Visits with UGA staff sold Oklahoma’s Stoops on hiring Willie Martinez

OK, it’s official now:  Oklahoma has confirmed the hiring of  Willie Martinez, the deposed Georgia defensive coordinator, as its defensive backs coach.

And Bob Stoops, Oklahoma’s head coach who is known as a defensive guru, seems pretty thrilled about it.

“Willie is an outstanding coach and someone with a tremendous background in our profession,” Stoops said in a statement.  “His experience is very impressive, and he will contribute a lot of very good things to our program. And not only is he a fine secondary coach, he’s a good recruiter with ties in Florida and a number of other places.”

Stoops traced his interest in hiring Martinez to past visits with the UGA coaching staff.

“Our staffs had been together exchanging ideas, and I was impressed with Willie,” Stoops said. “In those meetings,  you not only get a feel for how well someone knows the game, but their ability to communicate and interact with other people, and Willie was a guy that represented himself and his school very well.”

Martinez seems happy, too,  judging from his comments in Oklahoma’s announcement:

“Bob [Stoops] has won so many games and so many championships there that I am just very humbled to be part of that staff. . . I love history and tradition and I go back to my childhood and that Oklahoma name was just always the tops. And it still is, thanks to what Bob and his staff have done.

“I’ve known Bob back to his K-State days, and I’ve known all of those guys on the defensive side of the ball. It’s an outstanding group of men, and that’s what makes this such an attractive job. . . . Bob’s experience with defensive backs is something that I really like, and I want him being around us in practice. His input is invaluable, but his presence also is a sign to our players that there is a good emphasis on our position.”

Oklahoma pointed out Martinez’s record of producing NFL defensive backs, noting that over the past seven years ten of his DB’s at Georgia  have been selected in the NFL draft.

Martinez, fired by Georgia on Dec. 2, reportedly was hired last week by Stanford as its defensive backs coach but had a change of heart when the Oklahoma job was offered.

A few other notes:

Mark Richt confirmed Wednesday the long-rumored move of Richard Samuel from tailback to linebacker. He’ll be at the new position in spring practice.

– As for Logan Gray, long rumored to be considering a shift from quarterback to wide receiver, Richt said the latest word is that Gray will start spring practice still at QB.

– And now that Signing Day is done, thought you’d want to know the dates for spring practice: It starts with the first practice session on March 4,  resumes (after spring break) with the second practice on March 16, then 12 more practices before the G-Day Game on April 10.

– If you missed it, here’s the wrapup on Wednesday’s actions by the UGA Athletic Board: approval of a new five-year contract for Damon Evans and of spending $21.3 million on construction projects at Stegeman Coliseum and Sanford Stadium.

Please follow me on Twitter for the latest UGA news and notes.

83 comments Add your comment

Fuuf

February 4th, 2010
1:50 am

Good for you, Willie.

JB

February 4th, 2010
2:01 am

His defense as a whole has not been good, His DB’s worse. I dont really get the interest from OU but good luck with that.

HBTD!!!

hugedawgfan

February 4th, 2010
2:05 am

Their interest is purely in his ties to south FLA for recruiting only. Anything more stated by Big game Bob is bull****.

JPaul

February 4th, 2010
2:46 am

rock on Willie! we love you as a DB Coach. You just got in a little over your head. Good luck in the Big (whatever).

MauiDawg

February 4th, 2010
3:01 am

As much as we knocked him, I am happy for him and his family to have the opportunity to continue. Best wishes.

bigstack19

February 4th, 2010
4:12 am

JPaul

February 4th, 2010
2:46 am

rock on Willie! we love you as a DB Coach. You just got in a little over your head. Good luck in the Big (whatever).

That would be the Big Two plus sometimes Nebraska and 9 mediocre schools at their best. Otherwise known as the Big 12.

JacketFan

February 4th, 2010
6:31 am

What’s gonna be funny is when Willie goes to OK and has tremendous success, suggesting, perhaps, that he wasn’t the problem after all …

Buckhead Bulldog

February 4th, 2010
7:20 am

JacketFan: wishful thinking on your part. : )

athdog

February 4th, 2010
7:43 am

JB, check out the Super Bowl, you’ll see Tim Jennings on the Colts, Asher Allen started for the Vikes, Sean Jones for the Eagles, Paul Oliver with the Chargers…and that’s just a few of the UGA db’s in the playoffs. There are a few more in the playoffs and several more whose teams didn’t make the playoffs. Willie had shortcomings as a DC, but his credentials as a db coach are solid.
Now, let’s let him move on and embrace Coach Grantham and his 3-4. HBTD…..THWGT

athdog

February 4th, 2010
7:43 am

I almost forgot…31-24, 8 of 9. DeFacto ACC Champs

jdog

February 4th, 2010
7:48 am

Thats funny jacketfan, but I have something funnier.That statement about someone having more success somewhere else is more rational when referring to your ex defensive coordinator.

jbeggs

February 4th, 2010
7:57 am

Jacketfan – UGA lost to you once even with slick Willie so as far as you’re concerned he was the best DC you’ve ever been up against.

WonderDawg

February 4th, 2010
8:22 am

Those 10 DBs in the NFL are a testiment to UGA’s recruiting abilities, not Willie’s coaching. I wish him well in his new job. However, the way our DBs were constantly out of position and had poor tackling techniques doesn’t bode well for the Sooners.

JFKDawg

February 4th, 2010
8:22 am

Huge difference between him being successful as a DB coach in a conference not exactly known for its defenses and being a DC in the SEC. I wish WM all the best, unless they wind up playing the Dawgs.

Richard Hamilton

February 4th, 2010
8:25 am

He was a good DB coach, but a poor defensive coordinator. This has recruiting written all over it. Good for him though.

RxDawg

February 4th, 2010
8:42 am

Best of luck Willie.

It’s good to see the majority (so far) of fans showing some class towards Willie.

Willie Martinez Fan

February 4th, 2010
8:54 am

I really thought Bobo would get fired instead of Willie. You could have EASILY justified it in 2009. 4 out of 4 of Georgia’s losses were games where the OFFENSE had 3 or 4 GIVEAWAYS.

I don’t think ANY DC in America could win with that kind of incompetence on the offensive GIVEAWAY stats.

Willie was BLAMED for a lot of Georgia’s problems, incorrectly.

Willie didn’t give up a 100 yard rusher in 2009. He outcoached the top 2 most productive offenses in Amercia: Auburn’s OC , and PJ at Ga Tech.

Willie had the #8 scoring defense in 2007, #14 in 2008, in the country.

If Bobo has 3 or 4 GIVEAWAYS in 4 games this year, Grantham won’t be able to overcome that either.

Willie’s biggest problem in 2009 was his defense didn’t create enough TAKEAWAYS. Last in the NCAA there will get you fired.

If Bobo leads the country in GIVEAWAYS AGAIN, he’ll be fired for sure.

Lovin' Samuels at LB

February 4th, 2010
9:06 am

Love moving Samuels to LB. He’s an amazing athlete, very productive at LB in high school. Rated one of the top LB’s in the country coming out fo High School.

He is big, fast, and strong. Extremely competitive, plays better against better teams.

robodawg

February 4th, 2010
9:27 am

Congrats to CWM. Anybody know if a demotion back to DB coach was ever on the table at Georgia?

Blindhawg

February 4th, 2010
9:28 am

Good Deal Coach Willie,I knew you would land on your feet.

SEC East Headlines – 2/4/10 « MrSEC.com

February 4th, 2010
9:34 am

[...] Here’s an overview of the Dawgs’ class.11.  Visits with Georgia’s staff led Bob Stoops to hire Willie Martinez.12.  Joker Phillips first Kentucky class came with some pleasant surprises.13.  This writer [...]

collegeballfan

February 4th, 2010
9:39 am

If the judge is putting DB in the NFL, then Martinez is an exceptional coach.

Ferndolin

February 4th, 2010
9:40 am

Good for Willie Martinez. He is a good coach and recruiter. DC was just a stretch for him, and it showed.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

February 4th, 2010
9:44 am

Going to be an interesting Spring watching Samuel move to LB.I imagine with his size and speed he is a perfect candidate to play a rush OLB in Grathams defensive scheme.

OldDawg

February 4th, 2010
10:04 am

Agree 100% on Samuel to OLB….i specifically remember an interview with Samuel’s high school coach when he signed with UGA. When asked about Samuel’s best position…RB/LB…he replied he is good and can play either…but as an LB he will play on Sundays!

To me it is a shame that 2 yers of eligibility has been wasted for this young man, playing out of position…although I do understand it as UGA’s depth chart at RB was extremely thin at the time!

JaxDawg

February 4th, 2010
10:17 am

Congrats to Willie, he was a good DB’s coach when he could focus all his attention on them. Once he had the DC’s spot tho he failed miserably. I still think he will work out well strictly as a DB’s coach.

Preston

February 4th, 2010
10:38 am

He has proven to be a great DB’s coach. He simply was not a great DC. He’ll do well at Oklahoma and I’m happy for him.

JimDog

February 4th, 2010
10:40 am

Having Samuel move to OLB is like an extra pick-up on signing day for the Dawgs! Even better because he is older and more mature than an incoming freshman will be. I can see him blowing up some QB’s next year. Even though we lost Da Loser, I think the rest of the class looks great and fills a lot of needs on the O line and the D. I still expect some growing pains from the defensive switch next year and rooking QB, but I really see us moving in the right direction.

mgdawg

February 4th, 2010
11:07 am

I think Oklahoma should be very happy, Willie was a very good DB coach before he became the DC also. I think when he became the DC it put too much on his plate and he couldn’t give the DB’s the time that they needed. That is one reason I’m glad that Grantham’s last hire is going to be a LB coach.

I’m glad samuel didn’t let his ego get the best of him and decided to move to LB. He’s a big guy that has very good speed, with the right coaching and work ethic I think he could be a beast.

Glenn

February 4th, 2010
11:27 am

He will do fine under stoops and I wish him well.

Zac Robinson

February 4th, 2010
11:39 am

I wish I had another year of eligibility- I’d put up career numbers against the Sooners next year.

Stoic

February 4th, 2010
11:40 am

Yep, sure is hard to be a good defense when you got silly guys like the ones the SEC trotted out THIS YEAR as starting qbs.

buzz22

February 4th, 2010
12:09 pm

everybody is stuck on this 8 of 9 thing. With CPJ it’s 1-1. Could someone so kindly tell me what UGA record is against FL. Thanks!!

skydawg

February 4th, 2010
12:13 pm

There is no doubting Willie’s ability in regards to a secondary coach. His track record is solid in that regard. Good hire for Stoops and the Sooners.

cesspool and it stinks

February 4th, 2010
12:14 pm

good now that Martinez is hired at Oklahoma, he should tell the unranked shreveport going, Fl b+tches dogpoops to kiss his @$$

skydawg

February 4th, 2010
12:15 pm

Sure buzz22…if you’ll tell me what the Nerds record is against FSU. Both UGA and FSU dominate you guys. Lord knows what record UF would have compiled against you worthless pencil necks over the past 20 years.

hammerhead

February 4th, 2010
12:31 pm

Anyone who questions Willie’s ability to coach DB’s has no idea what they’re looking at… On the other hand, WM was completely in over his head as a DC. No shame in that – he will do a great job at OU. Congrats Wild Willie – thumbs up :o )

hammerhead

February 4th, 2010
12:34 pm

Buzz22 – you asked for Georgia’s record versus Florida – UGA 46 – UF 39 with 2 ties. You’re welcome.

Brock

February 4th, 2010
12:35 pm

Why all the name calling on these blogs? Why can’t you guys get your points across without acting like children? Maybe you are children, however, the name calling gets to be very redundant and pretty much voids any rational thought any of you have.

I hope Willie does a good job at Ok. I’m sure he won’t miss the bashing he took from the dog fans. It will be interesting to see if he does well at OK vs GA. Seeing the parity in the 2 conf. he can only improve right?

hammerhead

February 4th, 2010
12:36 pm

And, as a public service announcement – UGA 60 – GT 39 with 5 ties…

DTC

February 4th, 2010
12:45 pm

Hmm, does this mean that a discarded Bulldog is better than a first stringer from many other schools? Yep, I would think so. Glad Martinez wound up somewhere with another class organization. His only problem was that he might have been offered the DC position before he was ready. Which means that being under Richt’s guidance and now with Stoops, in a few years he might have another chance at a DC job and do a much better job then than he had the ability to have done this time. Quality and motivation go hand in hand when considering position coaches. Martinez is a quality individual, he needs to work on how to motivate his players to a higher level of play on the field. The fact that he has had as manay players go into the NFL speaks of the quality of players coming into UGA, but not necessarily of his ability to coach them up to higher levels. I present Geno Atkins as my argument. He has greatly impressed the NFL scouts of his ability to do the things he is doing, with a much higher level of play than they thought he was capable of. How much better UGA would have been this year, if he had been used at a higher level of play this past year on defense – goes without saying.

Dawg'94

February 4th, 2010
12:45 pm

Good luck to him. I’m just glad Richt made the change. For those who attended UGA games you will know what I mean when I say the DBs looked LOST last season. Before EVERY play, at least 1 DB would be looking at the sidelines whith his hands up in the air. The entire defense did not look prepared. I know the offense didn’t help with the turnovers, but the defense did not look good. I believe with Georgia’s speed, the 3-4 will be awesome. I guess we’ll see. 30-24!!

Ginger

February 4th, 2010
12:47 pm

Congrats to Willie…..He is a good DB coach…not so much DC…but good DB coach…Wish him the best !

DTC

February 4th, 2010
12:50 pm

Ginger, please ignore comments like “The Professor”. People who obviously know what they are talking about, whether they are male or female are always welcome. Besides, comments like his, on a deserted island with two gorgeous women like Ginger and Mary Ann, still would not have gotten him anywhere on that island, any more than they would you!

Dawghater

February 4th, 2010
12:51 pm

Puppy Dawgs better be less concerned about Martinez and more concened about their #4 choice Grantham who was fired the last time he was a D Coordinator in the NFL. What I love is the comments about Martinez being a D Backs coach now and that’s nothing like being a D Coordinator. Hum, Grantham was a D Line coach at Dallas and was fired from his last D Coordinator job in the NFL.

Otto

February 4th, 2010
12:58 pm

Congrats CWM, Beat Texas.

Otto

February 4th, 2010
12:58 pm

SkyDawg, Don’t leave out UVA.

Magic Man

February 4th, 2010
1:11 pm

Willie was a very good DB coach before he had to handle both DBs and DC. He put Tim Jennings, Paul Oliver, Thomas Davis, Greg Blue, Asher Allen, Paul Oliver, and Tra Battle to name a few. I can’t remember if Sean Jones was while Willie was here or before, but I think that large body says good things.

The problem with Willie was he wasn’t able to do both really well. He did both above average, but that is it. However, when he was just a DB coach, he was a really, really good one. Tim Jennings and Thomas Davis were two-star recruits that he molded and developed. Paul Oliver wasn’t highly touted and he developed those guys into NFL prospects.

I bet Willie does well in Oklahoma. He will certainly be eager to prove himself. I bet he will learn from his experience at UGA as well, which should make him a better man and coach.

Good Luck!

willie sucks

February 4th, 2010
1:15 pm

DB coach? Is it april fools already? WHAT A JOKE! Did anyone happen to see how piss poor our DB’s did the past 4 years? Yea, good luck willie, you will be FIRED again real soon.

JB

February 4th, 2010
1:17 pm

I dunno about Willie as D back coach. with a 60″ plasma, I never saw our DB’s in the picture.