Football Coaching Staff
Willie Martinez
Assistant Head Coach/Secondary
Coach Info:
Position: Assistant Head Coach/Secondary
Willie Martinez joined the UCF Football staff in December of 2017 as Assistant Head Coach and Secondary Coach.

He helped the Knights continue their success during the 2018 season, as UCF completed its second straight undefeated regular season, won another American Athletic Conference Championship, earned a berth to the 2019 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl and rose as high as seventh in both the AP Top 25 Poll and the Amway Coaches Poll.

With Martinez on staff, the Knights defense allowed just 22.7 points per game and ranked sixth in the nation with 28 forced turnovers. UCF racked up 8.2 tackles-for-loss per game, the fifth most in the nation, and had 29 sacks. Richie Grant led the way with six picks, the third most in the nation. Second half adjustments were key to the Knights' success, as opponents scored just 8.5 points per second half, including 3.3 points per third quarter.

Martinez mentored three defensive backs to all-conference honors in 2018, including American Athletic Conference First Team All-Conference selections Grant and Nevelle Clarke. Grant led the Knights with 109 tackles, had six interceptions and forced three fumbles from the safety position. Clarke had 46 tackles, 4.0 TFLs, two interceptions, and led the Knights with 13 pass breakups on the season.

Cornerback Brandon Moore also earned Honorable Mention All-Conference accolades after adding 43 tackles, one interception and 10 pass break-ups in 2018.

Martinez is a veteran of more than 30 years of college football coaching, including a previous stop at UCF. He coached the cornerbacks at Cincinnati in 2017. Prior to his time at Cincinnati, he coached from 2013-16 at Tennessee. With the Volunteers, Martinez coached the safeties for one season, before being elevated to assistant head coach and leading the entire secondary.

Martinez also has collegiate experience at Auburn (secondary, 2012), Oklahoma (secondary, 2010-11), Georgia (defensive coordinator/secondary, 2005-09; secondary, 2001-04), Central Michigan (assistant head coach/secondary, 2000; secondary 1998-99; secondary, 1994), Eastern Michigan (secondary, 1997); UCF (defensive coordinator/secondary; 1995-96); Grand Valley State (defensive coordinator/secondary, 1992-93), Bethune-Cookman (quarterbacks/wide receivers, 1988) and Miami (graduate assistant, 1985-86). Martinez has also spent three seasons coaching high school football in Florida early in his career.

Martinez has coached or played in 20 bowl games, been a part of six conference championship teams and won a national championship as a student-athlete at Miami in 1983.

Over the last 16 seasons, Martinez has mentored 16 all-conference selections, six All-America performers and 16 NFL Draft picks. Fourteen players he coached were on NFL rosters in 2016. At Tennessee, his defensive backs averaged more than 13 interceptions per season, including the 2014 team that ranked No. 15 in the nation with 16 picks.

During his two seasons at Oklahoma, Martinez helped the Sooners to a 23-5 record and a Big 12 title. During his tenure at Georgia, Martinez helped the Bulldogs to 90 victories, two Southeastern Conference titles, three division crowns, seven bowl victories and six Top 10 finishes. During the 2000 season, Martinez led a Central Michigan secondary that led the nation in passing defense.

Martinez is a 1985 graduate of Miami. He was an all-state selection and area defensive player of the year at Hollywood Hills High School.
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