Former NFL head coach and quarterback Ted Marchibroda passed away Saturday from natural causes, he was eighty-four years old. He was best known for his NFL head coaching career with the Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens. Marchibroada was also a professional football player, he was a quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Chicago (now Arizona) Cardinals. During his career as a head coach he had a career record of eighty-seven wins, ninety one losses and a tie.
Born on March 15, 1931 a native of Franklin, Pennsylvania; Ted Marchibroda was an outstanding high school athlete, lettering in football, basketball and baseball for his alma mater Franklin High School. He attended St. Bonaventure and later transferred to the University of Detroit where he excelled as a quarterback, leading his school nationally in total offense. Marchibroda was drafted in the first round of the 1953 NFL Draft with the fifth pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers. His professional career was put on hold for a year when he was drafted in the United States Army during the Korean War in 1954, he resumed his career with the Steelers and later with the Cardinals before retiring in 1958.
After being away from the game for a few years, Ted Marchibroda began his career as an assistant coach in the National Football League in 1961 when he joined the staff of head coach Bill McPeak of the Washington Redskins. When McPeak was relieved of his coaching duties in 1965, he joined George Allen in Los Angeles where he would become a part of his coaching crew for the Rams. Marchibroda followed Allen to back to Washington in 1971 and remained with his staff as an offensive coordinator until leaving for Baltimore in 1975 to become the franchise’s eighth head coach. Due to his offensive schemes and coaching, he was successful with the Colts, leading them to three straight playoff appearances on the arm of Bert Jones before back-to-back 5-11 seasons which led to his dismissal at the end of the 1976 season.
Ted Marchibroda would bounce around the league as an offensive and assistant coach before joining Marv Levy’s staff with the Buffalo Bills in 1987 as a quarterbacks coach and later offensive coordinator in 1989. He developed Jim Kelly into an elite quarterback, using the “K-Gun” offense scheme which would be highly during the team’s four straight Super Bowl appearances from 1990-1993. Marchibroda would leave the Bills for a head coaching position with the Indianapolis Colts where he led the club to a run to the AFC Championship Game in 1995. The new Baltimore franchise the Ravens would hire him in 1996 where he spent the next three seasons with a record of 14-31-1.
Life after football for Ted Marchibroda was spent as a color radio commentator for the Indianapolis Colts from 1999 to 2006 before he retired from the sport for good. Ted Marchibroda was an innovative offensive coordinator who developed Bert Jones and Jim Kelly into all-star quarterbacks, coached under the tutelage of George Allen, help create the K-Gun offense with Marv Levy and developed future head coaches Jim Schwartz, Ken Whisenhunt, Eric Mangini, Bill Belichick and Marvin Lewis. He helped paved the way for the modern offense in the NFL and he will surely be missed.
Fans wanting to learn more about the life and times of NFL head coach and quarterback Ted Marchibroda please visit these websites for more information: Wikipedia, NFL, Pro Football Reference, New York Times, ESPN, Washington Post and Baltimore Sun.