Rod Marinelli won’t be on anyone’s sideline when the 2022 season gets underway. The 72-year-old is reportedly planning to retire from the NFL this offseason, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, ending a professional coaching career that spans nearly three decades. Marinelli most recently coached for the Las Vegas Raiders, joining the team in 2020 after spending seven seasons with the Dallas Cowboys as defensive line coach and [later] defensive coordinator, helping to rebuild a coaching brand that was tarnished by his days as head coach of the Detroit Lions.
There were rumblings in Marinelli’s final two seasons in Dallas that he was considering retirement, but he publicly denied that was the case, ultimately remaining on until a changing of the guard saw head coach Jason Garrett replaced by Mike McCarthy and sweeping changes to the Cowboys coaching staff.
And as Josh McDaniels prepares to take the reins in Las Vegas — Rich Bisaccia leaving to join the Green Bay Packers as special teams coordinator — Marinelli is clearly disinterested with working through another major regime change, be it in Las Vegas or in having to relocate entirely to another city.
As such, he’s reportedly packed up and moved back to Texas to enjoy retirement.
One of the more/most respected defensive teachers in the league, Marinelli began his coaching days in 1973 as defensive coordinator for Rosemead High School in California before taking the defensive line coach position for Utah State in 1976, going on to build an impressive collegiate resume — which included stints at both Cal and USC — before joining the professional ranks as D-line coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers under Jon Gruden. He’d go on to win a Super Bowl in Tampa, and his career came full circle in reuniting with Gruden in Las Vegas, but controversy struck the latter in 2021 and forced the Raiders to move on and onto granting Bisaccia the interim tag to finish out the season.
Marinelli helped Bisaccia weather the storm and turn the Raiders into a playoff team, and he’ll now step aside and hang up his whistle, leaving a legacy in the league the will forever exist in those he helped make better along the way.