Filling The Ranks: Bob Stoops Hires Former Georgia Coach Willie Martinez

Logan RogersCorrespondent IFebruary 2, 2010

It took three long weeks, but Bob Stoops has finally decided on a replacement to fill the defensive ends coaching slot left vacant by Chris Wilson, who left to be the co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach at Mississippi State.

The "new" defensive ends coach looks like it may be none other than Bobby Jack Wright, the current secondary coach. A pretty good move, if true, seeing how Bobby coached that very same position at OU from 1999-2004, moving to the secondary spot in the wake of Bo Pelini's departure in 2005, until now it appears.

The in-house shuffle will leave the secondary position open, and may have been the real reason for such a long wait.

So Stoops has reached out to, and by most accounts seems to have stolen away from Stanford, his friend of nearly twenty years Willie Martinez, who some might remember was fired as the defensive coordinator at Georgia last year. 

But that doesn't seem to bother Stoops much. Bob holds the secondary position in high regard, probably because it's the position he himself played as a Iowa Hawkeye.

Is this hire a case of Stoops just trying to help out a buddy?

Not even close.

While things may not have went the way Martinez would have liked at Georgia, he still has a very impressive resume as a secondary coach that includes Grand Valley State, Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan, and Central Florida.

That alone could get you hired at Oklahoma, but that may not even be why Bob made the call to his colleague.

The real reason could be Martinez' reputation as a great recruiter, known for his knack for snagging those coveted South Florida speedsters. Martinez is from the region and spent his college football career at Miami (1981-1984).

The knock-down, drag-out war that is recruiting in the state of Texas is a constant hem and haw for which team has the upper hand in the Big 12 South.

While this recruiting season may have ended with UT claiming the top spot (at least in number of stars by the name), getting such an outstanding recruiter like Willie Martinez can end up being the catalyst to tilting the momentum back towards Norman, which is always a welcome result for Sooner fans.

Recruiting Texas is a pre-requisite, though if he can build a pipeline stretching from Norman to South Florida, a big "if", but what a change of scenery that would be. 

So it looks like Stoops may have, once again, hired the right guy. Does he ever not?

Though nothing is official yet, this hire may be one Sooner fans can look back on an say, "Thats what we were missing."