He has the distinction of being not only the mentor of a three-time Super Bowl winner, but Martinez will forever be remembered for his success at California community college San Mateo as a football, women’s basketball and softball coach.
Recently his health had deteriorated because of complications from diabetes. At the time of his death he was a waiting list to have a kidney transplant.
For Brady this is a death that hits close to home. According to WEEI, the duo had been working together since Brady was a teenager. When Brady registered his first win as a member of the Patriots, he gave the game ball to Martinez with the message “Coach Martinez-Thanks-The first of many”.
They stayed in constant communication with one another as Martinez became Brady’s one coach that didn’t wear the Patriots logo across his chest.
Earlier this month at the Super Bowl Brady was asked about Martinez and had nothing but glowing remarks (via WEEI):
I’m forever indebted to him. We’ve worked together for over 20 years trying to work on my mechanics and nail those down. He’s had a great commitment to me.
He’s always calling and texting and saying, ‘Get your shoulder down and get your arm up and close your left side and take a shorter stride.’ Talk about a perfectionist -- he’s a perfectionist and he doesn’t let anything slide with me. I owe so much to him. I love him. I love his family. He’s got a great family and I enjoy being with him and working with him.
It's a tragic loss for Brady, and for all of the other countless lives he has touched through the years.