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Martinez's death hits Brady, who mourns loss of coach, friend

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  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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Tom Brady was a sixth-round draft pick who became a two-time NFL MVP and three-time Super Bowl champion.

And, Brady believes, he couldn't have done it without personal coach and good friend Tom Martinez, who died Tuesday in California after reportedly suffering a heart attack during a kidney dialysis session. It was Martinez's 66th birthday.

"I am deeply saddened by the passing of my coach, mentor and friend," Brady said Wednesday in a statement released on his official Facebook page. "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."

Martinez was known as one of the most successful coaches in California community college history. Complications from diabetes led to serious health issues late in Martinez's life, and he had been in need of a kidney transplant.

The quarterback-coach relationship started when Brady was a teenager growing up in San Mateo, where Martinez coached at College of San Mateo. Brady told reporters before this year's Super Bowl that Martinez taught him how to throw a football, and he was "forever indebted" to him.

Martinez was hired at College of San Mateo to coach football and teach physical education, but he added softball and women's basketball to his coaching load. His teams won 32 championships. He had 400 career wins in football, a state record 565 wins in basketball and 800 wins in softball over 32 years, acording to the San Mateo Daily Journal.

A memorial service for Martinez is scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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