One of the most innovative and polarizing coaches of his era won’t be coaching any longer.
NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora reports that Mike Martz has decided to retire at the age of 61.
Martz was with the Bears as their offensive coordinator the last two years. His contract was up this offseason and it appeared that both the Bears and Martz were ready to move on from that relationship.
The news is a little curious considering that rumors were floated two months ago that Martz was interested in the Arizona State coaching job and other college possibilities. It could be that Martz didn’t see an obvious fit for a job in 2012 and thought hard about how much longer he wants to continue as an assistant.
Martz’s legacy will be of eye-popping offenses and unfulfilled potential. His “Greatest Show on Turf” offense when he was a coordinator with St. Louis in 1999 was years ahead of the rest of the NFL.
The offense was even better when he was the head coach of the 2001 Rams, but they fell to the Patriots in the Super Bowl in part due to Martz’s stubborn and singular offensive approach.
That was arguably the greatest Super Bowl upset of all time, and Martz was never quite the same afterwards. He never made it back to a conference championship game, and left the team in 2005 amidst health problems and organizational in-fighting.
Martz had short stints in Detroit, San Francisco, and Chicago as a coordinator since then.
While Martz wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, he was undeniably an influential coaching figure over the last 15 years. There wasn’t anyone quite like him.