Ted Marchibroda
refer to caption
Marchibroda in 1996
No. 17, 18, 7
Personal information
Born:(1931-03-15)March 15, 1931
Franklin, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died:January 16, 2016(2016-01-16) (aged 84)
Weems, Virginia, U.S.
Career information
College:St. Bonaventure
NFL draft:1953 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5
Career history
As a player:
As a coach:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Passing yards:2,169
Passer rating:45.3
Head coaching record
Regular season:87–98–1 (.470)
Postseason:2–4 (.333)
Career:89–102–1 (.466)
Player stats at PFR
Coaching stats at PFR

Theodore Joseph Marchibroda (March 15, 1931 – January 16, 2016) was an American professional football player and head coach in the National Football League (NFL).[1] He played four years in the NFL as a quarterback with the Pittsburgh Steelers (1953, 1955–1956) and Chicago Cardinals (1957). He was later head coach of the Colts in two different cities and decades, first in Baltimore during the 1970s and then Indianapolis during the 1990s. Upon joining the Baltimore Ravens in a similar capacity in 1996, he became the only individual to serve as head coach with both of Baltimore's NFL teams and gained the unusual distinction of having three stints as an NFL head coach for two franchises in two cities, but with no two of those tenures being for the same franchise in the same city. His career coaching record was 87–98–1 (.470) and 2–4 in the playoffs.

Playing career

Marchibroda played college football at Saint Bonaventure University[2] and the University of Detroit, where he excelled as a quarterback, leading the nation with 1,813 yards passing in 1952.

1953 Bowman football card

Marchibroda was selected in the first round of 1953 NFL Draft by his hometown Pittsburgh Steelers as the fifth overall pick and the first quarterback selected. After one year, he left the Steelers to serve in the U.S. Army, and returned to the Steelers after his discharge. Marchibroda finished his professional playing career with the Chicago Cardinals in 1957.[3]

Coaching career

Marchibroda began his coaching career in 1961 as an assistant for the Washington Redskins under Bill McPeak before joining the Los Angeles Rams in 1966 under first-year head coach George Allen.[4] He went with Allen to the Redskins in 1971 and was the offensive coordinator.

Marchibroda's first head coaching appointment was with the Baltimore Colts beginning on January 15, 1975.[5] Inheriting a 2–12 ballclub that was one of the two worst in the NFL in 1974, he led one of the two biggest turnarounds in pro football history when the Colts ended the 1975 regular season at 10–4 and qualified for the playoffs by winning the AFC East title for the first of three consecutive years.[6] All three postseason appearances ended in divisional round losses, first to the Steelers in both 1975 and 1976 and the Oakland Raiders in 1977.

His time with the Baltimore Colts nearly lasted only a season when he resigned on September 5, 1976, in response to team owner Robert Irsay verbally abusing his players after a loss in the final preseason match to the Detroit Lions at the Pontiac Silverdome three nights earlier on September 2. Marchibroda was also at odds with general manager Joe Thomas over player personnel decisions. He was rehired two days later on September 7 after offensive and defensive coordinators Whitey Dovell and Maxie Baughan threatened to quit and the players considered boycotting practice, all in support of Marchibroda.[7][8]

His five years as Colts head coach concluded with a pair of 5–11 last-place finishes in 1978 and 1979. The team was crippled by Irsay's acrimonious contract disputes with Lydell Mitchell and John Dutton which resulted in the players being traded to the San Diego Chargers and Dallas Cowboys respectively, Bert Jones' shoulder injuries that limited him to only seven games within those last two seasons and three years of questionable drafts. Marchibroda was relieved of his duties on December 27, 1979.[9] He was succeeded by Mike McCormack on January 17, 1980.[10]

After a one-year hiatus, he served as quarterbacks coach for the Chicago Bears in 1981 and offensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions in 1982 and 1983 and the Philadelphia Eagles in 1984 and 1985.[11]

Marchibroda served as the quarterbacks coach and later offensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills under head coach Marv Levy from 1987 to 1991.[12] As offensive coordinator for the Bills, he was influential in the evolution of the hurry-up offense. Levy, Marchibroda, and quarterback Jim Kelly used their version of the hurry-up offense, the "K-Gun" offense, more than any previous offense. Kelly would hurry to the line of scrimmage, preventing the defense from making substitutions, and called audibles at the line. The NFL later imposed a rule that allowed time for defense substitutions if the offense made substitutions, except after the two-minute warning of either half.[13]

Marchibroda returned to the Colts, now based in Indianapolis, for a second stint as head coach on January 28, 1992. Similar to his first time with the franchise, the Colts had ended the previous campaign at 1–15, fired Ron Meyer after five winless games and replaced him with Rick Venturi on an interim basis.[14] Marchibroda led the Colts to a 9–7 record in 1992. Three seasons later, the team fell a big play short of Super Bowl XXX when it lost the 1995 AFC Championship Game to the Steelers, but the playoff run did not guarantee job security for Marchibroda who parted ways with the Colts on February 9, 1996, after his demand for a contract extension of two years rather than one was rejected.[15] Offensive coordinator Lindy Infante was promoted to succeed him on February 15.[16]

Marchibroda's unemployment lasted only six days when he returned to Baltimore on February 15, 1996, as the first-ever head coach of a yet-to-be-named ballclub which was subsequently known as the Ravens. He replaced Bill Belichick who had been dismissed the previous day.[17] After three losing seasons in which the Ravens went 16–31–1, Marchibroda was notified that he was not going to be retained on December 28, 1998.[18] Brian Billick was named to succeed him just over three weeks later on January 20, 1999.[19]

Broadcasting career

Marchibroda was a radio color commentator for the Indianapolis Colts from 1999 to 2006 alongside Bob Lamey.[20]


Marchibroda died on January 16, 2016, from natural causes at his home in Weems, Virginia, at the age of 84.[5] He was survived by his wife Ann, their four children, and six grandchildren.[21]


Head coaching record


Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
BAL 1975 10 4 0 .714 1st in AFC East 0 1 .000 Lost to Pittsburgh Steelers in AFC Divisional Game.
BAL 1976 11 3 0 .786 1st in AFC East 0 1 .000 Lost to Pittsburgh Steelers in AFC Divisional Game.
BAL 1977 10 4 0 .714 1st in AFC East 0 1 .000 Lost to Oakland Raiders in AFC Divisional Game.
BAL 1978 5 11 0 .313 5th in AFC East
BAL 1979 5 11 0 .313 5th in AFC East
IND 1992 9 7 0 .563 3rd in AFC East
IND 1993 4 12 0 .250 5th in AFC East
IND 1994 8 8 0 .500 3rd in AFC East
IND 1995 9 7 0 .563 2nd in AFC East 2 1 .667 Lost to Pittsburgh Steelers in AFC Championship Game.
BAL/IND Total 71 67 0 .514 2 4 .333
BAL 1996 4 12 0 .250 5th in AFC Central
BAL 1997 6 9 1 .406 5th in AFC Central
BAL 1998 6 10 0 .375 4th in AFC Central
BAL Total 16 31 1 .344
Total 87 98 1 .470 2 4 .333

Coaching tree

NFL head coaches under whom Ted Marchibroda served:

Assistant coaches under Ted Marchibroda who became NFL or college head coaches:[23]

See also


  1. ^ "Former Colts Coach, Broadcaster Marchibroda Dies at Age 84". New York Times.com. Retrieved January 17, 2016.
  2. ^ "History Saint Bonaventure Football – Players". Archived from the original on May 27, 2011. Retrieved January 9, 2010.
  3. ^ "Ted Marchibroda – Player record". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 9, 2010.
  4. ^ George Allen's sphere of influence
  5. ^ a b "Ted Marchibroda, coach of Colts, Ravens, dead at 84". Baltimore Sun.com. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
  6. ^ Speck, Mark. "Pro Football's 'Worst to First,'" The Coffin Corner, Vol. 19, No. 6, 1997. Retrieved May 6, 2018
  7. ^ "Marchibroda Quits Colts In Dispute With Owner," The Associated Press, Sunday, September 5, 1976. Retrieved May 6, 2018
  8. ^ Wallace, William N. "Marchibroda Returns, Placated, to the Colts," The New York Times, Wednesday, September 8, 1976. Retrieved May 6, 2018
  9. ^ Attner, Paul. "Marchibroda Fired," The Washington Post, Friday, December 28, 1979. Retrieved May 5, 2018
  10. ^ Leavy, Jane. "Colts Pick McCormack," The Washington Post, Thursday, January 17, 1980. Retrieved May 6, 2018
  11. ^ Preston, Mike. "Mr. Nice Guy Coach: Ted Marchibroda brings a positive, gentle approach to running a team. But that doesn't mean he lacks fire," The Baltimore Sun, Saturday, August 31, 1996. Retrieved May 6, 2018
  12. ^ "Ted Marchibroda – Coaching record". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 9, 2010.
  13. ^ Offense not allowed to quick-sub and quick-snap
  14. ^ "Colts hire Marchibroda – again," United Press International, Tuesday, January 28, 1992. Retrieved May 6, 2018
  15. ^ Cyphers, Luke. "Colts Give Boot to Marchibroda," Daily News (New York), Saturday, February 10, 1996. Retrieved May 6, 2018
  16. ^ "Colts promote Infante to head coach," United Press International, Thursday, February 15, 1996. Retrieved May 6, 2018
  17. ^ Myers, Gary. "Hired: Baltimore Ted, Indy Lindy," Daily News (New York), Friday, February 16, 1996. Retrieved May 11, 2018
  18. ^ Preston, Mike. "On emotion-filled day, Marchibroda loses job Team contacts Seifert as potential candidate for Ravens head coach," The Baltimore Sun, Tuesday, December 29, 1998. Retrieved May 12, 2018
  19. ^ Denlinger, Ken. "Billick Named Coach of Ravens," The Washington Post, Wednesday, January 20, 1999. Retrieved May 12, 2018
  20. ^ Sessler, Marc (January 16, 2016). "Former NFL Coach Ted Marchibroda Dies at Age 84". National Football League. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
  21. ^ "Renowned former NFL coach Ted Marchibroda dies at age 84". Washington Post.com. Retrieved January 17, 2016.
  22. ^ "Ted Marchibroda « National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame and Museum". Archived from the original on October 21, 2013. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  23. ^ "The NFL Coaching Tree 2008". Sports Central. Retrieved January 9, 2010.