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Martinez’s name popping up for DC jobs; what’s it mean?

Travis Haney Published: January 6, 2012
Willie Martinez, file photo
Willie Martinez, file photo
CAMPUS CORNER — Got in from a run (what January weather!), to notice Oklahoma secondary coach Willie Martinez‘s name had popped up for not one but two BCS defensive coordinator jobs.

The Big Ten Network’s Tom Dienhart tweeted (I think, anyway) that Martinez is in play for the DC job at Illinois, where Tim Beckman has just taken over. The Kansas Rivals site has also linked Martinez to the KU DC job, on Charlie Weis‘ new staff. Those are new coaches who at least present the promise of winning at those particular institutions. Pretty good jobs, really, if you’re a secondary coach at a big-name school.

More than that, I think it’s significant that Martinez’s name has surfaced for multiple jobs quite suddenly — suddenly to me, anyway. Both hit my radar in about a 10-minute span.

You don’t have to do a lot of dot-connecting to think Bob Stoops might have told Martinez to look around for a job, as a professional courtesy. Stoops doesn’t want to fire anyone — but he also needs a spot for Mike Stoops, if he is indeed coming back in some capacity. And that’s precisely the capacity that makes the most sense. Mike would take over the secondary and share the co-DC title with Brent Venables, who would continue to work with the linebackers.

To be fair, our dot-connecting work this time of the year isn’t always failsafe. We read into the fact that Bobby Jack Wright was the only assistant coach to get a post-bowl Gatorade bath. That was coincidence, Bob Stoops told us the following day. He said Wright wasn’t fast enough to get away from some of the Sooners. Seemed at the time that Wright might be moving upstairs to some kind of administrative role. Maybe he still is. But perhaps that’s not the spot for Mike Stoops, specifically.

So it goes this time of year. Stay tuned. As I’ve been saying, the coaches’ convention – which begins Sunday in San Antonio – is often a place of movement. Just note the significance of Martinez’s name hitting the open market; that’s rarely, if ever, coincidence.

= Trav

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