High in 1991 before moving to Grand Valley State in 1992-93 as defensive coordinator and secondary coach.

He was secondary coach at MAC champion Central Michigan in 1994 and the next two seasons served as secondary coach and defensive coordinator at Central Florida.

Martinez was secondary coach at Eastern Michigan in 1997 and handled the same assignment at Central Michigan in 1998-99.

The following season he was named the assistant head coach at Central Michigan before heading to Georgia. The 2000 Central Michigan team led the nation in pass defense allowing 149.7 yards per game.

Lolley, a graduate of West Alabama, began his coaching career at South Choctaw Academy in 1977-78. He became head coach at Warrior Academy in 1978. He moved to Demopolis High in 1982-84 as defensive coordinator before accepting a post as head coach at Stevenson High from 1984-87. He spent the next 11 seasons at North Jackson, building that program into a high school football power before joining Tommy Tuberville's coaching staff at Auburn.

Willie Martinez

Martinez, who played defensive back in college, has coached 14 defensive backs who were drafted by NFL teams. His 2005 Georgia defense was eighth in the country in scoring defense (16.4 points per game) and seventh in pass defense.

His 2006 defense ranked eighth nationally in total defense, fifth in pass defense and first in the SEC in third down efficiency.

The 2007 defense finished first in the SEC and eighth nationally in sacks (42) and 14 nationally in total defense. In his nine seasons at Georgia the Bulldogs averaged 10 victories per year and won two SEC titles.

A native of Coral Gables, Fla., Martinez played football for Hollywood Hills High before attending the University of Miami.


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