Originally created 11/29/06

Martinez interviews at FIU



Georgia defensive coordinator Willie Martinez interviewed to become the head coach at Florida International after the Miami school contacted the South Florida native.

The Sun Belt conference program is replacing Don Strock, who resigned on Nov. 15.

"I was contacted by Florida International and at their request I did go down for an interview," Martinez said Tuesday through an athletic department spokesman. "Most assistant coaches have aspirations to be a head coach some day, so it's flattering any time someone calls with some interest. But I really don't know what, if anything, would be the next step in this process."

Martinez is one of five leading candidates for the job, according to the Miami Herald, which reported that he interviewed over the weekend. Martinez was in Athens on Tuesday.

Florida International athletic director Pete Garcia is a 1984 graduate of Miami and a former Hurricanes recruiting coordinator and associate athletic director.

Martinez played defensive back for the Hurricanes from 1981-84 and was a graduate assistant there.

Garcia did not return a message on Tuesday.

Florida International is one of only two winless schools in Division I-A and made national news on Oct. 14 in a game against Miami when players from both schools were involved in a brawl. Two players were booted from the team and 16 suspended indefinitely.