OU Tabs Martinez as DB Coach

NORMAN, Okla. -- Willie Martinez has been named the new defensive backs coach at Oklahoma. OU Head Coach Bob Stoops made the announcement today and the move is pending approval of the university's board of regents.

As part of the move, assistant head coach Bobby Jack Wright, who has been on the Sooner staff since 1999, will move from the secondary to coaching OU's defensive ends. He previously coached the defensive ends from 1999-2004 when the program produced five All-Big 12 players at the position.

Martinez was defensive backs coach at Georgia from 2000-09, and was the defensive coordinator from 2005-09.

"Willie is an outstanding coach and someone with a tremendous background in our profession," Stoops said. "His experience is very impressive and he will contribute a lot of very good things to our program. And not only is he fine secondary coach, he's a good recruiter with ties in Florida and a number of other places."

Stoops said past visits with Georgia's staff familiarized him with Martinez.

"Our staffs had been together exchanging ideas and I was impressed with Willie," Stoops said. "In those meetings you not only get a feel for how well someone knows the game, but their ability to communicate and interact with other people, and Willie was a guy that represented himself and his school very well."

The admiration is mutual from Martinez.

"Bob has won so many games and so many championships there that I am just very humbled to be part of that staff," Martinez said. "I was there in 1985 with Miami so I've experienced it myself. I love history and tradition and I go back to my childhood and that Oklahoma name was just always the tops. And it still is thanks to what Bob and his staff have done.

"I've known Bob back to his K-State days and I've known all of those guys on the defensive side of the ball. It's an outstanding group of men and that's what makes this such an attractive job."

The big-play potential and the responsibility of the secondary are the aspects of secondary coaching that most appeal to Martinez.

"We're the last line of defense and you've got to have a good group of athletes who can handle that pressure," he said. "You're going to have a direct impact on every play. You have to have some swagger and the ability to shake off the bad play. I know that a game is almost always going to come down to who plays the best in the secondary and I like that."

Martinez doesn't mind either that the head coach, Stoops, has a background of coaching defensive backs.

"Bob's experience with defensive backs is something that I really like and I want him being around us in practice," he said. "His input is invaluable, but his presence also is a sign to our players that there is a good emphasis on our position."

Before going to Georgia, Martinez served three years as secondary coach and one as assistant head coach at Central Michigan,

During his nine years at UGA, he was part of a staff that led Georgia to 90 victories, two SEC championships, three SEC Eastern Division titles, seven bowl victories, and six top ten finishes in the final national polls including No. 2 in 2007 and No. 3 in 2002.

His 2007 defense finished first in the SEC and 8th nationally in sacks (42) and 14th nationally in total defense.

Martinez' 2006 Georgia defense ranked 8th nationally in total defense, 5th in pass defense and 1st in the SEC in third down efficiency.

His 2005 defense finished 8th in the country in scoring defense (16.4 ppg). He was also an integral part of the 2003 SEC Eastern Division Champion Bulldog defense that finished 2nd nationally in scoring defense (14.5 ppg), 4th in total defense (276.86 ypg), 6th in passing defense (174.50 ypg, 1st in the SEC), 14th nationally in turnover margin (+.79), and 4th in number of scoreless quarters (25) among the AP's final Top Ten teams. He was also part of the 2002 Bulldog defense that finished first in the SEC and fourth nationally in scoring defense (15.1 ppg), first in the SEC in red zone defense (58.8%), second in the SEC in rushing defense (114.0 ypg), and allowed only 31 second half points in the final seven games of the season.

He has a history of producing NFL defensive backs. Over the past seven years, ten of his players have been selected in the NFL draft including all three senior starters in 2005 -- All-SEC CB Tim Jennings (2nd, Indianapolis), All-America FS Greg Blue (5th, Minnesota), and All-SEC CB DeMario Minter (5th, Cleveland). Previous Bulldog defensive backs chosen include cornerback Asher Allen (3rd, Minnesota, '09), All-America safety Thomas Davis (1st, Carolina, '05), All-America safety Sean Jones (2nd, Cleveland, '04), CB Bruce Thornton (4th, Dallas, '04), S Terreal Bierria (4th, Seattle, '02), S Jermaine Phillips (5th, Tampa Bay, '02), and CB Tim Wansley (7th, Tampa Bay, '02).

In 2000, Central Michigan led the nation in pass defense (149.7 yds/g) and senior safety Brian Leigeb led the Mid-American Conference (MAC) in tackles and was 3rd nationally with 13.36 per game.

Prior to joining the Central Michigan staff in 1998, he served as defensive backs coach at Eastern Michigan (1997) and as defensive coordinator at Central Florida in 1995-96. He also coached at Central Michigan in 1994 when the Chippewas won the MAC championship.

Martinez was a defensive back on Miami's 1983 national championship team and played in the 1985 Fiesta Bowl and the 1984 Orange Bowl. He also was a graduate assistant at Miami from 1985-86, coaching in the Sugar and Fiesta bowls.

He then served as an assistant for the 1988 season at Bethune-Cookman and was a high school coach at Boca Raton (1989-90) and Olympic Heights (1991). Martinez then joined the Grand Valley State University coaching staff as the defensive coordinator for the 1992-93 seasons.

Martinez and his wife, Kim have three children; Christina, 22; Ashley, 20; and William, 14.

Birthdate: 2-21-63

Birthplace: Coral Gables, Fla.

High School: Hollywood Hills

College: Miami, '86

Coaching Experience:

1985-86, Miami (Grad. Asst.); 1988, Bethune-Cookman (Quarterbacks/Wide Rec.); 1989-90, Boca Raton H.S. (Def. Backs) 1991, Olympic Heights H.S.- Boca Raton, Fla. (Def. Coord./Def. Backs); 1992-93, Grand Valley State (Def. Coord./Def. Backs); 1994, Central Michigan (Def. Backs); 1995-96, Central Florida (Def. Coord./Def. Backs); 1997, Eastern Michigan (Def. Backs); 1998-99, Central Michigan (Def. Backs); 2000, Central Michigan (Asst. Head Coach/Def.); 2001-04, Georgia (Secondary); 2005-09, Georgia (Defensive Coordinator/Secondary).

Playing Experience:

Miami (1981-84) Def. back... Member of the 1983 National Championship team.

Hollywood Hills H.S. (1977-81) Quarterback and defensive back...team captain.

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