Martinez "Excited" to be at OU

NORMAN, Okla. -- freshly hired defensive backs coach Willie Martinez meets with the press to talk about being a part of the Sooners football program.

Just less than three weeks ago, former defensive ends coach Chris Wilson accepted an opportunity to become co-defensive coordinator at Mississippi State.

And that sent the Sooners on the trail to find another defensive coach, where they just yesterday snagged former Georgia defensive coordinator Willie Martinez, who will now serve as the defensive backs coach, while Bobby Jack Wright will move to coach the defensive line.

"Well, I mean, I'm humbled as I said before to be a part of a program like Oklahoma, which has, obviously, a tremendous amount of success and [is] a tremendous institution academically," Martinez said during a Thursday conference call. "But also the success they've had with sports, especially football [is incredible]."

Martinez, who was fired a couple months ago after serving for five years as the defensive coordinator at UGA, was considering an opportunity as secondary coach at Stanford, but that's' when things changed.

"My intentions were going to Stanford," Martinez said. "And it wasn't until this past weekend that I was contacted by Coach [Bob Stoops], and he wanted to visit. So, it wasn't until this past weekend that Oklahoma came into the picture."

And so, with the decision, Stanford and coach Jim Harbaugh "lost" to the Sooners for the second time in two months on the football arena, after they first dropped the Sun Bowl 31-27 to OU, and now they lost a potential hire on the defensive side of the football.

"Well, again, [he's] such a class act," Martinez said. "Again, to my understanding, yes [he's been understanding]. I'm not going to sit there and say that he wasn't disappointed, but you've just got, like I said before, you do the best you can in making these decisions, what you think is best for your family, and that's really, that was the No. 1 thing."

A lot of doing what's "best", though, has to do with the caliber of program OU is coupled with the fact that Stoops has always been defensive minded.

"You had the opportunity to be a part of one of the top five, top 10 programs in the history of college football and to be a part of Bob Stoops and that great staff at Oklahoma, [and] I just couldn't turn that down," Martinez said. "It was just a great opportunity, and I just didn't feel like I could pass that up."

And he said it didn't take long to make the decision, as talk between OU and Martinez did only begin last weekend.

"Just the offer. I was just waiting for [Stoops] to say, ‘Hey, I would like you to come to Oklahoma,'" Martinez said. "So, it took whatever the amount of time it takes for somebody to do that, you know. So, it wasn't very long, so yeah, I mean, it's just a great opportunity."

As for the familiarity between Martinez and Stoops, their connections date back to Stoops' days in the SEC.

"Just like in this profession, you meet coaches throughout all the years you're in it," Martinez said. "I had a chance to meet him when he was at Florida as a defensive coordinator where he did a great job. Obviously I've followed his career along with his brothers, and I know Mark [Stoops].

Now the next chapter in Martinez's career is with Stoops and OU defensive coordinator Brent Venables, both defensive masterminds.

"I'm extremely excited, and then Coach Stoops and his staff and all the success they've had there," Martinez said. "So, I'm excited. I really am. There's really not much of words you can say other than say that I'm excited to be a part of a great staff and a great program."

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