The article below originally appeared on ESPN Boston and is being reprinted with permission.
Martinez’s wife, Olivia, told the San Mateo Daily Journal that he died Tuesday after suffering a heart attack while receiving dialysis treatment. The San Francisco Chronicle reported he died in Redwood City.
“He was (67) and along with wife, Olivia, leaves three children . . . their spouses . . . six grandchildren and hundreds of young athletes in the Bay Area and around the country,” Olivia Martinez wrote in an email, the Daily Journal reported.
Brady posted a statement on his Facebook page.
“I am deeply saddened by the passing of my coach, mentor and friend,” he said. “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.”
The Patriots offered their condolences to the family on Tuesday night via Twitter.
“Our sincere condolences go out to the Martinez family & all those he mentored throughout his incredible career,” the team wrote.
Martinez, whose health had been declining due to complications from diabetes, was seeking a kidney transplant. He had been a mentor to many football players in the Bay Area.
“We were convinced the dialysis was slowly killing him,” Olivia Martinez told the New York Daily News on Tuesday. “This is just oh, so sad. He had so much to teach people.”
Brady’s father, Tom Brady Sr., called Tom Martinez’s passing “a big loss,” and called his son and Martinez “soul brothers.”
“Tom was just a terrific guy,” Brady Sr. told ESPNBoston.com’s Mike Reiss. “It’s just a real sad day because he has coached and mentored and parented so many kids for so many years. He was a tough coach who was extraordinarily well respected. He just loved his kids, loved to get the best out of them. When kids got out of his programs, they all came back to visit him. He was a real wonderful, wonderful guy.”
Brady Sr., repeating something he’s said in the past, told Reiss, “Without Tom Martinez, there never would have been a Tom Brady with the New England Patriots.”
In the days leading up to Super Bowl XLVI, Brady discussed the influence Martinez has had on his career.
“He’s obviously a great friend of mine and a great friend of my family’s, and has been for a long time. He taught me how to throw the football at a young age. I’m forever indebted to him,” Brady said at the time.
“We’ve worked together for over 20 years trying to work on my mechanics and nail those down. He’s had a great commitment to me. He’s always calling and texting and saying, ‘Get your shoulder down and get your arm up and close your left side and take a shorter stride.’
“Talk about a perfectionist, he’s a perfectionist and he doesn’t let anything slide with me. I owe so much to him. I love him. I love his family. He’s got a great family, and I enjoy being with him and working with him.”
On Twitter, Patriots receiver Julian Edelman said Tuesday: “RIP coach Tom Martinez. He was such a great mentor to many in the bay area. His legacy will always live on.”