Tom Martinez, one of the most successful community college coaches ever, and the man known for being Tom Brady's football mentor for close to a quarter-century, was recently given just a week to a month to live as a result of complications arising from his longtime struggle with diabetes.
The Martinez family, specifically Mr. Martinez's daughter, went on Facebook to announce his current condition in his own words.
"We have received some bad news that I wanted to share with all of you. I have been given a week to a month to live, depending on my body's response to medication. I want to thank you for the relationship that we shared and the friendships that allowed me to have a very successful career. As much as I would like to talk to you each in person, that is not feasible so please respect my family's need for some privacy now.
"If the number of lives that I've been involved with are in the thousands, then it isn't possible to talk to each and every one of you. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to teach and coach you all and I ask that you take one or two of my life lessons and pass them on to your family and friends and that will keep me alive forever. With much love and appreciation, I wish all of you a very successful and fulfilled life. TM."
Known in recent years as "The Quarterback Whisperer," Martinez won more than 1,100 combined games in three different sports at the College of San Mateo, serving as a coach for football, women's basketball and softball. He has worked with Brady, who grew up in San Mateo, for 25 years and had a training session with the future Hall of Famer just recently.
Peter King of Sports Illustrated recently spoke with Brady about Martinez and shared the following message via Twitter:
The relationship between Brady and Martinez began when Brady was in high school and continued through the quarterback's time at Michigan and with the New England Patriots. Martinez retired from his coaching job in 2005 due to ill heath, but his services as a quarterback guru had become very much in demand in recent years because of his success helping Brady. He also worked with Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel, who replaced Brady for most of the 2008 season in New England after Brady suffered a knee injury.
"This will be such a loss to so many kids on the Peninsula, not to have him be there as a mentor,'' Tom Brady Sr., recently told the San Jose Mercury News. "In our family he helped all three of our daughters and our son as recently as last Sunday. He had just got out of the hospital Saturday, but on Sunday he was sitting in his chair directing what was to be done. He is one of the great tacticians ever. His passing will be a major loss."
Martinez is a member of the College of San Mateo's Hall of Fame, a ring of honor that also includes former NFL coaches Bill Walsh, Dick Vermeil, John Madden, Walt Harris and Ted Tollner.
- Tom Brady