There are a few quarterbacks that are more well known from the 1990’s than the gunslinger who went to Pitt, led the Miami Dolphins to a super bowl appearance in 1985, and starred in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. Dan Marino was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and stayed local by attending Pitt University and dominating ACC Football. Marino went in the 1st round of the 1983 draft. The 1983 NFL Draft featured five quarterbacks taken in the first round. Marino ended his college career with a 57.6 completion percentage, 8,597 yards, with 79 touchdowns to 69 interceptions.
While, where Dan Marino got drafted in the 1983 draft still leads to a discussion, the Miami Dolphins never complained. He would not be named a starter after training camp. Marino would come in and went 7-2 as a starter completing 58% of his passes, throwing for over 2,000 yards and throwing 20 touchdowns. In 1984 Marino had led the Dolphins to a super bowl appearance. They would fall to Joe Montana and the 49ers. His numbers were eye catching: 5,084 yards (a record at the time) and 48 touchdowns (a record at the time). By 1986 Marino had already exceeded the 100-career touchdown mark. The Dolphins became a force in the AFC from the mid-1980’s to the late 1990’s.
INJURIES AND THE END
Marino battled numerous injuries throughout his career including a hip injury that sidelined him for two games in 1995. Following the injury, Marino returned and led the Dolphins to the playoffs while throwing for over 3000 yards and 24 touchdowns. Dan was voted by his teammates as the Ed Block Courage Award Recipient in 1995 for his resilience against the hip injury. Dan Marino’s career came to an end in 2000 after a 17 year career when he decided to retire then try and play for a new team.
Post NFL Career
The accomplishments for Marino’s career are outstanding. A nine time pro bowler, MVP in 1984, three time All-Pro, a member of the NFL 100 All Time Team, Hall of Famer in 2005. Overall, Marino set records that stood until 2020. His career numbers are 59.4% completion percentage, 61,361 career yards, and 420 touchdown passes to 252 interceptions. Comparatively, the work Marino has done in the community might be the biggest impact. After having his son Michael was born with Autism, Marino started the Dan Marino Foundation. The Foundation helps to distribute funds to research, services, and treatment programs helping kids with neurodevelopment disabilities. Marino and his foundation have distributed well over $20 million dollars to help kids with developmental disabilities. In 2010 he started his “Walk About Autism” to help raise money as well.