Marinelli Leaving Tampa Bay?

November 29 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive line head coach Rod Marinelli is regarded as one of the best defensive line coaches in NFL. But the success of a team comes with a price. The Bucs lost two assistant coaches in the offseason, and with Marinelli's name being thrown around as a possible head coaching candidate for the University of California, Tampa Bay could lose another key ingredient of their coaching staff after the 2001 season concludes.

He may not be the most well known guy on Tampa Bay's coaching staff, but defensive line coach Rod Marinelli is definitely regarded as one of the best in the National Football League. The Buccaneers lost two assistant coaches to teams willing to give them promotions this offseason, and Marinelli could possibly be the third to depart Tampa Bay after this season.

University of California head coach Tom Holmoe announced his resignation on Nov. 4, effective at the end of the season. Holmoe's team has posted a 1-10 record this season and has not had a winning season since 1993.

University of California sports information director Bob Rose said the Golden Bears are halfway done in terms of searching for Holmoe's replacement. Rose said the team has 3-5 candidates in mind, and Marinelli may be one of them.

Marinelli, who is nearing the end of his contract with the Buccaneers, has ties to the Golden Bears. He was their defensive line coach from 1983-1989 and was then promoted to assistant head coach from 1990-1991.

Tony Dungy hired Marinelli in 1996 after Dungy was hired as Tampa Bay's head coach.

Dungy insists the speculation about Marinelli's possible departure after this season will not become a distraction while the 2001 season is being played out.

"It won't be a distraction," said Dungy. "We're going to get with the university and try to set it up so they can get done what they need to get done as far as searching for a coach. I think Rod would be an excellent one. So, we'll just see how it plays out. But we'll get the job done here and wish Rod the best in that pursuit."

While Cal will not confirm nor deny that Marinelli is a head coaching candidate for the Golden Bears' football program, California athletic director Steve Gladstone did issue this statement.

"Our mission is to find a person who has the qualities necessary to turn around the program," said Gladstone. "We believe strongly that the potential of Cal football is unlimited, and this vacancy represents an outstanding opportunity for someone. We will expend all energy and explore all avenues to hire the right person for this position. Bear fans should take solace in knowing that we intend to bring exciting, winning football back to Strawberry Canyon in the very near future."

Marinelli confirmed to Buccaneer Magazine that he is a candidate for the head coaching position at Cal, but declined further comment.

While Cal hopes to announce Holmoe's replacement before Christmas, the Golden Bears may put off hiring their new head coach if he is still occupying a position with another team. If Tampa Bay does not make the playoffs, the Buccaneers season will conclude on Jan. 6, 2002.


Copyright 2001 Buccaneer Magazine/BucMag.com

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