Report: Tom Martinez, Mentor to Tom Brady, Dead at 66

Eric Ball@@BigLeagueEballFeatured ColumnistFebruary 21, 2012

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On Tuesday, Tom Brady's mentor Tom Martinez passed away due to a heart attack suffered during dialysis session according to the Mercury News. It was his 66th birthday.

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.

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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.