Willie Martinez was promoted to Defensive Coordinator in 2005 after serving four years as part of Mark Richt's original staff as secondary coach at UGA. He had previously served three years as the secondary coach at Central Michigan University and the assistant head coach in 2000 before joining Richt at Georgia.
During his four years at UGA, Martinez has been part of a staff that has led Georgia to 42 victories, one SEC championship, two SEC Eastern Division titles, three bowl victories, and three top six finishes in the final national polls.
He was 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. In addition, the Bulldogs finished 13-1, won the SEC and Nokia Sugar Bowl Championships, and were ranked third in the final national polls.
He's coached numerous players currently in the NFL including 2004 first team All-America safety Thomas Davis chosen by the Carolina Panthers in the first round of the 2005 draft; 2003 first team All-America safety Sean Jones, chosen in the second round by the Cleveland Browns; and cornerback and team captain Bruce Thornton, taken in the fourth round by the Cowboys. In 2002, three of Georgia's four secondary starters were taken in the NFL draft: junior safety Terreal Bierria (4th, Seattle), senior safety Jermaine Phillips (5th, Tampa Bay), and cornerback Tim Wansley (7th, Tampa Bay). Wansley was also a consensus All-SEC first team selection.
Martinez previously served as defensive coordinator at the University of Central Florida. A native of Coral Gables, Fla., Martinez was a teammate of Richt's at the University of Miami.
In 2000, Central Michigan led the nation in pass defense (149.7 yds/g) and senior free safety Brian Leigeb led the Mid-American Conference (MAC) in tackles and was 3rd nationally with 13.36 per game. He finished with 147 becoming Central1s top career tackler with 490.
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 184 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, 18; Ashley, 16; and William, 10.
- Birthdate: 2-21-63
- Birthplace: Coral Gables, Fla.
- High School: Hollywood Hills
- College: Miami, '86
- 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.)
- 2001-2004, Georgia (Secondary)
- 2005, Georgia (Defensive Coordinator/Secondary).
- Miami (1981-84) Def. back... Member of the 1983 National Championship team.
- Hollywood Hills H.S. (1977-81) Quarterback and defensive back...team captain...All-State selection... Area defensive player of the year.