STEPHENVILLE, Texas (FOX 44) – Tarleton Football is mourning the loss of one of its own.

Longtime assistant coach and former player Marc Martinez died following a car accident in the Stephenville area on Friday morning, according to the Athletics Department.

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. He was an integral part of helping the Texans start their NCAA Division I reclassification with three straight winning seasons.

The Athletics Department says that in Martinez’s second full-time season in 2018, he 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 University 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 started his coaching career at Tarleton in 2015 as a graduate assistant coach for the defense, following a 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 Martinez’s career, he 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. He leaves behind his wife, Lacie, and his two young daughters, Estella and Camilla.