Auburn announces hiring of Martinez

Former Georgia defensive coordinator Willie Martinez has officially joined the Auburn coaching staff.

Martinez will coach the Tigers defensive backs and had been the front-runner to replace Phillip Lolley for more than a week. Auburn officials announced Martinez's hiring on Friday.

Having spent the past two seasons on Oklahoma's staff, Martinez reunites with an old friend at Auburn -- defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder. The two worked together at Georgia from 2001-04, and Martinez actually replaced VanGorder as the Bulldogs' defensive coordinator when VanGorder left for a job on the Jacksonville Jaguars staff. They also worked together at Central Michigan and Central Florida.

“I’ve had the pleasure to know Coach (Gene) Chizik and other members of this staff for a long time, and I share their energy and passion for the game of football and developing young men," Martinez said.