Marino preparing for an ESPN interview.
|Date of birth:September 15, 1961|
|Place of birth: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania|
|High school: Pittsburgh (PA) Central Catholic|
|NFL Draft: 1983 / Round: 1 / Pick: 27|
|Debuted in 1983 for the Miami Dolphins|
|Last played in 1999 for the Miami Dolphins|
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
|Pro Football Hall of Fame|
|College Football Hall of Fame|
Daniel Constantine "Dan" Marino, Jr. (born September 15, 1961) is a former American football quarterback who played for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League (NFL). The last quarterback of the Quarterback Class of 1983 to be taken in the first round, Marino became one of the most prolific quarterbacks in league history, holding or having held almost every major NFL passing record. Despite never being on a Super Bowl-winning team, he is recognized as one of the greatest quarterbacks in American football history. Best remembered for his quick release and powerful arm, Marino led the Dolphins to the playoffs ten times in his seventeen-season career. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005.
Early years 
Marino was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, of Italian and Polish ancestry. He is the oldest child of Daniel and Veronica (Kolczynski) Marino, and has two younger sisters, Cindi and Debbie. His father delivered newspapers for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Marino grew up on Parkview Avenue in the South Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, and attended St. Regis Catholic Elementary School. He attended Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, where he started in baseball, and won Parade All-American honors in football. He was drafted in the 4th round by the Kansas City Royals in the 1979 amateur draft, but decided to play college football instead.
College career 
Marino played college football at the University of Pittsburgh from 1979 to 1982. As a freshman in 1979, Marino led the Panthers in a 24-17 triumph over West Virginia in the Backyard Brawl. He led the Panthers to a last-minute triumph over the Georgia Bulldogs in the 1982 Sugar Bowl by throwing the game-winning pass to tight end John Brown with less than a minute remaining. His team lost the 1983 Cotton Bowl Classic 7-3 to Southern Methodist and their "Pony Express" of Eric Dickerson and Craig James. His senior year was not his best year, and he finished ninth in voting for the Heisman Trophy in 1982, after finishing fourth the previous year. Marino finished his four college seasons with 7,905 passing yards and 74 touchdowns, with 64 interceptions.
Marino's selection status in the 1983 NFL Draft plummeted after his weaker senior season at Pitt, and widespread rumors of drug use. Five other quarterbacks—Ken O'Brien, Tony Eason, Todd Blackledge, and Hall of Famers Jim Kelly and John Elway—were drafted ahead of him in the first round. Bill Hillgrove, who was with the Marino family on draft day, later recalled that when the New York Jets selected O'Brien, Marino "became visibly ill". (O'Brien, who played for Division II Cal-Davis, was so obscure that Marino later asked his agent Marvin Demoff "Who is Ken O'Brien?") The Miami Dolphins chose Marino as the 27th pick in the first round. Opinion was divided on the wisdom of the team's decision; Chris Berman said that the Dolphins' head coach Don Shula was "the best", but Paul Zimmerman was skeptical of the coaching staff's ability to help Marino "overcome the problems he's had". Shula later said that being passed up by so many teams "motivated [Marino] to show everybody else what a mistake that they had made."
Professional career 
Marino was the first draft pick in the history of the United States Football League, selected by the Los Angeles Express. He did not sign with the team, choosing instead to sign with the Dolphins. After starting the season as a backup to incumbent starter David Woodley, Marino was given his first NFL start in Week 6 versus the Buffalo Bills. Marino and Miami lost that game 38–35 in overtime. As a rookie, Marino set several records: he posted a 96.0 passer rating, he was selected to the Pro Bowl as a rookie, he had the lowest percentage of passes intercepted with 2.03, he was the only rookie quarterback to lead a conference in passing, and he had the highest passing completion percentage with 58.45.
The following year, Marino broke six NFL full-season passing records, including the records for most touchdown passes (48, stood for 20 years, broken by Peyton Manning with 49 in 2004, and later by Tom Brady with 50 in 2007) and most passing yards (5,084, stood for 27 years, broken by Drew Brees in 2011) in a season, and was selected as the NFL's Most Valuable Player. The Dolphins finished with a 14–2 regular season record, clinching home-field advantage for the playoffs. In the first round, the Dolphins avenged their playoff loss of the previous season to Seattle Seahawks 31–10, and they defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship Game 45–28.
In Super Bowl XIX, Marino and the Dolphins faced off against San Francisco 49ers and Joe Montana in Palo Alto, California. The Dolphins, who had 74 rushing attempts in the previous two weeks, ran the ball only eight times in this game. Marino finished with 29 completions out of 50 attempts for 318 yards, throwing one touchdown pass and two interceptions. The Dolphins lost 38–16 in what was Marino's only Super Bowl appearance.
In 1993, Miami was strongly favored at the start of the year to make it back to the AFC championship game and possibly the Super Bowl. However, after throwing a swing pass at a game in Cleveland, Marino, who was untouched on the play, crumpled to the ground in pain with a torn Achilles tendon and was out for the season. Marino later said, "I felt like I got kicked". Backup quarterback Scott Mitchell had an impressive series of starts before suffering an injury of his own. Mitchell signed a free-agent contract with the Detroit Lions, and Miami signed veteran quarterback Bernie Kosar from the Dallas Cowboys as a backup. Wearing a special shoe on one foot, and having a right calf that was visibly atrophied, Marino was the starting quarterback at the start of the 1994 season.
In the season opener, a home game versus the New England Patriots and quarterback Drew Bledsoe, the two quarterbacks put up a combined 894 yards (Marino, 473 yards; Bledsoe, 421 yards) and nine passing touchdowns (Marino, 5; Bledsoe, 4), with Miami winning 39–35. Later in the season, Marino led a comeback win on the road against the New York Jets (28–24), a game famous for Marino's execution of a fake spike for the winning touchdown pass, a play known as "The Clock Play". The Dolphins finished 10–6 that year, and Marino passed for 4,453 yards and was named the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year.
Marino's final win was his first playoff road win and his 36th comeback win, as the Dolphins defeated the Seattle Seahawks 20–17 on January 9, 2000 in the final football game ever in the Seattle Kingdome. In the next round (January 16), also on the road, Marino and the Dolphins lost 62–7 to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Dolphins' 55 point margin of loss was the worst in AFC Playoff history. Marino was replaced by backup Damon Huard after playing one series in the second half. However, he did end the first half on a high note, leading the Dolphins on an 80-yard scoring drive and throwing a 20-yard touchdown pass to receiver Oronde Gadsden with 20 seconds remaining. The Jacksonville game marked the end of Jimmy Johnson's coaching career; Johnson announced his retirement the next day.
Before the 2000 season, Marino decided to retire, after declining offers from Minnesota, Tampa Bay and his hometown of Pittsburgh when the Dolphins declined his option on his contract. When asked at his retirement press conference why he decided to retire, he responded:
- That is a good question. Boy, I really struggled with this. This has been the toughest month of my life as far as dealing with playing football or retiring. After the season, I pretty much thought that I was not going to play anymore and I felt that way for a while and I think it was because of the physical aspects of the game. It kept coming back to how my legs felt during last season, going through the neck injury; not knowing whether I was going to be able to throw the football, and family reasons also, but Claire and the kids, they were great. They wanted me to play, be honest with you. Really, it was my decision, a family decision and a health decision.
Marino later admitted that he seriously considered the offer from the Vikings, but that he turned it down not because of his arm, but because he wasn't sure that his legs could take another season. He also appreciated the fact that unlike many of his contemporaries, he got to play his entire career with one team.
During Marino's career, the Dolphins were perennial playoff contenders, reaching the post-season in 10 of his 17 seasons. He was selected to play in nine Pro Bowls (1983–87, 1991–92, 1994–95), seven times as a starter, but due to injuries he only played in two of the games (1984, 1992). He was named first- or second-team All-Pro eight times and earned All-AFC honors six times.
In 1999, Marino was ranked number 27 on The Sporting News list of the 100 greatest football players, making him the highest-ranking Dolphins player. In 2010 he was ranked number 25 on the NFL's Top 100 Greatest Players list. Marino was known for his quick release, and despite the fact that he was not skilled at scrambling, Marino possessed an uncanny awareness in the pocket, often sliding a step or two to avoid the pass rush. Marino is currently fourth, behind Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, and John Elway on the list of most wins by a starting quarterback, with 147. His winning percentage was .613.
Life after football 
On Sunday, September 17, 2000, at halftime of the Dolphins-Baltimore Ravens game at Pro Player Stadium, Dan Marino’s jersey number of 13 was retired. The only other Dolphins jersey number retired at the time was Bob Griese's #12. Since then #39, Larry Csonka, has been retired as well. Marino joined the Dolphins Honor Roll the same day. In a year of accolades from the franchise he led for many years, the Dolphins also installed a life-size bronze statue of Marino at Pro Player Stadium (now Sun Life Stadium) and renamed Stadium Street to Dan Marino Boulevard.
In early 2004, Dan Marino briefly returned to the Miami Dolphins as Senior Vice President of Football Operations, but resigned from the newly-created position only three weeks later, saying that the role was not in the best interest of either his family or the Dolphin organization.
Marino was a first-ballot selection to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame on August 7, 2005 and was introduced by his oldest son, Daniel. During his induction speech, Dan threw "one last pass" to former teammate Mark Clayton, who was sitting in the audience.
Ownership in NASCAR 
In 1997, Marino became involved in a marketing role with Team Cheever of the Indy Racing League through FirstPlus Mortgage, the sponsor of the car. In 1998, Marino co-owned a NASCAR Winston Cup racing team with driver Bill Elliott. The team's car number was #13, Marino's uniform number, and had primary sponsorship from FirstPlus Mortgage, whose company colors, coincidentally, were turquoise, orange, and white - similar to aqua and coral, the team colors of the Miami Dolphins. The team chose rookie driver Jerry Nadeau to pilot the car at the start of the season; he was later released and the team went through a rotation of drivers. The team failed to qualify for several races, but did post a top-5 finish at Phoenix International Raceway late in the season with Ted Musgrave driving. The team only lasted the 1998 season and closed afterward.
Personal life 
Marino opened two restaurants in South Florida called Dan Marino's Town Tavern, with one location in Coral Springs and one on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale. The name changed around 2005 to Dan Marino's Fine Food and Spirits. By 2006, both original locations had closed and the restaurant opened other locations in Miami, St. Petersburg, Las Vegas and Orlando. As of late 2010, the Miami and Las Vegas stores remain in service.
On April 27, 2008, Marino received an honorary doctorate degree in broadcast journalism from his alma mater, the University of Pittsburgh. Marino also delivered the Class of 2008 commencement speech. Marino is also a Laureus World Sports Academy founding member and is a voter for the Laureus World Sports Awards.
In January 2013, Marino admitted to fathering a child with Donna Savattere in 2005, a fact that he had previously only shared with his wife. Marino had paid Savattere millions of dollars to keep the news of their daughter, Chloe, from the public.
Appearances in other media 
Marino acted in the 1994 comedy Ace Ventura: Pet Detective alongside Jim Carrey and Courteney Cox (he played himself) and made a cameo appearance in the Adam Sandler film Little Nicky wherein he asked Satan for a Super Bowl ring. In 1999, he voiced himself in a guest-starring role in The Simpsons Season ten episode "Sunday, Cruddy Sunday". Marino also had cameo roles in Holy Man and Bad Boys II. He worked as a project consultant on Oliver Stone's Any Given Sunday, and some observers noticed a resemblance between him and Dennis Quaid's character, Jack Rooney. Marino's actual house was used as the fictional quarterback's house in the film
Marino is currently featured in advertisement campaigns for Hooters, NutriSystem weight loss programs, Maroone, Papa John's, Nutrasource.com and Empi Select (a TENS device). Previously, Marino endorsed Isotoner gloves and FirstPlus Mortgage against whom he later filed suit due to contracts related to his racing team.
In April 2012, Marino became the AARP's “Men’s Life Ambassador", through which he planned to share his point of view and expertise on a variety of men’s interests, including health, fitness, sports, lifestyle, entrepreneurship, aging and community service, primarily through the website.
Dan Marino Foundation 
The Dan Marino Foundation was established in 1992 by Marino and his wife, Claire, after their son, Michael, was diagnosed with autism. The foundation has distributed over $22 million to research, services, and treatment programs serving children with neurodevelopment disabilities. The Dan Marino Center, which opened in 1995 along with the Miami Children's Hospital, is an integrated neurodevelopmental center specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of children at risk for developmental and psychological problems. The center saw more than 48,000 children last year alone.
On November 7, 2005, the National Basketball Association's Miami Heat honored Marino's charitable works and recognized his service to South Florida with a halftime tribute, as well as a large donation to the Marino Foundation. Though a Heat jersey with his name and #13 was unveiled, this did not constitute retirement of his number by the Heat, and is currently worn by Heat guard/forward Mike Miller.
On March 23, 2010, The Dan Marino Foundation held its first "Walk about Autism". Over 6000 walkers participated, as well as 420 volunteers provided by the Miami Dolphins Special Teams. The money raised benefited several funds including the Autism Societies of Miami-Dade and Broward; the University of Miami-Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities; the Florida Atlantic University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities; and the Dan Marino Foundation.
NFL records set by Dan Marino 
Active records 
- Most games, 400 or more yards passing, Career: 13
- Most Games, 400 or more yards passing, Season: 4 in 1984
- Most game-winning drives in the 4th quarter/overtime, career (playoffs included): 51 
- Most seasons leading league, pass attempts: 5 (1984, 1986, 1988, 1992, 1997)
- Most seasons leading league, completions: 6 (1984–86, 1988, 1992, 1997)
- 100 TD passes in fewest number of games to start career: 44 (9/7/1986 at San Diego)
- 200 TD passes in fewest number of games to start career: 89 (9/17/1989 at New England)
- Monday Night Football, most passing yards: 9,654
- Monday Night Football, most completions: 798
- Monday Night Football, most attempts: 1,303
- Monday Night Football, most touchdown passes: 74
- Monday Night Football, most wins as a starter: 20
Former records 
- Most yards passing, Season: 5,084, in 1984 (surpassed by Drew Brees in 2011 with 5,476; as of 2012 season, now 4th all time)
- Most fourth-quarter comeback wins, career (playoffs included): 36 (surpassed by Peyton Manning, 38, in 2012)
- Lowest percentage, passes intercepted, rookie season: 2.03 in 1983 (296-6) (surpassed by Charlie Batch, Detroit, 1.98 in 1998 (303-6))
- Most consecutive seasons, 3,000 or more yards passing: 9 (1984–92) (surpassed by Brett Favre in 2009 with 18) (1992-2009)
- Most games, 300 or more yards passing, season: 9 in 1984 (surpassed by Drew Brees with 13 in 2011)
- Most games, 300 or more yards passing, career: 63 (surpassed by Peyton Manning with 72 in 2012)
- Most games, 400 or more yards passing, playoffs: 2 (surpassed by Drew Brees with 3 in 2012 playoffs)
- Most touchdown passes, season: 48 in 1984 (surpassed by Peyton Manning (49) in 2004 and by Tom Brady (50) in 2007)
- Most consecutive games, four or more touchdown passes: 4 in 1984 (surpassed by Peyton Manning in 2004)
- Most consecutive games, two or more touchdown passes: 12 (surpassed by Peyton Manning in 2004, Tom Brady in 2011, and Aaron Rodgers in 2011)
- Most consecutive games with a touchdown pass, playoffs: 13 (surpassed by Brett Favre in 2004 and Tom Brady in 2007)
- Highest passer rating, rookie season: 96.0 (surpassed by Ben Roethlisberger in 2004 and by Robert Griffin III in 2012)
- Most seasons, 3,000 or more yards passing: 13 (1984–92, 1994–95, 1997–98) (surpassed by Brett Favre in 2005)
- Most completions, career: 4,967 (surpassed by Brett Favre in 2006 and Peyton Manning in 2012)
- Most attempts, career: 8,358 (surpassed by Brett Favre in 2007)
- 40,000 career passing yards in fewest number of games to start career: 153 (surpassed by Drew Brees with 152 games in 2011)
- Most yards passing, career: 61,361 (surpassed by Brett Favre in 2007)
- Most touchdown passes, career: 420 (surpassed by Brett Favre in 2007 and Peyton Manning in 2012)
- Most wins against one team: 24 against the Indianapolis Colts (surpassed by Brett Favre against the Detroit Lions in 2007)
- Most games, three or more touchdown passes, career: 62 (surpassed by Brett Favre in 2007 and Peyton Manning in 2010)
- Most wins in different stadiums: 31 (surpassed by Brett Favre in 2008)
- 50,000 career passing yards in fewest number of games to start career: 193 (surpassed by Peyton Manning in 2009)
- Highest career TD-INT differential: +168 (surpassed by Peyton Manning in 2009)
- Most games, four or more touchdown passes, career: 21 (surpassed by Brett Favre in 2009 and Peyton Manning in 2010)
- Most regular season wins, quarterback/head coach: 116 with Don Shula (surpassed by Tom Brady and Bill Belichick in 2011)
NFL records tied 
- Most seasons, 40 or more touchdown passes: 2 (1984, 1986)(tied by Drew Brees in 2012)
- Most seasons leading league, yards gained: 5 (1984–86, 1988, 1992); tied with Sonny Jurgensen (Philadelphia, 1961–62; Washington, 1966–67, 1969)
- Most consecutive seasons leading league, completions: 3 (1984–86); tied with George Blanda (Houston, 1963–65)
- Most consecutive games, 400 or more yards passing: 2 (1984); tied with Dan Fouts (San Diego, 1982), Phil Simms (N.Y. Giants, 1985), Billy Volek (Tennessee, 2004), Matt Cassel (New England, 2008), Cam Newton (Carolina, 2011), Tom Brady (New England, 2011)
- Most games, four or more touchdown passes, season: 6 (1984); tied by Peyton Manning in 2004
- 300 TD passes in fewest number of games to start career: 157 (9/4/1994 vs. New England); tied by Peyton Manning in 2007
- 30,000 career passing yards in fewest number of games to start career: 114 (11/25/1990 at Cleveland); tied by Kurt Warner, October 18, 2009
Other notable accomplishments 
Career stats 
Regular season 
^† League Leader
- Named NFL Most Valuable Player (1984).
- Played in 242 games, starting 240 of them.
- Compiled a 147-93 regular-season record as a starter (147 wins rank third most all-time).
- First QB in NFL history to have six 4,000-yard seasons (1984–86, 1988, 1992, 1994).
- First QB in NFL history to pass for 5,000 yards or more in a single season (5,084 in 1984).
- Holds Dolphins team record for most seasons played (17).
- Won the AFC Offensive Player of the Week honor 18 times in the regular season (20 times overall, including playoffs).
Playoff stats 
See also 
- List of NFL quarterbacks who have passed for 400 or more yards in a game
- List of NFL quarterbacks who have posted a perfect passer rating
- List of 300-Yard Passing Games by NFL Quarterbacks
- List of gridiron football quarterbacks passing statistics
- Most consecutive starts by a quarterback (NFL)
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- Brees streaking up all-time list for touchdown passes