STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton Football announced Friday that longtime assistant coach and former player Marc Martinez has died following a car accident in the Stephenville area Friday morning.
“This is a terrible day in the Texan Football program,” head coach Todd Whitten said. “Coach Martinez was not only a great assistant coach, but he was a great leader, a great person, and a great friend. He has done an incredible job in helping boost this program to where it is today, and we’re beside ourselves that he is no longer with us. My heart breaks for his family, his wife Lacie, and his daughters, Estella and Camilla. We will miss him dearly.”
Martinez completed his sixth season as a full-time linebackers coach and his fifth as the program’s summer camp director in 2022, marking his eighth season with the Texan coaching staff overall.
“It’s hard to find the words when we lose a valued member of the Tarleton Athletics family, and to find out we lost Coach Martinez this morning was devastating,” Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Lonn Reisman said. “Not only was he a treasured member of the Tarleton Football coaching staff, he has been a treasured member of Tarleton Athletics for the past 12 years. Marc will be remembered for his great servitude and for his tremendous career as a true Tarleton Texan. We will miss Marc, and we pray for all of his family and friends.”
Martinez was an integral part of helping the Texans start their NCAA Division I reclassification with three straight winning seasons. In just his second full-time season in 2018, Martinez helped coach the Texan defense to the most successful season in school history. The Texans went 12-1, winning the first outright LSC title in program history and advanced to the NCAA regional finals with a No. 5 national ranking.
The Tarleton State alum has coached several all-conference linebackers, including the highest-drafted Texan in school history, E.J. Speed, who was picked in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts.
Martinez began his coaching career at Tarleton in 2015 as a graduate assistant coach for the defense, following a stellar four-year playing career for the Texans. He was a two-time All-LSC linebacker, capped off by his senior campaign when he topped the 100-tackle mark to lead the team. For his career, Martinez played in 35 games and was part of the 2013 Lone Star Conference Championship team. He amassed two interceptions, four forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries in his career while making 253 total tackles (119 solo). He made 17.0 tackles for a loss in his career and deflected seven passes.
Martinez earned his undergraduate degree and master’s degree from Tarleton. The 30-year-old leaves behind his wife, Lacie, and his two young daughters, Estella and Camilla.