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Tom Martinez, Tom Brady’s mentor, dead at 66

Maggie Hendricks
Shutdown Corner

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Brady and Martinez (Pro Football Talk)

Tom Martinez, the coach who mentored New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, died Tuesday after suffering a heart attack during dialysis. The man known as "The Quarterback Whisperer" was in need of a kidney transplant due to diabetes complications.

Martinez first came into Brady's life when the future MVP was just 13. He signed up for a quarterback clinic and then worked with Martinez for the rest of his career. Brady said he would never be the quarterback he is today without Martinez's help.

"He's a great friend of mine for a very long time and taught me how to throw a football at a very young age," Brady told ABC News in January. "He's been looking for a kidney for quite a while."

Brady used his platform in the Super Bowl to encourage organ donation.

People from around the NFL immediately reacted to Martinez's passing. Brady's teammate, Julian Edelman, tweeted, "RIP coach Tom Martinez. He was such a great mentor to many in the bay area. His legacy will always live on." Brady's father told CSN New England, "There are a lot of sad people in San Mateo County tonight."

Martinez's impact was felt beyond football. He coached football, women's basketball and softball at the College of San Mateo, where he won a combined 1,100 games. He was 66 years old.

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