COACHES
Joe Marciano
Special Teams Coordinator

Biography

With 32 years of experience coaching special teams in the NFL, Joe Marciano is currently in his fourth season at the helm of the Lions’ special teams units. He originally came to Detroit in 2015 after spending the 2014 season as a special teams consultant for the Minnesota Vikings, a role he filled following 12 seasons as the Houston Texans’ special teams coordinator from 2002-13.

Over the past three seasons under Marciano, Detroit's special teams have established a level of consistency in its kicking, coverage and return games that is unmatched in today's NFL.

With 32 years of experience coaching special teams in the NFL, Joe Marciano is currently in his fourth season at the helm of the Lions’ special teams units. He originally came to Detroit in 2015 after spending the 2014 season as a special teams consultant for the Minnesota Vikings, a role he filled following 12 seasons as the Houston Texans’ special teams coordinator from 2002-13.

Over the past three seasons under Marciano, Detroit's special teams have established a level of consistency in its kicking, coverage and return games that is unmatched in today's NFL.

LIONS COACHING HIGHLIGHTS

2017: The Lions’ 2017 special teams unit continued to impact the team’s success as the reliable trio of K Matt Prater, P Sam Martin and LS Don Muhlbach were aided by rookie return man and Associated Press First Team All-Pro CB Jamal Agnew.

  • In the third quarter at New Orleans (10/15), Agnew returned a Saints punt 74 yards for a touchdown, his second of the season. He joined Hall of Fame CB Jack Christiansen (4 in 1951) as the only rookies in Lions history to return 2+ punts for TDs. The Lions' fifth-round draft pick out of San Diego went on the lead the NFL last season in both punt return touchdowns (2) and punt return average (15.4).
  • On the season , Prater finished with 130 points and became the second player in team history, along with K Jason Hanson (1993, 1995, 2012), to score 130+ points in a season. Prater scored 130 points in a season for the third time in his career (133 in 2012, 150 in 2013), and his 130 points in 2017 tie for the third-most in team history.
  • With 30 field goals in 2017, Prater became the first player in team history to make 30+ field goals in back-to- back seasons and also joined Hanson (34 in 1993 and 32 in 2012) as the only players in team history to make 30+ field goals twice in their careers.
  • With seven 50+-yard field goals in 2016 and 2017, Prater joined K Phil Dawson (7 in 2011 and 7 in 2012) as the only kickers in NFL history to make at least seven 50+-yard field goals in consecutive seasons.
  • By playing against the Panthers in Week 5, Muhlbach played in his 201st career game and passed LB Wayne Walker (200) for sole possession of third place on the Lions' all-time list for career games played. His current total stands at 212, and he trails C Dominic Raiola (219) for second place.

2016: Highlighting the Lions’ 2016 special teams success was Prater, who earned his second career trip to the Pro Bowl after connecting on a career-high 31 field goals (T-7th in NFL). His 31 field goals made rank third all-time in Lions single-season history behind only K Jason Hanson.

  • Martin capped off 2016 with one of the best stretches of any punter as his 44.2 net punting average ranks third all-time in NFL history (2nd in NFL in 2016). His gross punting average of 48.5 also ranked third in the NFL in 2016.
  • Martin punted the ball 62 times in 2016, with 31 of them traveling 50 yards or more (50.0), which led all punters in the NFL.

 

ADDITIONAL COACHING HIGHLIGHTS

  • Spent 12 seasons as the Houston Texans special teams coordinator (2002-13). Up until his departure from Houston in 2013, Marciano and running backs coach Chick Harris were the only coaches to have been with the Texans since the team’s inception in 2002.
  • Began his NFL coaching career in New Orleans as the Saints’ special teams/tight ends coach from 1986-1994 before switching primarily to special teams in 1995. Also coached the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ special teams units from 1996-2001 where he crossed paths with Lions Head Coach Jim Caldwell in 2001, who was the team’s quarterbacks coach that season.
  • During his tenure in Houston, the Texans ranked among the Top-10 in the NFL in multiple special teams categories, including punt return yards (8th; 4,232), kickoff return yards (5th; 17,687), total kick return yards (2nd; 21,919), opponent punt return average (7th; 8.5) and opponent punt return yards (9th; 3,537).
  • Mentored multiple players to the Pro Bowl, including KR Jerome Mathis, K Martin Gramatica, K Morten Andersen and DB Tyrone Hughes.
  • Marciano has helped Tyrone Hughes, Jerome Mathis and Jamal Agnew all receive First Team All-Pro honors as return men in their rookie seasons.

Marciano helped the Houston special teams units set multiple records in his 12 seasons with the team. In 2012, rookie WR Keshawn Martin ranked fifth in the NFL with a franchise-record 12.14 yards average on punt returns, while P Donnie Jones set a team single-season high with a 47.2 yards punting average and a 40.5 yards net punting average. In 2011, former wide receiver Jacoby Jones recorded a career-high 518 yards on punt returns and set a franchise record with the third punt return touchdown of his career, while K Neil Rackers set new club marks with 135 points and 32 field goals made.

The Texans tied three NFL special teams records in 2007 under Marciano, as Houston became the fourth team in NFL history to record four kickoff return touchdowns in a single season. WR Andre Davis tied another League record when he returned two kickoffs for touchdowns in one game, becoming only the seventh player in NFL history to do so. Against Miami, K Kris Brown became just the third player ever to make three field goals of 50 yards or longer in one game.

Marciano came to Houston after spending the previous six seasons (1996-2001) with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he served in the same capacity under former head coach Tony Dungy. In six seasons with Tampa, 10 players received NFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors under Marciano’s tutelage.

Before coming to Tampa Bay, Marciano coached the New Orleans Saints special teams units for 10 seasons (1986-1995), as well as the team’s tight ends for nine seasons (1986-1994). 

Marciano’s coaching roots date back to Wyoming Area (Pa.) High School in 1976 before he moved on to various assistant coach positions in the college ranks, including East Stroudsburg State (1977), Rhode Island (1978-79), Villanova (1980), Penn State (1981) and Temple (1982). He also coached special teams for the former USFL’s Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars from 1983-1985.

A native of Dunmore, Pa., Marciano played collegiately at Temple, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education. Prior to being hired by the Lions, Marciano resided in Missouri City, Texas with his son, Joseph.

 

MARCIANO’S COACHING BACKGROUND

Detroit Lions.................................................................................... 2015-

      Special Teams Coordinator................................................ 2015-

Minnesota Vikings......................................................................... 2014

      Interim Special Teams Coordinator................................ 2014

Houston Texans.................................................................. 2002-2013

      Special Teams Coordinator.......................................... 2002-13

Tampa Bay Buccaneers.................................................. 1996-2001

      Special Teams Coordinator.................................... 1996-2001

New Orleans Saints.......................................................... 1986-1995

      Special Teams Coordinator................................................. 1995

      Special Teams/Tight Ends............................................ 1986-94

Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars (USFL)........................... 1983-85

      Special Teams/Tight Ends............................................ 1983-85

Temple.................................................................................................. 1982

      Special Teams/Tight Ends................................................... 1982

Penn State.......................................................................................... 1981

      Tight Ends................................................................................... 1981

Villanova.............................................................................................. 1980

      Wide Receivers......................................................................... 1980

Rhode Island.............................................................................. 1978-79

      Wide Receivers.................................................................. 1978-79

East Stroudsburg State............................................................... 1977

       Tight Ends................................................................................... 1977

Wyoming Area High School (Pa.)............................................. 1976

       Assistant Coach....................................................................... 1976

Recent Videos

  • Joe Marciano: Special teams 'fireball'

    Posted Jul 1, 2015

    Tori Petry sits down with special teams coordinator Joe Marciano to talk about his passionate approach to coaching and the type of players he's looking to make an impact with this year on special teams.

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