Mike Martz: NFL Offensive Guru Reportedly Will Retire from Coaching

Eric Ball@@BigLeagueEballFeatured ColumnistJanuary 16, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 25: Offensive coordinator Mike Martz of the Chicago Bears watches warm-ups before a game against the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field on September 25, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Packers defeated the Bears 27-17. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The 2012 NFL season will be without one of the most influential coaches of the last decade-plus.

Offensive coordinator Mike Martz has reportedly decided to permanently hang up his whistle according to Jason La Confora of NFL.com:

According to ESPN, "Martz’s name was linked to the head-coaching openings at UCLA and Arizona State, as well as the Jacksonville Jaguars" before today’s announcement.

All of those rumors can now be put to bed.  

Martz, who was relieved of his duties as OC for the Chicago Bears earlier this month, hadn’t led a top-10 offense since 2004 and the loss of Jay Cutler this season was the nail in the coffin.

The 60-year-old started his coaching career in 1973 and was an offensive coordinator or assistant at Fresno State (’79), Pacific ('80-81), Minnesota (’82) and Arizona State ('83-91) before moving on to the NFL.

3 Dec 2000: Head Coach Mike Martz of the St. Louis Rams talks to Quarterback Kurt Warner #13 during the game against the Carolina Panthers at the Ericsson Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.  The Panthers defeated the Rams 16-3.Mandatory Credit: Scott H
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

He began his professional tenure with the LA Rams as a QB coach ('92-94), then a receivers coach with the St. Louis Rams (’95-96) before becoming QB coach with the Washington Redskins (’97-98), then offensive coordinator with the Rams (’99) before becoming head coach (’00-05). He then went back to being an OC with the Detroit Lions (’06-07), San Francisco 49ers (’08) and Chicago Bears (’10-11).

In other words, this guy has lived in almost every part of the country and coached all sorts of college and professional teams. His complex schemes weren’t for everybody, but they were perfect for Kurt Warner.

As offensive coordinator in ’99, the Rams won the Super Bowl and led the league with 526 points, which was the fourth highest in history at the time. As head coach in 2001 his Rams went a dominating 14-2 during the regular season and cruised to the Super Bowl before losing to Tom Brady.

Martz will forever be remembered for his days with the “Greatest Show on Turf” and his tendencies to fall in love with the pass.

The coaching world certainly lost a bright mind today and Martz won’t be forgotten anytime soon. 

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