Ed Marinaro was born in New York City and raised in New Milford, New Jersey, where his athletic career began. As a heavily recruited high school football and basketball player, Marinaro chose Cornell University, foregoing over 50 scholarship offers, and the rest, as they say, is history.
During his three-year varsity career, Marinaro set almost every Ivy League and N.C.A.A. record for running the football. A three-time All-American, he became the first player in college football history to gain over 4,000 yards in a career (4715), and he set 16 other N.C.A.A. records for rushing, scoring and all-purpose running. His career average of 176.4 yards per game is still an N.C.A.A. record. Receiving the prestigious Maxwell Trophy, he was the A.P. and U.P.I. player of the year, and finished second in the Heisman Trophy ballot. In 1991, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and a year later, he was voted the Ivy League Player of the Era.
Drafted in 1972 by the Minnesota Vikings, Marinaro became the first rookie to start for Hall of Fame coach Bud Grant. During his career with the Vikings he helped lead the team to consecutive Super Bowls in 1973 and 1974. The following year, his 54 catches ranked third in the N.F.C. and his 11 catches against the San Diego Chargers was a Viking record.
In 1976, Marinaro fulfilled a childhood dream and returned to his birthplace to play with the New York Jets. At mid-season he was leading the team in rushing, scoring and receiving and coming off two consecutive 100-yard rushing games when he sustained a career-ending foot injury and was forced into retirement.
After moving to Los Angeles in 1978, it didn’t take long for Marinaro to distinguish himself in his new career as an actor. His rugged good looks and charisma led to a role on the hit show “Laverne & Shirley,” but it was his portrayal of Officer Joe Coffey on the Emmy®-winning “Hill Street Blues” that made him one of Hollywood’s most versatile leading men. After his seven- year run on the series, Marinaro went on to become one of the stars of NBC’s critically acclaimed drama “Sisters,” which lasted for six years.
Marinaro has also become known for his role as Coach Marty Daniels in Spike TV’s comedy hit, “Blue Mountain State,” which ran for three seasons and released a follow-up feature film. In addition to starring in over 25 feature films and TV movies, Marinaro has been a sought-after
spokesman for such products as Miller beer and Fruit of the Loom, to name a few. Other work includes Lifetime’s “Drop Dead Diva” and the film Love & Debt, with Tom Cavanagh and Bellamy Young.
Despite his busy schedule, Marinaro takes time to lend his support to many charities, which include hosting the Boca Grande Classic Fishing Tournament to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. An avid fisherman, Marinaro enjoys other hobbies, which include golf and skiing.