The life and career of Dolphins legend Dan Marino
When you think of legendary Quarterbacks then Dan Marino definitely will come to mind. While Marino never won a Super Bowl during his 17 year career with the Dolphins, he deserves a spot in the history books as one of the all-time greats.
He holds the record for most career wins for a quarterback who hasn’t won the Super Bowl and is generally considered the greatest player never to win the title.
Today, we are going to look at the life and career of this great player, Dan Marino.
The College Years
Marino was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He went to high school and college in the city as well. He played football for both institutions. Marino also played baseball and was drafted for the Kansas City Royals before deciding he wanted to play football professionally.
During his time with the Pittsburgh Panthers, Marino played alongside two other future NFL Hall of Famers – Defensive lineman Rickey Jackson and center Russ Grimm.
Marino went 33-3 in the first three years of his college career (he did 3 consecutive seasons of 11-1). During this time they also won the Sugar Bowl.
In Marino’s final year there was a change of staff that Marino believed resulted in the team’s performance dropping drastically that season. The Panthers ended the season with a 7-3 record and lost in the Cotton Bowl to their local rivals.
The NFL years
The difficult final season did not help Marino’s ranking in the 1983 draft. It was also rumored that he was taking recreational drugs at the time which was said to put many teams off.
He was the 6th quarterback to be selected that year and was selected 27th overall by the Miami Dolphins. Marino had expected to be picked much earlier in the draft so had never spoken to anyone from the Dolphin’s team before being drafted.
Marino made his starting debut in Week 6 of his rookie season. That season he led the league in passes, he had the lowest percentage of passes intercepted, he had the highest percentage of passes completed, and he was selected for the Pro Bowl that year. The Dolphins made it to the playoff finals that year but ended up losing.
Marino’s second year was even better. He broke six NFL full-season passing records and was named MVP for the season. The Dolphins stormed through the playoffs and Marino set two records that still stand in the process. They played against the San Francisco 49ers (and Joe Montana) that year and lost badly. This was the only time Marino played in a Super Bowl match.
Throughout the rest of his career, Marino made it to the AFC playoff finals multiple times but the team never made it any further. His team won their division 5 times during his career.
He went on to play another 15 successful seasons with the Dolphins and when he retired in 1999, Marino said that he was proud to have spent his whole career with one team. He admitted that he had been offered the chance to join 3 other teams before choosing to retire.
Dan Marino ended his career as the most successful Dolphins player of all time and this is a record he still holds. His number 13 became the third jersey ever to be retired by the Dolphins. He won a total of 155 games with the Dolphins, which makes him the most successful quarterback to never win the Super Bowl.
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Life after the NFL
Despite getting offers from other clubs, Marino decided to retire before the start of the 2000 season. He claimed his legs could not handle another season, even if his arms could. In 2014, he joined the team at the Miami Dolphins as a Special advisor.
Marino was inducted into both the College Hall of Fame and the NFL Hall of Fame after retiring. He then spent some time commenting on football for NBC before rejoining the Dolphins.
Dan and his wife Claire have six children. One of their son’s Micheal is autistic and the couple started a foundation called the Dan Marino Foundation. To date, the foundation has raised and donated over $22 million dollars to research and treatment programs serving children with neurodevelopmental disabilities. They also built a wing in the Miami Children’s Hospital that has been able to treat 48,000 children per year since opening.