DENVER — Mullen football is getting a makeover. Jeremy Bennett is transforming the coaching staff with some of his own from D'Evelyn, including assistant running backs coach Adrianna Martinez.
"Last year, I was presented with a pretty unique situation and I didn't hesitate," he said about the hire. "She has a great football mind and she's a former competitive athlete herself and an all-conference performer on the softball diamond. We brought her on and she did a great job!"
She'll be working side-by-side with her father and head running back coach Leonard Martinez, the same way they were last year with the Jaguars.
"I grew up watching my dad coach multiple sports and I saw how he was able to influence the kids he was coaching in a positive way and how they were able to grow, and I kind of wanted to help others do that too," she said.
Bennett was hired this off-season as the fourth head coach of the Mustangs in as many seasons, after they suffered their third-straight losing season. He hasn't met his entire team in person, due to the coronavirus outbreak. He introduced his team to the entire coaching staff via Zoom this spring. Adrianna was on the call.
"Adrianna brings this no-nonsense attitude, and when she's committed, she's committed," Bennett said. "We told the kids when we introduced them on a Zoom meeting to the coaching staff, make no bones about it, she's going to work you hard and she's going to ride you tough and she expects excellence because that's what she expects of herself."
Senior running back CJ Smith is up for the challenge.
"I was excited! I was like 'okay, something different, something different,' so I'm pretty excited this year," he said. "She's inspiring the younger generation and I'm pretty excited."
Inspiring the next crop, just like her role model Katie Sowers has been doing for the better part of this decade.
"The 49ers have a girl coach and they just went to the super bowl!" Smith shouted about Sowers, when asked if a coach can lead without ever stepping foot on a high school field.
Sowers did, however, play professional women's football. Martinez recognizes the level of difficulty it takes to reach the NFL.
"I think it's awesome how she's able to keep rising up in coaching and how she's one of the first female coaches and how she's able to handle all of the things that go with being a female coach in football," she said.
At the end of the day, it will be her ideology and not her biology, that earns her the respect of the Mustangs.
"Gender doesn't make you a coach; attitude, philosophy, and what you're about make you a coach," Bennett said. "She's a phenomenal young coach and she's only going to get stronger."
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