Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Coach Profile: Steve Mariucci

Steve Mariucci has been on the outside of the coaching world looking in since he was let go by the Detroit Lions in 2005. His name gets mentioned for a lot of coaching positions and I think we'll see him jump back into a coaching spot this season. I'm sure Dan Guerrero will consider Steve for the position in Westwood.


Steve Mariucci is 55 years old and he currently works for the NFL network as a commentator. Before that he was the head coach of the Detroit Lions from 2003-2005. Steve has gained most of his head coaching experience in the NFL.

In college he was a 3-time division II All American quarterback at Northern Michigan. After completing school, he was an assistant coach at Northern Michigan before taking a position at Cal State Fullerton. He also took some assistant jobs at USC and Louisville and did a few stints in the NFL and USFL before ending up in Berkley.

In 1996, Mariucci was given the head coaching spot at California. He only spent one season leading the Bears before he bolted for a head coaching job with the San Francisco 49ers. It was here that Steve had a lot of success, compiling a 60-43 record, and he lead the 49ers to the playoffs in 4 of the 6 seasons he coached there. His time in Detroit was less than stellar and after two losing season he was canned.

College Head Coaching Record

Year Team Overall Bowl Rank#
California (Pacific Ten) (1996)
1996 California 6-6
Aloha (L)

Total: 6-6

Indicates BCS bowl game. #Rankings from final Coaches Poll of the season.


Mariucci has a lot of experience in the NFL. That would likely give him some traction with recruits looking to play in the pros. He was successful at San Francisco and he obviously knows how to field a winning team. His background as a quarterback (and being a former quarterback coach) will help the Bruins develop that position, which has been a real sore point since Cade McNown was under center.

Steve also has media savy and he already works in the Los Angeles area. Not all coaches would be willing to live the "big city" lifestyle but Mariucci already does. His personal nature would likely be a big plus with recruits.


Mariucci is a strong proponent of the West Coast Offense. UCLA, and other schools like Nebraska, haven't performed well running the WCO at the college level. If he isn't willing to adapt his offensive ideas to the college game then the Bruin offense might continue to struggle.

Since he is currently out of the coaching ranks, he might be willing to take a job at a lower pay then when he left. Still Mariucci's contract in the NFL was paying well over $2 million a year. The Bruins probably would not be able to pay even close to that. If he does take a big pay cut, expect him to bolt at the first NFL job that is offered (just like he did with Cal).


Mariucci looks like a great coach for the NFL. He has spent most of his coaching career at that level and I'm sure that is where he wants to return. I don't think UCLA will be able to pay for his services and, even if we could, he would likely be gone after a year or two. I think the football program would be better served by finding a coach willing to stay for at least 4-5 years to build this team into a conference power. With the large amount of turnover in the coaching staff over the last 5 seasons, the last thing I want is another big shake up in a few years.

(photo credit: Sports Illustrated)


Anonymous said...

I think muuch would be a great fit as the new head coach of the San Diego Chargers. Norv should be short termed and wisked away. as Steve is a local resident he needs to remain here.

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