Blue Mountain State fans know and love Ed Marinaro, who played against coach Marty Daniels in the winning streak. But before he played the very questionable football coach, Ed Marinaro was a real American football player. In 1971 he was considered for the famous Heisman Trophy, but only finished second to Pat Sullivan and only just missed the trophy. The Heisman Trophy is an annual award given to the most outstanding player in the American College Football League. It is usually awarded to the player who shows integrity in addition to the pursuit of excellence.
After leaving football, he embarked on a new career path and has since taken on a number of consistent roles. One of his most memorable roles was that of Officer Joe Coffey, the main character in Hill Street Blues, a police show that aired on NBC from 1981 to 1987; the show followed the lives of officers and employees of a police station in a fictional “Hill Street” in a nameless city. The show apparently met with general acclaim and served as inspiration for many police cases after it. It received a total of 98 Emmy nominations during its run and won 8 Emmy awards during its debut season alone. Pretty impressive.
In the show, Ed Marinaro played a patrolman and Vietnam veteran who is popular and loved by his colleagues. Because of his stature, his character was usually chosen to break down doors when necessary.
After he left the football he decided on a career as an actor. He started out by becoming a cast member in several television shows, including Sisters and Laverne & Shirley.
Laverne & Shirley was an iconic television show that ran for eight seasons through two roommates and friends who worked in a fictional Shotz Brewery in Milwaukee in the late 1950s. By season six, the series moved to Burbank, California, and Ed Marinaro joined the cast as their landlord – Sonny St. Jacques, a handsome, tall, muscular man who was originally intended as a love object for Laverne, although this was never realized.
He also appeared in a family film on Circus Island in 2006, starring the sisters Audrey Landers and Judy Landers. Other films and television shows he has appeared in over the years include The Gong Show Movie, Fingers, Dead Aim, Queens Logic, Fist Of The Warrior, The Protector, Offer and Compromise. He also starred in the movie Blue Mountain State – Blue Mountain State: The Rise of Thadland.
Before he got his foot in the actor’s door, he was a superstar soccer player. He played in the New Milford High School Knights during his high school days in New Jersey. He then played college football at Cornell University, an Ivy League university in New York. During his time at Cornell University, he set over 16 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) records. He was also the first running back to overcome more than 4,000 career obstacles in the history of the NCAA.
In 1971, Ed Marinaro won the Maxwell Award, which is presented annually to a selected college football player who is voted Best Player of the Year in the United States by a panel of judges including sports journalists, sports filmmakers, NCAA head coaches and members of the Maxwell Football Club. He also won the UPI College Football Player of the Year 1971.
Thanks to his decades of acting and his many years as a professional footballer, Ed Marinaro currently has total net assets of $3 million.
5 Random Facts About Ed Marinaro
1. Ed is married to Tracy York, the fitness expert. The two married in 2001 and together they have a son – Eddie Marinaro (named after his father).
2. Ed Marino played professional football for a total of six seasons. He played for the New York Jets, the Minnesota Vikings, and the Seattle Seahawks. In the Vikings, he played in Super Bowl VIII and Super Bowl IX. The sports superstar scored a total of 13 touchdowns in his career. In 1991 he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
3. During his time at Cornell University, he was a member of Psi Upsilon (also known as Psi U), a North American fraternity. He was also selected as a member of the Sphinx Head Society, which recognizes Cornell University senior students who have demonstrated a respectable strength of character in addition to their commitment to leadership and service.
4. However, one of his most popular roles was when he appeared as coach Marty Daniels on Spike Tv’s Blue Mountain State, a popular TV show for fans on a college campus that exaggerated certain aspects of American college life such as booze, sex, partying, drugs, hazing, and American football. The show has developed a cult following over the years.
5. Ed still holds two NCAA records – the career average per game (34.0) and the most hits per game in a season (39.6).