American Football Database
Ed Marinaro
No. 49     
Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1950-03-31) March 31, 1950 (age 72)
Place of birth: New York, New York
Career information
College: Cornell
NFL Draft: 1972 / Round: 2 / Pick: 50
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
* Minnesota Vikings ( 1972 1975)
Career highlights and awards
* 1971 Maxwell Award
  • NFC Champion (1973, 1974)
Rushing yards     1,319
Average     3.4
Rushing touchdowns     6
Stats at
College Football Hall of Fame

Ed Marinaro (born March 31, 1950) is a former American football player and actor. In 1971, he finished as a runner-up to Pat Sullivan for the Heisman Trophy, and from 2010–2011 starred in the football comedy series, Blue Mountain State. He is also known as a regular cast member on Hill Street Blues, playing Officer Joe Coffey for five seasons (1981–1986).

Football career

Marinaro played high school football in New Milford, New Jersey, for the New Milford High School Knights.[1]

Marinaro played college football at Cornell University, where he set over 16 NCAA records. He was the first running back in NCAA history to run for 4,000 career rushing yards and led the nation in rushing in both 1970 and 1971.

Marinaro was runner-up to Pat Sullivan for the Heisman Trophy in 1971, the highest finish for an Ivy League player since the league de-emphasized football in the mid-1950s. Princeton's Dick Kazmaier won the award in 1951 when the Ivy was still considered a major football conference. Marinaro won the 1971 Maxwell Award and the UPI College Football Player of the Year as the top player in college football. He holds two NCAA records: most rushes per game in a season (39.6 in 1971) and career average carries per game (34.0, 1969–71).

While at Cornell, Marinaro was a member of Psi Upsilon and was selected for membership in the Sphinx Head Society. He went on to play professional football for six seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets and Seattle Seahawks, appearing in Super Bowl VIII and Super Bowl IX with the Vikings. He scored 13 touchdowns over his career.

Marinaro was inducted in the College Football Hall of Fame in 1991.

Acting career

After leaving football, Marinaro became an actor. He has been a cast member on a number of television series, including Laverne & Shirley and Sisters. He joined the regular cast of Hill Street Blues in 1981 playing officer Joe Coffey until 1986. He also appeared in the 2006 film Circus Island.

Marinaro played the head football coach for three seasons on Spike TV's comedy, Blue Mountain State.

In September 2019, Marinaro will appear as a guest on Turner Classic Movies, appearing in wraparounds with Ben Mankiewicz to introduce a series of films centered around college football.[2]

Personal life

Marinaro has a son, Eddie, with fitness expert Tracy York.[3]

Filmography (selected)

  • Fingers (1978) – Gino
  • The Gong Show Movie (1980) – Man in Locker Room
  • Hill Street Blues (1981–1986, TV series) – Officer Joe Coffey
  • Dead Aim (1987) – Malcolm 'MACE' Douglas
  • Queens Logic (1991) – Jack
  • Sisters (1991–1994, TV series) – Mitch Margolis
  • Amy Fisher: My Story (1992) – Joey Buttafuoco
  • The Protector (1998) – Gabriel
  • Circus Camp (2006) – Carlos Carrera
  • Fist of the Warrior (2007) – Raymond Miles
  • Offer and Compromise (2016) – Carl
  • Blue Mountain State: The Rise of Thadland (2016) – Coach Marty Daniels

See also


  1. Rohan, Virginia. "North Jersey-bred and talented too"[dead link], The Record (Bergen County), June 18, 2007. Accessed June 25, 2007. "Ed Marinaro: Class of 1968, New Milford High School"
  3. Sports Illustrated, July 2, 2007, p. 120

External links