Tom Brady QB
February 28, 2012 by staff
Tom Brady QB, At 1 p.m. Tuesday, Tom Martinez, the mechanical muse behind New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s unmatched success, visited the Satellite Dialysis center in Redwood City. Calif. His wife, Olivia, dropped him off at the single-floor facility, just as she had six days per week in the last month, but this one would turn tragically different. She soon received a call from the staff advising her that her husband had suffered a heart attack and was nonresponsive. He died on his 66th birthday.
“He just took a deep breath and was gone,” Olivia Martinez said.
Martinez suffered through continuous kidney issues and complications from Type 2 diabetes as he continued to be consumed by football and coach protégés ranging from Brady to current college prospects. His health declined precipitously over the summer as he sought a kidney transplant, but the dialysis – a process that alternately weakened and sustained him – left him drained in recent days.
“We were convinced the dialysis was slowly killing him,” said his wife of 46 years. “UCLA (Medical Center) just couldn’t be bothered to take someone at such high risk.”
He was given a month to live in June, and was rejected by UCLA for a kidney transplant. He had at least 75 donors being tested for a match, and was ready to enroll in a program at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore but did not find the right match in time.
“He was working his butt off,” said Paul Dooley, a co-founder of MatchingDonors.com, the non-profit company connecting donors with Martinez.
His tireless work ethic eventually took its toll. At one time, Martinez carried out the responsibilities of three men while coaching two sexes. Hired at San Mateo, a junior college in the San Francisco peninsula’s foothills, to fill in for a female staff member leaving on sabbatical, he stayed 32 years, collecting 1,400 wins in football, women’s basketball and softball. His offenses on the football field moved menacingly, once registering 808 yards (606 in the air) during a 62-56 shootout victory. He gained enough recognition as a throwing technician to attract prospects such as Brady for private sessions.
Martinez, who knew Brady’s father, also Tom, since high school, worked with the three-time Super Bowl winner since his start at Junipero Serra High in San Mateo. He worked with Brady through this season, going so far as to take cross-country trips to tinker with his form. The quarterback responded, ripping off a solid year and leaving a legacy forever linking success to Martinez.
“Without Tom Martinez there sure as heck is no Tom Brady,” Brady’s father told the Daily News in October.
Even in the days before Brady’s Patriots lost to the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI, the quarterback consulted his guru via text message. His cell phone, which played “Bad to the Bone” on its voice mail, was always open to inquiring quarterbacks.
“This is just oh, so sad,” Olivia Martinez said. “He had so much to teach people.”
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