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Coaches and Executives

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Rod Marinelli
Defensive Line
College:
California Lutheran
The Dallas Cowboys announced Rod Marinelli as the club’s defensive line coach on January 18, 2013. In Dallas Marinelli will reunite with Monte Kiffin as he was a defensive assistant (1996-2005 - defensive line) at Tampa Bay while Kiffin was the team’s defensive coordinator which included the club’s first ever Super Bowl championship (XXXVII). Marinelli comes to the Cowboys with 37 years of coaching experience, including 17 in the NFL.
The Dallas Cowboys announced Rod Marinelli as the club’s defensive line coach on January 18, 2013. In Dallas Marinelli will reunite with Monte Kiffin as he was a defensive assistant (1996-2005 - defensive line) at Tampa Bay while Kiffin was the team’s defensive coordinator which included the club’s first ever Super Bowl championship (XXXVII). Marinelli comes to the Cowboys with 37 years of coaching experience, including 17 in the NFL.

Prior to arriving in Dallas, Marinelli was with the Chicago Bears for four seasons, serving as the club’s assistant head coach/defensive line coach in 2009 followed by three seasons as the club’s assistant head coach/defensive coordinator (2010-12). While serving as Chicago’s defensive coordinator, Marinelli’s unit over the previous three seasons forced the most fumbles (59), intercepted the third-most passes (65), scored the most touchdowns via interception (13) and allowed the fourth-fewest points (904) in the NFL. In the 2012 season alone, the Bears had four defensive players selected as starters in the Pro Bowl (CB Tim Jennings, DL Henry Melton, DE Julius Peppers and CB Charles Tillman) as the defense ranked first in takeaways (44), third in points allowed (277), fifth in total defense (315.6 yards-per-game) and eighth in rushing defense (101.7) and passing defense (213.9).

In 2011 Marinelli’s charges earned four spots on the NFC’s Pro Bowl roster as the club sent LB Lance Briggs, DE Peppers, CB Tillman and LB Brian Urlacher to mark the second straight season the Bears had at least three defenders represented in the all-star game. Chicago finished in the top-10 in six defensive categories, including second in defensive touchdown returns (six) and red zone takeaways (six) and fifth in overall takeaways (31) and against the run (96.4). The Bears pass rush saw Peppers notch 11.0 sacks for the season, including his 100th career takedown, and Melton earned a career-high seven sacks to tie for third in the NFL among defensive tackles.

Marinelli arrived in Chicago on Jan. 10, 2009 after spending three seasons (2006-08) as the Detroit Lions head coach. He spent his first 10 NFL seasons coaching the defensive line in Tampa Bay (1996-2005). In his last four seasons (2002-05) with the Bucs, Marinelli added the duties of assistant head coach.

Through his 10 years with Tampa Bay, the defensive line accounted for 328.5 sacks - tops in the league during that span among NFL lines. In 2002 Tampa Bay led the NFL in total defense (252.8) and points-per-game (12.3) en route to the club’s Super Bowl XXXVII win. Tampa Bay’s top-five single-season sack totals all came by defensive linemen under Marinelli’s tutelage, and in 2000, Warren Sapp’s 16.5 sacks established a franchise record and still stands as the third-most in the NFL among defensive tackles since sacks became official in 1982. Another of Marinelli’s players, Simeon Rice, holds the club’s next three single-season sack figures, totaling 15.5 (2002), 15.0 (2003) and 14.0 (2005). Rounding out the top-five on the Buccaneers single-season sack list is another one of Marinelli’s charges, Marcus Jones, who racked up 13.0 in 2000. Additionally, Sapp holds the club’s sixth and seventh spot with 12.5 (1999) and 12.0 (2004).

In 2000 Tampa Bay established a franchise record with 55.0 sacks, and
Marinelli’s defensive linemen accounted for 45.5. Through Marinelli’s tenure with the Buccaneers, the defense earned the top-six single-season sack totals in franchise history, and from 1999-2003, Tampa’s defenders set an NFL record as the club registered a sack in 69 consecutive games.

Before making the leap to the NFL coaching ranks, Marinelli was an assistant at the collegiate level for 20 years. He coached the defensive line at Southern California (1995), was assistant head coach/defensive line at Arizona State (1992-94) and was the defensive line coach at the University of California (1983-89) before adding the responsibilities of assistant head coach at the school (1990-91). He began his collegiate coaching career at Utah State in 1976 and spent six seasons as the school’s defensive line coach (1976-81) before coaching the offensive line and special teams in 1982. His first coaching job was as an assistant at his alma mater, Rosemead, Calif., High School from 1973-75.

Marinelli was an offensive tackle, starting his career at Utah (1968) and finishing at California Lutheran (1970-72). His collegiate career was split by a tour of duty in Vietnam. He earned All-America honors at Cal-Lutheran in 1972.

Marinelli and his wife, Barbara, have two daughters, Christine and Gina, and four grandchildren.

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