February 14, 2019 - 4:15 pm
Updated February 14, 2019 - 5:35 pm
OAKLAND, Calif. — Changes to the Raiders’ coaching staff for 2019 include the apparent departure of the first female assistant in franchise history.
Kelsey Martinez, a strength and conditioning assistant, no longer is listed as with the organization, according to the team’s website. She joined the club in early 2018 under Tom Shaw, the department’s then-coordinator who was dismissed in December. The Raiders also announced on Thursday five staff additions.
A.J. Neibel was hired as Shaw’s replacement.
This marks Neibel’s second tenure with the Raiders, having served as a strength and conditioning/sports medicine associate from 2003 to 2008. He spent 2017 and 2018 with the Jacksonville Jaguars after a six-year stint with the Atlanta Falcons.
Shaw’s other three assistants from last season — Deuce Gruden, Rick Slate and D’Anthony Batiste — remain in place.
Senior offensive assistant John Morton, defensive line coach Brenston Buckner, running backs coach Kirby Wilson and assistant defensive backs coach Taver Johnson were the others whose hiring the Raiders announced. Morton, who previously played and coached for the Raiders, last worked in the NFL as the New York Jets’ offensive coordinator in 2017.
Coach Jon Gruden still might be filling out his staff.
No replacements have been named for quarterbacks coach Brian Callahan or secondary coach Derrick Ansley. They accepted positions with the Tennessee Volunteers and Cincinnati Bengals, respectively. Gruden indicated in January that he probably would replace Callahan, though offensive coordinator Greg Olson’s presence mitigates the vacancy.
The Raiders did not return requests for comment on Martinez’s status.
She was well received within the organization. Special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia was among those who considered her a barrier-breaking example.
“I have five sisters, and I have three daughters,” Bisaccia said in August. “For them to be able to, along with all other females, see that she’s accomplished this goal is going to give them a chance to realize, ‘Wow, this is a path I can take.’ … She carries herself extremely professionally. She’s incredibly knowledgeable in what she’s trying to teach these guys. She hasn’t missed a beat with the players. …
“Once a pro player feels like you’re knowledgeable and you can help them get better, they’re going to listen to you. And I feel like with Kelsey, that was evident right away, not only to the coaches but certainly to the players.”