Losing Martin Just Part of the Game

It wasn't a cool thing for Jim Mora to do to our Husky team but I totally understand his thinking. The college game is all about energy in recruiting and Demetrice Martin brought it big time to his relationship with both his players and his recruits. "Coach Meat" will be missed, that's for sure, but exactly what Martin was selling for the Huskies is still intact.

Besides that, Jeff Mills is a really good secondary coach. Mills has been a coach on the defensive side of the ball for much of his 20-plus-year coaching career, and he will be given some help with graduate assistant Donte Williams switching over from linebackers to help with the corners. Even though he's from Culver City, Calif., Williams was a defensive back for Syracuse. Mills should also receive an assist from veteran corners Quinton Richardson and Desmond Trufant.

That's how it works, and Martin's departure is simply reflective of the competitive coaching market. Mora pulled a fast one and that can't be forgotten, but neither he nor Martin can be considered Huskies anymore. They are the enemy and that is the bottom line. That's just part of the game.

You'd assume that Mora got Martin a significant pay raise but he also gave him a chance to move home, and that is a tough thing to do in the coaching profession. I know during my years at Washington we lost at least 4-5 defensive coaches who recruited Los Angeles for us. They all left for either the NFL or another coaching opportunity. Usually it was for a move up to become a coordinator or a head coach, but Jim Heacock, Skip Hall, Billy Harris, Larry Slade, and Chris Tormey all left Washington for other coaching positions.

Personally I can relate with Martin in that, as a Seattle native I enjoyed the opportunity to coach in my own hometown and have my parents, family and friends be part of the experience. Our family had Husky Football as part of every holiday for over 15 years. Demetrice now has that and he can take his upbeat and positive attitude back to his hometown and see if he can help coach Mora create something positive at UCLA.

It will probably cost UW a recruit or two this year, but most importantly it will take away one of the real positive personalities on this coaching staff. That spark, more than anything else, is what coach Martin brought to the table from the team standpoint. He represented the high energy and enthusiasm that is so reflective of coach Sarkisian's system. For that he will be missed. But from now on he is the enemy and he knows that Washington will still get those kids out of the LA area who simply want to leave home for college.

That has always been the key to recruiting the greater-LA market; find the kids who simply want to go away to school. It's what happens in recruiting, and it even happens here in our own state. Martin can only recruit so many kids to the Bruins and he certainly won't be coming north to take any kids out of the northwest.

As a position coach, Martin certainly was popular with his charges, but the performance of the corners over the past three years has been very up and down. Of course Nick Holt gets blamed for anything negative about the defense, but to say we've struggled on the corner would be a fair evaluation of that position.

Sometimes a position coaching change can be positive because the incoming coach brings new concepts with him as well as an approach that can be seen as refreshing. Many times the players feel like they get a new lease on life. But these Huskies haven't experienced much change since coach Sarkisian has taken over the program. They've had the luxury of continuity and that has been really been felt in the recruiting process. But Coach Martin is no longer the purple and gold Pied Piper of LA.

I hope Washington goes on a roll and UCLA gets clobbered. I wish Coach Meat the very best for him and his family, but I also hope he never gets to be on the winning side against the Huskies. I also hope coach Mora loses whenever he plays Washington because he's no longer one of us. Note to Jim: You can beat the Trojans, the Ducks, and anyone else, but I hope you never beat the Huskies, especially after stealing Martin from us. It may be business, but it's just not right to steal from your own family.

Wouldn't it be cool for one of the Husky corners to intercept a pass in the bowl from Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III and return it to the house? That would be the perfect parting gift for coach Martin.

Thanks and good luck D, except when you play the Dawgs.


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