Despite having opportunities to continue, former Lions head coach Rod Marinelli is going to retire from coaching.
For the last 26 seasons, Rod Marinelli has been coaching in the NFL. But according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, the former Lions head coach and long-time defensive assistant will retire from coaching.
The 72-year old Marinelli (he’ll turn 73 before the 2022 season starts) apparently generated interest from teams, but he’ll instead head for retirement in Texas. He spent the last two seasons as Las Vegas Raiders defensive line coach, taking on interim defensive coordinator duties in 2020 after Paul Guenther was fired.
Marinelli first came to the NFL as Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive line coach in 1996, serving in that post through 2005. He also had stints as defensive line coach or defensive coordinator with the Chicago Bears (2009-2012) and Dallas Cowboys (2013-2019).
Rod Marinelli will be best remembered for winless season as Lions head coach
Marinelli spent three seasons as the Lions head coach (2006-2008), with a 10-38 record. That of course including the first 0-16 season in NFL history in 2008, which cost Marinelli his job. General manager Matt Millen was the obvious scapegoat for Marinelli’s bad record as a head coach, as the Lions didn’t have nearly enough talent to compete.
When it came down to it, that 0-16 season and dismal overall run with the Lions did not tarnish Marinelli’s reputation around the league. He remained employed for 13 more seasons, and he could continue coaching if he wanted to. The work he did with the Raiders defensive line this season in particular was noteworthy, and one his recent pupils Maxx Crosby acknowledged the news of Marinelli’s retirement.
Marinelli was simply miscast as a head coach, in particular given the situation he stepped into in Detroit–a different situation with capable front office management surely would’ve yielded better results.
Congrats to Marinelli on a long coaching career, and all the best to him in retirement.