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SEC Rivalry Reunites Coaches

Oct. 2, 2013

By Alex Cate
UTSports.com

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Assistant head coach Willie Martinez and defensive coordinator John Jancek will see a familiar face across the field from them Saturday.

Both served as assistants to Georgia head coach Mark Richt earlier in their coaching careers.

Martinez served the most time under Richt. Martinez was the Bulldogs' secondary coach from 2001-2004 and was promoted to defensive coordinator before the 2005 season and headed up the defensive efforts until his departure in 2009. During Martinez's time in Athens, he helped guide the Bulldogs to 90 wins, two SEC titles and three division crowns.

"The thing that I'll say to you is --- my daughters both graduated from there," said Martinez. "We've had some great memories. The nine years I was there, you're talking about the recruitment of a lot of great players. I have a lot of great relationships with coaches and the staff and also ex-players that have played there, so that's never going to go away."

Jancek took over the Georgia linebackers in 2005, just as Martinez was promoted to coordinator. He coached in that role until 2009 when he was promoted to co-coordinator alongside Martinez. After one season in that capacity he joined Vol head coach Butch Jones' staff in Cincinnati.

"I've got a lot of fond memories of the University of Georgia," Jancek said. "I've got a lot of great friends still on staff and still in the community. My children still have friends in the Athens area so that's a part of my life that I'll always remember and be thankful for but it's competition. It's a ball game and that's how we approach it. Its business and they're coming to Knoxville and it's going to be our intention to do our job to beat them."

 

 

Their time at Tennessee has been different than when they were at Georgia. When Jancek arrived in Athens, Martinez had the position of defensive coordinator. Now that they've come together again under Jones, it's Jancek who controls the defensive personnel.

If you ask either of them though, they'll tell you it basically hasn't changed anything.

"It's just the decision making process," said Jancek. "I'm going to have to have the final say on a lot the things we talk about but Willie is like a brother to me. It's like coming to work with your brother every day and so it's fun, it's exciting. We like to have a good time. We bounce a lot of ideas around and moving forward we just have to continue to grow and get better."

Richt said Thursday that even though he's close with the two Vol assistants, it's business as usual this weekend.

"We are competing," said Richt. "I don't think much about it during the week, I doubt [Martinez] thinks much about it. He is studying film, we are studying film, we are getting a plan, they are getting their guys ready to go emotionally and we are doing the same thing. I do love Willie and he is a good friend and certainly Coach Jancek, gotten to know him over the years too, just love him and his family. We go out and compete just like, I don't want to say like a spring game, you just kind of get used to going after each other. Even when they were here it was offense versus defense a lot, there was a lot of that competition going on all the time."

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