WACO, Texas — The Tarleton and Midway communities are still mourning Marc Martinez, who was killed in a car accident on Feb. 10, 2023.
Marc Martinez was a star linebacker and running back for the Midway Panthers, who then played for Tarleton State wracking up 235 tackles during his time with the Texans.
After hanging up his pads, Martinez still repped the purple, but this time on the sidelines as the Texan's linebacker coach for six years.
"He's probably the best football player I've ever coached," Shane Anderson, the current Midway head coach who served as the assistant coach during Martinez's sophomore year, said. "He could play all 22 positions. There wasn't anything he couldn't do."
Martinez was a husband, father, coach and friend who started his football career in a number 32 Midway Panther jersey.
"When you think of a Midway football player you think of a tough, hard nosed kid that does everything right on and off the field, and that's who he was," Anderson said.
With dreams and aspirations to eventually coach at the highest level, one tragic day changed everything.
On February 10th, Martinez was taken from this Earth after dying in a car accident at just 30 years old.
"It was just a few weeks before he passed in the car accident," Anderson said. "That kind of hit home because I had just talked to him."
After serving as the Central Texas area recruiter for Tarleton football, Martinez made many trips to this part of the state. Every time Martinez was in Waco, he would connect with his former coach.
"When he would come through recruiting in Central Texas he would always come by," Anderson said. "We would talk a little bit about football, and a whole lot about his little girls."
Shoemaker head coach, Toby Foreman, loved nothing more than when Martinez would stop by on his Tarleton recruiting tour.
"Our kids responded well to his recruiting style because he'll sit down with you and he just feels like he's part of the family," Toby Foreman, Shoemaker head football coach, said. "He feels like he's on our staff here because of how he connects with our kids."
This was the kind of feeling Martinez brought everywhere, whether it was during his high school days at Midway, in pads at Tarleton, or on the sidelines as the linebackers coach for his alma mater.
"You knew what kind of person he was and you know where he's at now," Anderson said. "At the end of the day, you can't question things like this. You just have to try to move on and search for some peace and understanding."
Martinez leaves behind his wife, Lacie, and two young daughters, Estelle and Camille. A service was held to honor his life on February 16th in Stephenville.
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