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Steve Mariucci
Date of birth November 4, 1955 (1955-11-04) (age 54)
Place of birth Iron Mountain, Michigan
Position(s) Head Coach
College Northern Michigan
Coaching stats Pro Football Reference
Coaching stats DatabaseFootball
Team(s) as a player
1974-1977 Northern Michigan University
Team(s) as a coach/administrator
California Golden Bears
San Francisco 49ers
Detroit Lions

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 career

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 football

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 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 record

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
SFO 1997 13 3 0 .813 1st in NFC West 1 1 .500 Lost to Green Bay Packers in NFC Championship Game.
SFO 1998 12 4 0 .750 2nd in NFC West 1 1 .500 Lost to Atlanta Falcons in Divisional Playoffs.
SFO 1999 4 12 0 .250 4th in NFC West - - - -
SFO 2000 6 10 0 .375 4th in NFC West - - - -
SFO 2001 12 4 0 .750 2nd in NFC West 0 1 .000 Lost to Green Bay Packers in Wild card game.
SFO 2002 10 6 0 .625 1st in NFC West 1 1 .500 Lost to Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Divisional playoffs.
SFO Total 57 39 0 .594 3 4 .429
DET 2003 5 11 0 .313 4th in NFC North - - - -
DET 2004 6 10 0 .375 3rd in NFC North - - - -
DET 2005 4 7 0 .364 3rd in NFC North - - - -
DET Total 15 28 0 .349 - - -
Total[3] 72 67 0 .518 3 4 .429

After coaching

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. Many 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.

Shortly after Pete Carroll left USC, Mariucci was reportedly seen on campus[6], 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" [7] with the announcer.


  1. ^ - Pro Football - 49ers release Mariucci from contract - Thursday January 16, 2003 02:42 PM
  2. ^ Is Wonderlic test football relevant?
  3. ^ Steve Mariucci Record, Statistics, and Category Ranks -
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Keith Gilbertson
University of California Head Coaches
Succeeded by
Tom Holmoe
Preceded by
George Seifert
San Francisco 49ers Head Coaches
Succeeded by
Dennis Erickson
Preceded by
Marty Mornhinweg
Detroit Lions Head Coaches
Succeeded by
Dick Jauron

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