Markus Paul
No. 36
Personal information
Born:(1966-04-01)April 1, 1966
Orlando, Florida, U.S.
Died:November 25, 2020(2020-11-25) (aged 54)
Plano, Texas, U.S.
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:200 lb (91 kg)
Career information
High school:Osceola (FL)
NFL draft:1989 / Round: 4 / Pick: 95
Career history
As a player:
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
As a coach:
Career highlights and awards
As player
As coach
Career NFL statistics
Games played:71
Player stats at · PFR

Markus Dwayne Paul (April 1, 1966 – November 25, 2020)[1] was an American football safety in the National Football League (NFL) for the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was selected by the Chicago Bears in the 1989 NFL Draft. He also was a strength and conditioning coach with the New Orleans Saints, New England Patriots, New York Jets, New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at Syracuse University.

Early years

Paul attended Osceola High School in Kissimmee, Florida.[2] As a junior, he was named the starting quarterback and contributed to the team reaching the state championship game, where they lost to Titusville High School.[3]

He also was a starter in the school's basketball team that had a perfect 37-0 record and won the state championship during the 1982-83 season.

College career

Paul accepted a football scholarship from Syracuse University, where he played under head coach Dick MacPherson from 1984 to 1988. Paul chose Syracuse because it was the only football program that gave him the option to play as either a quarterback or a defensive back; other Division I programs only recruited him to play on defense.

As a true freshman, he decided on playing as a safety early on, was named a starter for the season opener and recorded 7 interceptions during the season, including 3 in one game.[4] He would go on to start every game for Syracuse as a free safety during his career.[5]

As a junior, he was a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award and tallied 5 interceptions. As a senior, he was again a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, registered 4 interceptions and earned first-team All-American honors.[6]

Paul set the school records for interceptions in a career (19) and in a game (3). In October 1999, he was named to the Syracuse University's All-Century team.[7]

Professional career

Chicago Bears (first stint)

The Chicago Bears traded with the Los Angeles Raiders to move up and select Paul in the fourth round (95th overall) of the 1989 NFL Draft.[8][9][2] During his rookie season, Paul primarily deputized for Shaun Gayle.[10] Paul's first career interception in the NFL came in a week eight game against the Los Angeles Rams.[11]

During the 1990 season, Paul primarily served as a backup with at least five other defensive backs ahead of him in the depth chart.[12] Paul replaced Mark Carrier in a week five match-up against the Green Bay Packers after Carrier suffered a concussion.[13]

On August 17, 1993, after Cowboys defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt became the head coach for the Chicago Bears, he traded Paul, linebacker John Roper and tight end Kelly Blackwell, in exchange for linebacker Vinson Smith, linebacker Barry Minter and a sixth-round draft pick (#198-Carl Reeves).[14]

Dallas Cowboys

On August 30, 1993, he was released by the Dallas Cowboys.[15]

Chicago Bears (second stint)

On August 31, 1993, he was signed as a free agent by the Chicago Bears.[16] He appeared in 8 games, playing as a nickel back on passing downs. He was cut on December 15. He started in 15 of the 70 career games he played with the Bears and registered 7 interceptions.[17]

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

On December 22, 1993, he signed as a free agent with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.[18] He appeared in one game and was declared inactive for the season finale. He was released on August 8, 1994.[19]

NFL statistics

Year Team Games Interceptions
GP GS Int Yds Avg Lng TD
1989 CHI 16 3 1 20 20 20 0
1990 CHI 16 0 2 49 24.5 26 0
1991 CHI 14 7 3 21 7 10 0
1992 CHI 16 5 1 10 10 10 0
1993 CHI 8 0 0 0 0 0 0
TB 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Career[20] 71 15 7 100 14.3 26 0

Coaching career

In 1998, Paul rejoined his strength and conditioning coach at Syracuse, Mike Woicik, then serving in the same position with the New Orleans Saints, as the Saints' assistant strength and conditioning coach. Paul followed Woicik to the Patriots in 2000, again serving as the assistant strength and conditioning coach under Bill Belichick. After winning Super Bowl XXXVI, Super Bowl XXXVIII, and Super Bowl XXXIX with the Patriots, he left the team for the New York Jets following the 2004 season.

He spent one year under Herman Edwards as the Jets' director of physical development, then a year under Eric Mangini as the team's strength and conditioning coach. At the end of the 2006 season, Mangini chose not to renew Paul's contract.[21]

Paul was then hired by the New York Giants as their assistant strength and conditioning coach and won two more Super Bowls (XLII and XLVI) in his 12 year tenure. Paul was the assistant strength coach for the Dallas Cowboys in 2018, once again joining Woicik on an NFL coaching staff.[22] In 2020, he was named the team's head strength and conditioning coordinator. Across his coaching career, Paul was involved in five Super Bowl wins.[23]

Personal life

On November 24, 2020, Paul was rushed to the hospital after suffering a heart attack at the Cowboys' team facility,[24] and died the following day at age 54.[1][25]


  1. ^ a b Fisher, Mike (November 25, 2020). "Cowboys Coach Markus Paul Passes Away While 'Surrounded by Love'". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Carroll, Frank (September 8, 1991). "Markus Paul's Mom Has Plenty to Cheer About". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
  3. ^ "Kowboys Ride Toward Big Time". December 18, 1998. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  4. ^ "Cisco Declares For NFL Draft". Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  5. ^ Poiley, Joel (December 29, 1988). "The right call". The Tampa Tribune. Retrieved November 27, 2020 – via
  6. ^ Epstein, Jori. "Dallas Cowboys strength and conditioning coordinator Markus Paul dies at age 54". USA Today. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
  7. ^ "All-Century Team". Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  8. ^ "1989 NFL Draft Listing". Retrieved May 26, 2023.
  9. ^ Mitchell, Fred (April 24, 1989). "End, corner spots slated for top picks". Chicago Tribune. pp. 23, 29. Retrieved November 27, 2020 – via
  10. ^ Mitchell, Fred (December 18, 1989). "Bear defense faces the inevitable". Chicago Tribune. p. 47. Retrieved November 27, 2020 – via
  11. ^ Mitchell, Fred (October 30, 1989). "Bears report card". Chicago Tribune. p. 26. Retrieved November 27, 2020 – via
  12. ^ Sakamoto, Bob (October 16, 1990). "New zeal, depth resurrects Bears' defense". Chicago Tribune. p. 42. Retrieved November 27, 2020 – via
  13. ^ Sakamoto, Bob (October 8, 1990). "Bears' defense stings Majkowski". Chicago Tribune. p. 28. Retrieved November 27, 2020 – via
  14. ^ "Cowboys, Bears swap five players". Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  15. ^ "NFL Transactions". August 31, 1993. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  16. ^ "Atlanta Falcons -- Re-signed OT John Buddenberg,..." September 1993. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  17. ^ Biggs, Brad (November 25, 2020). "Markus Paul, a former Chicago Bears defensive back and the Dallas Cowboys strength coach, dies at 54". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
  18. ^ "It's homecoming for Paul as a Buc". December 23, 1993. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  19. ^ "Transactions". August 9, 1994. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  20. ^ "Markus Paul Stats". Retrieved November 27, 2020.
  21. ^ "Jets, Giants Shuffle Staff". New York Daily News. January 31, 2007. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
  22. ^ "Strength Coach Markus Paul Passes Away". Retrieved November 26, 2020.
  23. ^ Rapp, Timothy. "Cowboys Coach Markus Paul Dies at 54 After Medical Emergency at Team Facility". Bleacher Report. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
  24. ^ Nate Mink (November 25, 2020). "Markus Paul, former Syracuse All-American and Cowboys strength coach, hospitalized after medical emergency". Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  25. ^ McAllister, Michael (November 24, 2020). "Markus Paul Suffered Medical Emergency Tuesday Morning". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved November 25, 2020.