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Steve Mariucci
Steve Mariucci 2011
Mariucci at the 2011 NFL Draft
Personal information
Date of birth (1955-11-04) November 4, 1955 (age 63)
Place of birth Iron Mountain, Michigan
Career information
Position(s) Head Coach
Quarterback
College Northern Michigan
Stats
Coaching stats Pro Football Reference
Coaching stats DatabaseFootball
Team(s) as a player
1974–1977 Northern Michigan University
Team(s) as a coach/administrator
1985
1990-1991
1992-1995
1996
1997–2002
2003–2005
Orlando Renegades (WR)
Cal (OC)
Green Bay Packers (QB)
Cal (HC)
San Francisco 49ers (HC)
Detroit Lions (HC)

Stephen Ray "Steve" Mariucci (born November 4, 1955) is a former National Football League coach. He coached for the San Francisco 49ers and most recently for the Detroit Lions.

Early careerEdit

Mariucci was born and raised in Iron Mountain, Michigan, and was a three-time All-America (Division II) quarterback at Northern Michigan University (NMU) in Marquette. In 1975, he quarterbacked NMU to the NCAA Division II National Football Championship.

He began his coaching career at his alma mater (1978–79), and moved to Cal State Fullerton (1980–82) and Louisville (1983–84). Mariucci's first pro position was as a receivers coach for the USFL's Orlando Renegades in 1985. Later that fall, he had a brief stint with the Los Angeles Rams as quality control coach.

He joined the USC staff in 1986 and then moved to the coaching staff at California in 1987. In 1990–91, he served as the Golden Bears' Offensive Coordinator before being appointed as QB coach for the Green Bay Packers.

After four years as quarterback coach for the Green Bay Packers, Mariucci returned to Cal as Head Coach in 1996 where the team finished 6–6, including a loss in the Aloha Bowl to the U.S. Naval Academy.

Coaching career in professional footballEdit

Following his season with the Golden Bears, Mariucci was considered a leading candidate for several NFL coaching positions, and was hired to coach the San Francisco 49ers.

Mariucci's 1997 team went 13–3 during the regular season, earning home-field advantage in the NFC. After defeating the Minnesota Vikings in the Divisional Playoffs, San Francisco hosted the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game, but lost 23–10 in a muddy, rainy contest at Candlestick Park. The defeat was the 49ers fourth NFC title loss of the 1990s, following losses to the New York Giants in 1990 and the Dallas Cowboys in 1992 and 1993. In 1998, the 49ers posted a 12–4 record and returned to the playoffs as a wild card team, but lost 20–18 in the divisional round to the eventual NFC champion Atlanta Falcons. Two losing seasons followed, but in 2001, the 49ers returned to the playoffs after a 12–4 season, once again to be eliminated by the Packers.

Mariucci's final season in San Francisco was 2002. The 49ers won the NFC West with a 10–6 record and beat the New York Giants in a controversial wild-card game, posting the second-biggest comeback playoff victory in NFL history. However, they were crushed 31–6 by the eventual Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the divisional round. On January 15, 2003, the 49ers fired Mariucci, reportedly after the coach lost a power struggle with general manager Terry Donahue.[1] As San Francisco's coach, he compiled a 60–43 (.583) record, while his teams earned playoff berths four times.

Mariucci was named the Lions' 22nd head coach on February 4, 2003, and was fired on November 28, 2005. In his 2+ years in Detroit, he compiled a disappointing 15–28 record. Mariucci's troubles in Detroit were partially attributed by many fans and experts to poor personnel evaluations by then Lions' General Manager Matt Millen, who had signed Mariucci to a five-year $25 million guaranteed contract, the NFL's highest coaching contract at the time. During his time in Detroit, the Lions never finished higher than third in their division and never contended for a playoff berth. The decision to fire Mariucci came after a 27–7 blowout loss on national television on Thanksgiving Day to the Atlanta Falcons.

During the Brett FavreGreen Bay Packers dispute throughout the 2008 off-season, Favre discredited the Packers for not interviewing Mariucci for their head coaching job in 2006. Mariucci, who previously worked with Favre, was figured to be a great candidate for the West Coast Offense style played in Green Bay.

Mariucci is one of thirteen head coaches since the AFL–NFL merger in 1970 to lead his team to a division title in his first season. Mariucci established an NFL mark for consecutive wins by a rookie head coach with an 11-game winning streak, which has since been trumped by Jim Caldwell's 14–0 start with the Indianapolis Colts during the 2009 season.

During coverage for NFL Combine, he had been mocked for cutting Jerry Rice and Kurt Warner.[2]

Head coaching recordEdit

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
WonLostTiesWin %Finish Won Lost Win % Result
SF1997 1330.8131st in NFC West 1 1 .500 Lost to Green Bay Packers in NFC Championship Game.
SF1998 1240.7502nd in NFC West 1 1 .500 Lost to Atlanta Falcons in Divisional Playoffs.
SF1999 4120.2504th in NFC West
SF2000 6100.3754th in NFC West
SF2001 1240.7502nd in NFC West 0 1 .000 Lost to Green Bay Packers in Wild card game.
SF2002 1060.6251st in NFC West 1 1 .500 Lost to Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Divisional playoffs.
SF Total57390.59434.429
DET2003 5110.3134th in NFC North
DET2004 6100.3753rd in NFC North
DET2005 470.3643rd in NFC North
DET Total15280.349
Total[3]72670.518 3 4 .429

After coachingEdit

Since being fired by the Detroit Lions, Mariucci has not returned to coaching. He has since been hired by NFL Network to work on their show NFL GameDay and contribute as an analyst on NFL Network’s four-hour pregame show "NFL GameDay Morning", as well as provide follow-up reports from the late afternoon and Sunday night matchups on "NFL GameDay Highlights". In a notable event in 2011, Joe Theismann mistakenly called Danny Woodhead "Danny Woodcock", causing Mariucci and Deion Sanders to laugh uncontrollably.

It was speculated that Mariucci would be considered for the head coaching position at Michigan State after the dismissal of John L. Smith. However, Mark Dantonio was hired to replace Smith. Mariucci had been a prospective coach to replace Karl Dorrell at UCLA but such assertions were dismissed with the hiring of Ravens Offensive Coordinator and UCLA alumnus, Rick Neuheisel. He was also speculated to be in talks with the Washington Redskins, who have hired West Coast-style offense personnel since Joe Gibbs' second retirement.[4] However, the Redskins named former Seahawks' QB coach Jim Zorn as the Head Coach.[5]

Mariucci now resides in Monte Sereno, California. He has four children – Stephen, Tyler, Adam, and Brielle. Stephen and Adam are founders and frontmen to their pop-rock band The Relay Company.[6] His eldest son Tyler is working in intercollegiate athletics at Fresno State as the Director of Major Gifts.

Shortly after Pete Carroll left USC, Mariucci was reportedly seen on campus,[7] and ESPN's Adam Schefter reported shortly thereafter that Mariucci was a candidate for the Trojans head coach position and that the university had "made contact"[8] with the announcer.

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit


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