Tom Martinez, the Northern California coaching legend whose most famous pupil is Tom Brady, died yesterday on his 66th birthday.
Brady released a statement on the passing of his longtime mentor and friend, via his Facebook page:
"I am deeply saddened by the passing of my coach, mentor and friend. Coach Martinez's invaluable assistance and support will never be forgotten and will always have a lasting impact on my life. The time we spent together remain some of my fondest memories. His legacy of commitment, toughness and determination will live on forever." Tom
Brady's father first took him to see Martinez when the young quarterback was just 13, and he continued to work with the longtime College of San Mateo coach through this past season.
As Martinez's health began to decline because of diabetes, Brady used his name to try to get Martinez the kidney he needed, posting an appeal on his Facebook page for the MatchingDonors program.
But a match never came. Martinez reportedly suffered a heart attack yesterday during one of his four-times-a-week dialysis treatments.