DEFENSIVE COACHING STAFF
MARCUS PATTON | DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR
When the 2019 football season begins, Marcus Patton will start his fourth season as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach for Texan Football.
Patton and the Tarleton defense are coming off the most impressive season in school history. With Patton calling the defense, the Texans allowed just 16.4 points per game and only 300 yards per contest en route to the first outright LSC title in program history and advancing to the NCAA regional finals with a 12-1 record and a No. 5 national ranking. The 214 points allowed are the fewest for the Texans in the NCAA era.
The Texan defense recorded 17 interceptions and had 33 sacks in 13 games. The defense also posted two shutouts – including a 58-0 rout over No. 24 Azusa Pacific in the first round of the NCAA Division II playoffs. The Texan defense had four defensive touchdowns on the year. The rushing defense was one of the best in the country, holding teams to only 101.2 yards per game and just 2.7 yards per rush.
He coached the LSC Defensive Back of the Year in Devin Hafford and had 13 all-conference defensive players. Patton coached three All-American’s in Hafford (CB), Tyrell Thompson (DT) and Jai Edwards (FS). Patton coached a pair of defenders who went on to the NFL in linebacker EJ Speed, who was drafted in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts, the highest draft pick in program history, and Tyrell Thompson, who signed a free agent deal with the Los Angeles Rams.
In his debut season with the purple and white, Patton went to work in turning around a Tarleton defense that surrendered the most yards in school history the season before. In Patton’s debut season, the Texans improved dramatically by improving their points and yards allowed by large margins. The Texans saw an improvement of 120.9 yards and 13.5 points per game from 2015 to 2016 under Patton in his debut campaign, including a starring showcase against Eastern New Mexico on Oct. 15, 2016 when Patton’s defense held the No. 2-ranked rushing offense to 100 yards below its season average in a 26-16 road victory.
He coached Tarleton’s Cody Burtscher to one of the most decorated seasons by a single player in school history as the senior was named first-team All-LSC, All-Region, AFCA All-America, and the Lone Star Conference Linebacker of the Year under Patton’s leadership. In addition to Burtscher, Patton’s defense also boasted EJ Speed, who earned second-team honors and led the nation in forced fumbles, as well as honorable mention All-LSC players Dominique Martin, Chase Varnado, Basil Jackson, and Treston Ridge.
He followed that up in 2017 by keeping the Texan Defense among the top four in the Lone Star Conference in Scoring Defense (27.8). Tarleton held six of its 12 opponents in 2017 to 24 points or fewer, which included keeping Western Oregon to a season-low six points in the Homecoming Game.
In his two seasons at Tarleton, Patton has coached a large share of All-Conference athletes. Including Burtscher in 2016, Patton has had 12 different All-LSC honors. In 2017, junior DT Tyrell Thompson joined the elite list of Tarleton All-Americans after being named a Don Hansen national honorable mention award winner.
Patton came to Tarleton after spending the 2014-15 seasons as the defensive coordinator at Colorado Mesa. In 2015, his Maverick defense was one of the best in the nation and finished in the top-10 in the country in multiple defensive categories including: fourth-down conversion defense, defensive touchdowns scored, and turnover margin with 28 defensive takeaways including 19 interceptions. Mesa also finished No. 11 in the nation in red-zone defense and No. 12 in the nation in scoring defense after allowing just 17.8 points per game.
“In today’s football, there’s going to be a lot of offense,” said Patton. “People are going to score points in today’s game, but you have to be able to play good enough defense to give yourself a chance to win the game in the fourth quarter. It’s unrealistic to think that you can hold teams to the zero-to-three-point range, but we want to keep it manageable and give ourselves a chance to win the game. We’re going to do that with fundamental defense.
“I think one of my big strengths is teaching the fundamentals,” he continued. “We need to be able to tackle, be tough, and fly around. You can talk schematics all you want, but I’m a believer that you win football games with tackling and taking on blocks.”
Patton, who has also spent time as a collegiate assistant coach at Fairmont State, Seton Hill, UCLA, Indiana State, and South Florida, played football for Kansas State University from 2000-04. He joins former Wildcat, Jonathan Beasley, on the Tarleton coaching staff and was a student-athlete when Assistant Athletic Director for Athletic Performance Rod Cole was the head strength and conditioning coach for Coach Bill Snyder’s team. Patton was also teammates with NFL athletes Darren Sproles, Jordy Nelson, and Terrence Newman.
"Patton was an outstanding player at Kansas State and he's proven to be an outstanding coach. I'm very excited to have him at Tarleton," said Cole.
A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Patton earned a bachelor’s degree in social science from Kansas State and then went on to coach four seasons at the high school level in Florida before returning to the college ranks as a defensive assistant. In his career, he has coached numerous all-conference players and had an NCAA All-American at Colorado Mesa in 2015. He has had over 10 former players continue their careers at the NFL level and was responsible for recruiting even more that went on to play professionally.
“I'm excited to be at Tarleton and coach alongside Coach Whitten because he is a winner,” said Patton. “He has won here before. He showed me the vision of this school, and also being able to recruit football in the state of Texas, were big draws to making this decision for me. This is an opportunity where special things can be accomplished. I’m a competitor and this is an opportunity for me to come in and potentially win a national championship.”
MARC MARTINEZ | Assistant Football Coach (LB/Camp Director)
When the 2019 football season begins, Marc Martinez will begin his third season as a full-time linebackers’ coach for Tarleton state, second season as the program’s Summer Camp Director, and fifth season with the Texan coaching staff overall after spending two seasons as a graduate assistant coach.
In just his second full-time season in 2018, Martinez helped coach the Texan defense to the most successful season in school history. The Texans went 12-1, winning the first outright LSC title in program history and advanced to the NCAA regional finals with a No. 5 national ranking.
Martinez coached a trio of all-conference linebackers in EJ Speed, Ronnell Wilson and Gary Moore. Speed went on to become the highest drafted Texan in school history after being picked in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL draft by the Indianapolis Colts. Speed led the Texans with 106 tackles while Moore and Speed combined for 10.5 of the 33 sacks on the season. The Texan defense held teams to just 101.2 rushing yards per game and the 214 points allowed is the lowest in the NCAA era for the Texans.
In his first full-time season in 2017, Martinez helped coach Basil Jackson into one of the top linebackers in the country. Jackson led the nation in tackles per game for most of the season and finished the season as an All-LSC Second Team and all-region award winner.
Over his two seasons as a graduate assistant coach, Martinez helped turn former running back Cody Burtscher into one of the most decorated Texans to don the purple and white. Under Martinez’s leadership, Burtscher finished his senior season as a first-team All-LSC, all-region, and AFCA All-America selection as well as being named the Lone Star Conference Linebacker of the Year in 2016.
Martinez made the transition from the gridiron to the sidelines following a stellar four-year playing career for the Texans, including an all-conference senior season as the team’s leading tackler.
He was a two-time all-LSC linebacker capped off by his senior campaign when he topped the 100-tackle mark to lead the Texans. He made 44 solo stops while assisting on 66 and leading the nation with four fumble recoveries. He also made 5.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage in his swan song season for the Purple and White.
For his career, Martinez played in 35 games over three seasons and was a part of the 2013 Lone Star Conference Championship team. He amassed two interceptions, four forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries in his career while making 253 total tackles, including 119 solo stops. He made 17.0 tackles for a loss in his career and deflected seven passes.
Martinez graduated with his undergraduate degree and master’s degree from Tarleton. He currently resides in Stephenville with his wife, Lacie, and daughter, Estella.
EDDIE JONES | Assistant Football Coach (DL)
When the 2019 football season begins, Eddie Jones will begin his first season as the Defensive Line coach at Tarleton.
Jones comes to Tarleton with an impressive football resume, which begins with a standout playing career at Kilgore High School. As a prep star, Jones was one of the top defensive linemen in the state of Texas and recorded over 300 tackles in his high school career, including 28 sacks, eight forced fumbles, and eight fumble recoveries.
At Kilgore, Jones was named a Parade All-American, All-USA First Team by USA Today, and an EA Sports All-American. He was a three-sport athlete – also starring on the basketball court and baseball diamond – and racked up numerous district accolades throughout his high school career, including 17-4A District MVP honors as a senior in football.
Following an All-American high school career, Jones earned a spot on the Texas Longhorns football team. He played for the Longhorns for five seasons, earning honorable mention All-Big XII status as a senior. He made over 110 tackles and 13.5 sacks in his career to go along with 24 tackles for a loss, two interceptions and two forced fumbles.
As a junior, Jones played in 14 games at defensive end and special teams. He helped Texas reach the BCS National Championship game and made two tackles in that game. He was also a member of UT’s Athletic Director’s Honor Roll and the Student-Athlete Advisory Council, as well as being heavily involved within the community.
From there, Jones went on to spend two seasons in the NFL between the New York Jets and St. Louis Rams. He was promoted to the active roster for the first time with the Jets on October 8, 2011.
Jones began his coaching career at Hyde Park Baptist High School in Austin, where he spent one season coaching the defensive and offensive lines and special teams. The following summer, Jones moved on to junior college powerhouse, Blinn, where he spent the last four seasons. The Buccaneers have won 23 games over the last four seasons with Jones on the sideline, including a 7-4 mark last year having improved their rushing defense over 60 fewer yards per game. Blinn’s defense last season with Jones as the Co-Defensive Coordinator led the nation in sacks with 55. His defensive line accounted for 42.
Jones graduated with two degrees from the University of Texas. He completed a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology in 2009 and a bachelor’s degree in education in 2010. He returned to school recently and completed a master’s degree in sports medicine from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in 2018.
He has a daughter, Maliyah Skye, who resides in Austin.