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February 1, 2010

Bears hire Martz to be their offensive coordinator

By: Larry Mayer | Last Updated: 2/1/2010 10:06 PM

LAKE FOREST, Ill. – The Bears on Monday hired Mike Martz to be their offensive coordinator.

Lovie Smith and Mike Martz chat before a joint Bears-Rams practice at Western Illinois in 2004.
Martz, 58, worked with Bears coach Lovie Smith in St. Louis, operating an explosive Rams offense that was dubbed “The Greatest Show on Turf.” The unit featured quarterback Kurt Warner, running back Marshall Faulk, and wide receivers Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt.

As offensive coordinator under head coach Dick Vermeil in 1999, Martz helped the Rams win Super Bowl XXXIV by directing an offense that recorded the first of three straight 500-point seasons, an NFL record. 

In his first year as a starter, Warner passed for 4,353 yards and 41 touchdowns.

Martz replaced Vermeil as head coach in 2000 and went on to compile a 56-36 record in five and a half seasons in that role. The four coaches who have followed Martz have combined to go 18-51 since he left.

Martz hired Smith to be his defensive coordinator in 2001. In their first year together, they helped lead the Rams to their second Super Bowl in three seasons, cruising to a 14-2 record, including 8-0 on the road.

After departing St. Louis, Martz served as offensive coordinator with the Detroit Lions in 2006-07 and the San Francisco 49ers in 2008. In his first season with the Lions, unheralded quarterback Jon Kitna passed for a career-high 4,208 yards at the age of 34.

After serving as an offensive assistant at Arizona State from 1983-91, Martz coached quarterbacks and receivers with the Rams from 1992-96. He left St. Louis to become quarterbacks coach with the Washington Redskins in 1997-98 before returning to the Rams in 1999.

With the addition of Martz, Smith now has three former NFL head coaches on his staff. The other two are defensive line coach Rod Marinelli and new offensive line coach Mike Tice.

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