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Looks Like Oklahoma Nabs A New Defensive Assistant Away From Stanford

It looks like Willie Martinez is going to be Oklahoma's next defensive backs coach.
It looks like Willie Martinez is going to be Oklahoma's next defensive backs coach.

Just over a month after beating Stanford in the Sun Bowl it looks as if Bob Stoops has beaten the Cardinal again. This time it was in gaining the services of former Georgia defensive coordinator Willie Martinez. Stanford Head Coach Jim Harbaugh had hired Martinez over the weekend to coach defensive backs but yesterday it was reported by Rivals and a Stanford source that Martinez is instead bound for Norman. What is it about a fired defensive coordinator that would make him so desirable?

In the "what have you done for me lately" world of college football the first take is that Martinez was a failure in Athens because he was cut loose after his Bulldogs defense finished 10th in scoring defense and 7th in total yards allowed in the SEC for the 2009 season. However, looking at the big picture we see that he's had a measure or two of success as well. Here's an excerpt from his bio that was posted at

During his seven years at UGA, he has been part of a staff that has led Georgia to 72 victories, two championships, three SEC Eastern Division titles, five bowl victories, and five top ten finishes in the final national polls including No. 2 in 2007. 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.

Martinez has promoted to defensive coordinator in 2005 after serving as the defensive backs coach since 2001. Why he's technically filling a spot left vacant by former OU defensive end's coach Chris Wilson, I'd be surprised if that's the position he holds at Oklahoma. Since 1985 Martinez has coached defensive backs at seven different places including two high schools and five universities. He was a defensive back on Miami's 1983 national championship team as well. This guy is a defensive backs coach because other than a short sting as the quarterbacks and receivers coach at Bethune-Cookman (1988) DB's are all he's ever coached. This means that a change is most likely in store for current defensive backs coach Bobby Jack Wright who has coached Oklahoma's DB's since 2005. Before that, though, he had coached the Sooner defensive ends since 1999 where he experienced quite a bit of success.

  • In 2003, his ends piled up 35 TFL, 20 sacks and 59 hurries. In `02, the DEs accounted for nearly half of the team's sacks. Jimmy Wilkerson was All-Big 12 for the second straight year. In `01, the ends combined for 21 tackles for loss, including 18 by Wilkerson.
  • Wright's 2004 DE rotation of Dan Cody, Jonathan Jackson and Larry Birdine ranked No. 1, 2 and 3, respectively, in sacks among Big 12 players. - From Wright's Bio At

It just seems natural that Wright would slide back to coaching the DE's while Martinez comes on to coach defensive backs.