Shortly after accepting the position of Columbia's 18th head football coach in 2005, Norries Wilson invited Vinny Marino to join him and become the Lions' offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
It reunited two of the key figures in Connecticut's rise to Big East football prominence. Wilson and Marino had coached together in Storrs for four years, while Marino was the Huskies' wide receivers coach and, in 2005, their recruiting coordinator.
In 2010, Columbia quarterback Sean Brackett became the first Lion quarterback since 1994 to be named first team All-Ivy League since 1994. Brackett amassed 2072 passing yards with 19 touchdowns, ranking fourth all-time in the Columbia single-season record books, while leading the Ivy League in passing efficiency and ranking 28th in the Football Championship Subdivision. He also ran for 516 yards with three rushing touchdowns, ranking him 21st in the FCS in points responsible for.
As an offense in 2009, Columbia finished in the top three in the Ivy League in rushing offense (second), total offense (third) and points per game (third) for the first time since 1994. Senior wide receiver Austin Knowlin and sophomore offensive lineman Jeff Adams subsequently were named to the All-Ivy League first team.
The former UConn quarterback played a major role in Craig Hormann's development into an All-Ivy League quarterback. Although it took time for Hormann to fully embrace the offense which Marino and Norries Wilson formulated, he showed a superb grasp of it, earning second team All-Ivy League honors in 2006 and honorable mention honors in 2007. Hormann threw for 2,505 yards last season, fourth highest in school history, and his 12 touchdown passes gave him 27 for his career, fifth-most on the Lions' all-time list. He was signed as a free agent by the Cleveland Browns in April 2008.
Marino had demonstrated the ability to develop talented football players soon after joining the UConn staff as receivers coach in February 2002. In 2004, UConn's top wide receiver was Keron Henry, a converted quarterback. Finishing 2004 as the Big East's fourth-leading receiver, Henry was signed by the New Orleans Saints following the conclusion of his UConn career. UConn's potent receiving corps in 2003 included UConn's second-ever CoSIDA Academic All-American in Shaun Feldeisen, a walk-on who was eventually named team captain, and a high CFL draft pick, O'Neil Wilson, who immediately became a starter with the Montreal Alouettes.
Marino served as the running backs coach at Rhode Island in 2000-01, helping the Rams go 8-3, their first winning season since 1985, and be ranked 19th in the nation. In 1999, Marino coached the wide receivers and quarterbacks at Richmond, where he helped develop wide receiver Muneer Moore, who was chosen in the fifth round of the 2000 NFL draft by the Denver Broncos.
From 1996-98, Marino coached at Holy Cross, serving as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 1998 and coaching the running backs in 1996 and 1997. As a graduate assistant in 1993 at Western Carolina, he coached the defensive backs and continued coaching there through 1995, working with the quarterbacks for two seasons.
A native of Southbridge, Mass., Marino graduated from Southbridge High School, and also attended Maine's Bridgeton Academy. He was a member of the UConn football team from 1988 to 1991, earning two letters as a back-up quarterback and special teams player. His 1989 team won the Yankee Conference championship.
Marino graduated from UConn in 1992 with a bachelor's degree in economics and earned a master's degree in physical education from Western Carolina in 1996.
He began his collegiate coaching career in 1992, following his graduation from UConn, as wide receivers coach at Bowdoin. He helped to develop Bowdoin's Peter Nye, who signed with the New York Giants, one of three NFL free agents with whom Marino has worked. The others are Dwuane Jones (Cleveland) and Ryan Tolhurst (Carolina), both of whom attended Richmond.
Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island
|Other Position:||Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks|