Tuesday, February 17, 2004


Bowling Green, Ky. - Western Kentucky University head football coach David Elson announced Tuesday that defensive coordinator Don Martindale has resigned his position to accept a job with the National Football League's Oakland Raiders.

Martindale, who spent the last three seasons on the Hill, will work with linebackers in Oakland.

Martindale was promoted to defensive coordinator prior to the start of spring practice in April after serving as an assistant working with inside linebackers in his first two years. Western ranked in the top 10 nationally in both total (sixth / 283.69 yards allowed per game) and pass (eighth / 151.46 ypg) defense, and was among the top three in the Gateway Football Conference in all five statistical categories. ILB Erik Dandy was fourth in the country with 12.85 tackles per contest, while both Karl Maslowski and Charles Thompson averaged 10 or more stops per outing ? both Dandy and Maslowski would go on to earn All-America honors last year after helping the Toppers to a 9-4 finish and the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs.

Three of Western?s top five tacklers on a defense that led the Gateway Football Conference in all five major statistical categories in the regular season in 2002 were inside linebackers, with Thompson, Maslowski and Dandy combining to post 344 stops ? the former was ranked among the national leaders in both total and solo tackles, while the latter was selected second-team all-league despite missing the second half of the season with an injury.

In his first year on the Hill, his efforts helped Western field one of the top defenses in I-AA football, while Dandy ? then a sophomore ? earned All-American honors. Inside linebackers accounted for more than 300 stops as the team ranked in the top 10 in the country in rushing and scoring defense.

He came to WKU from Western Illinois, where he served as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach in 1999 ? the Leathernecks led the Gateway Conference in six statistical categories and were ranked in the top 20 in the nation in five categories that season. Among the players he coached was Edgerton Hartwell, the Gateway Defensive Player of the Year and an All-American in ?99, who went on to earn those same honors while also winning the Buck Buchanan Award one year later.

Prior to his work at WIU, he coached three seasons on the staff at Cincinnati, serving as linebackers coach and special teams coordinator the final two years after working as the defensive ends coach in his first season at the school. Martindale helped lead the Bearcats to the 1997 Humanitarian Bowl - UC's first bowl appearance in 50 years - as the defense was in the top five nationally both against the run and in turnovers forced, while the special teams unit led Conference USA in at least one category in both seasons he mentored the group.

Martindale also coached for two years at Notre Dame as a defensive assistant, helping the Fighting Irish reach the 1995 Fiesta Bowl and '96 Orange Bowl, and was the defensive coordinator at Defiance (Ohio) College ? where he earned his bachelor's degree in business education in 1986 and '87.