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Auburn Names Willie Martinez Assistant Football Coach
Willie Martinez

Feb. 17, 2012

2012 Ticket Renewals

AUBURN--Willie Martinez, who has over 20 years of experience on the collegiate level, including nine years in the Southeastern Conference, has been named a defensive assistant coach at Auburn, head coach Gene Chizik announced Friday.

Martinez spent the previous two seasons as the secondary coach at Oklahoma after spending nine seasons at Georgia, where he was the secondary coach from 2001-04 and defensive coordinator and secondary coach from 2005-09.

In his two seasons at Oklahoma, Martinez helped the program to a 22-5 record and a Big 12 championship in 2010. The Sooners were eighth in the country in pass efficiency defense in 2010, while Martinez coached safety Quinton Carter, who was a consensus All-American. In 2011, Oklahoma led the Big 12 in scoring defense.

While at Georgia, Martinez was part of a staff that led the Bulldogs to 90 victories, two Southeastern Conference championships, three SEC Eastern Division titles, seven bowl victories and six top-10 finishes in the final national polls, including No. 2 in 2007 and No. 3 in 2002.

"This is a great opportunity to be a part of a storied program and tremendous coaching staff here at Auburn," Martinez said. "I've had the pleasure to know Coach Chizik and other members of this staff for a long time and I share their energy and passion for the game of football and developing young men. I'm appreciative of this opportunity and look forward to helping Auburn win championships in the future." Martinez has a proven track record of developing players. In the past 11 years, 15 of his defensive backs have been selected in the NFL Draft. Four of his defensive backs have earned consensus All-America honors.

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

"Willie Martinez is an experienced coach that has been very successful in this conference and understands the rigors of coaching and recruiting in the SEC," Chizik said. "We're excited to have him on board and look forward to bringing his knowledge and experience to our staff."

Martinez' 2006 Georgia defense ranked eighth nationally in total defense, fifth in pass defense and first in the SEC in third down efficiency. In 2005, the Bulldog defense finished eighth in the country in scoring defense (16.4 ppg).

A Hollywood, Fla., native, Martinez played an important part in the 2003 SEC Eastern Division Champion Georgia defense that finished second nationally in scoring defense (14.5 ppg), fourth in total defense (276.86 ypg), sixth in passing defense (174.50 ypg, first in the SEC), 14th nationally in turnover margin (+.79), and fourth 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.

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 third 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) in Florida. Martinez then joined the Grand Valley State University coaching staff as the defensive coordinator for the 1992-93 seasons.

Martinez, 48, and his wife Kim have three children, daughters Christina and Ashley and son, William.

Personal Information

Hometown: Hollywood, Fla.
High School: Hollywood Hills, 1981
Birthdate: February 21, 1963
College: Miami (Fla.), 1985
Wife: Kim
Children: daughters, Christina and Ashley; son, William

Coaching History

2010-11 - Oklahoma, Secondary
2005-2009 - Georgia, Defensive Coordinator, Secondary
2001-2004 - Georgia, Secondary
2000 - Central Michigan, Asst. Head Coach, Secondary
1998-1999 - Central Michigan, Secondary
1997 - Eastern Michigan, Secondary
1995-1996 - Central Florida, Defensive Coordinator, Secondary
1994 - Central Michigan, Secondary
1992-1993 - Grand Valley State, Defensive Coordinator, Secondary
1991 - Olympic Heights (Fla.) H.S., Defensive Coordinator, Secondary
1989-1990 - Boca Raton (Fla.) H.S., Secondary
1988 - Bethune-Cookman, Quarterbacks, Receivers
1985-1986 - Miami (Fla.), Graduate Assistant

Bowl Games as a coach

2011 Insight, Oklahoma
2011 Fiesta, Oklahoma
2009 Capital One, Georgia
2008 Sugar, Georgia
2006 Chick-fil-A, Georgia
2006 Sugar, Georgia
2005 Outback, Georgia
2004 Capital One, Georgia
2003 Sugar, Georgia
2001 Music City, Georgia
1994 Las Vegas, Central Michigan
1987 Fiesta, Miami
1986 Sugar, Miami

Prominent Pupils

• Quinton Carter (Oklahoma), Denver Broncos, 2010 All-American, 2010 All-Big 12, 2010 Wooden Cup Winner
• Jonathan Nelson (Oklahoma), St. Louis Rams
• Jamell Fleming (Oklahoma), 2010 All-Big 12, 2011 All-Big 12
• Tony Jefferson (Oklahoma), 2010 Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year
• Reshad Jones (Georgia), Miami Dolphins, 2008 All-SEC
• Asher Allen (Georgia), Minnesota Vikings, 2008 Jim Thorpe semifinalist
• Paul Oliver (Georgia), San Diego Chargers
• Tra Battle (Georgia), Dallas Cowboys, 2006 All-SEC
• Greg Blue (Georgia), Minnesota Vikings, 2005 All-American, 2005 All-SEC
• Tim Jennings (Georgia), Chicago Bears, 2005 All-SEC, 2002 All-SEC Freshman
• DeMario Minter (Georgia), Cleveland Browns, 2005 All-SEC
• Thomas Davis (Georgia), Carolina Panthers, 2004 All-American, 2003 & 2004 All-SEC, Bednarik semifinalist
• Sean Jones (Georgia), Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2003 All-American, 2003 All-SEC, 2002 All-SEC
• Jermaine Phillips (Georgia), Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2001 All-SEC
• Brian Leigeb (Central Michigan), Indianapolis Colts, 2000 All-MAC



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