Luke Fickell finally has hired all of his coaches and they got a guy with a lot of experience in Willie Martinez. I'm excited to see what this staff does with the talent on campus.
University of Cincinnati Football Head Coach Luke Fickell named Willie Martinez to his 2017 staff as cornerbacks coach Wednesday.
Martinez’s hire completes Fickell’s inaugural on-field staff. Martinez joins offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Mike Denbrock, offensive line coach Ron Crook, defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Marcus Freeman, running backs coach Gerad Parker special teams coordinator/tight ends coach Doug Phillips, wide receivers coach Joker Phillips, safeties coach Jon Tenuta, defensive line coach Al Washington and director of football sports performance Brady Collins.
“I’m very excited to bring Willie and his family to Cincinnati,” Fickell said. "I promised our team we would put together an outstanding staff to lead them and we have done that. Early in this journey, we talked to our players about taking a leap of faith and that is true of our coaching staff as well. You can go up and down the list of our coaches and you see great teachers, great motivators and great men. Our next step is to get spring football started and make an impact while continuing to lead our student-athletes to success."
Martinez, who spent 14 years coaching in the Southeastern Conference, joins the Bearcats after a four-year stint at Tennessee, most recently serving as the Volunteers assistant head coach and secondary coach.
He has coached or played in 19 bowl games, been a part of five conference title winning squads and won a national championship while a defensive back at Miami (Fla.) in 1983.
Over the last 14 seasons, Martinez has mentored 13 all-conference selections, six All-Americans, 16 student-athletes chosen in the NFL Draft and had 14 players he coached on NFL rosters during the 2016 season.
He coached at Auburn in 2012, serving as secondary coach after spending the 2010-11 seasons as the defensive backs coach at Oklahoma, helping Sooners to a 23-5 record and the Big 12 Championship in 2010.
Prior to Oklahoma, Martinez worked as Georgia's secondary coach from 2001-09 while earning a promotion to defensive coordinator in 2005. He helped the Bulldogs to 90 wins, two SEC titles, three division crowns, seven bowl victories and six top 10 finishes, including No. 2 in 2007 and No. 3 in 2002
Martinez joined the Bulldogs after spending 1998-2000 at Central Michigan. He served as assistant head coach and secondary coach at Central Michigan in 2000 as the Chippewas led the NCAA in passing defense (149.7 yards per game) and was the secondary coach from 1998-99.
He was the secondary coach at Eastern Michigan in 1997, defensive coordinator and secondary coach at UCF in 1995-96, secondary coach Central Michigan in 1994 when the Chippewas won the Mid-American Conference Championship, and defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Grand Valley State in 1992-93.
Martinez coached in the Florida high school ranks in 1991 at Olympic Heights H.S. and in 1990 at Boca Raton H.S. In 1988, he served as the quarterbacks and receivers coach at Bethune-Cookman, helping the Wildcats to a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Championship. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Miami (Fla.) from 1985-86.
A native of Hollywood Hills, Fla., Martinez played defensive back for four seasons at Miami, where he won the 1983 National Championship and earned a bachelor’s degree in 1985.
Season tickets for the 2017 campaign, starting at $99, are on sale now and can be renewed or purchased by calling 1-877-CATS-TIX or visiting GoBEARCATS.com/tickets. The renewal period for existing patrons will run from Monday, Feb. 12, 2017, until March 31, 2017. New season ticket orders can be placed with a $50 deposit. New orders will be fulfilled starting in April 2017.