USC Friday announced the death of Marv Marinovich, who captained the school’s 1962 national championship football team and played for the Oakland Raiders before becoming a strength and conditioning coach.
Marinovich, whose son Todd was a quarterback at USC and with the Raiders, died on Thursday of natural causes in Mission Viejo, according to the university’s athletic department. He was 81.
Marinovich’s other son Mikhail was a defensive end at Syracuse University.
Marinovich lettered for the Trojans in 1959, 1961 and 1962 as a two-way lineman. The 1962 USC team that he captained went 11-0, including a 42-37 victory over Wisconsin in the 1963 Rose Bowl.
As a 1962 senior, he won USC’s Most Inspirational Player award, was named Player of the Game versus UCLA and was chosen to play in the Hula Bowl.
Before entering USC, he played football at Watsonville High and what is now Santa Monica College, which he helped win the 1958 junior college national championship.
After a brief career with the Raiders, Marinovich became the team’s strength and conditioning coach. He also held similar roles with the St. Louis Cardinals and The Hawaiians of the World Football League.
Marinovich went on to open his own sports performance, training and research center in Orange County, adhering to a philosophy based on Eastern Bloc training methods that focused on speed and flexibility.
Professional athletes he trained included Troy Polamalu, Jason Sehorn, Tyson Chandler, Steve Finley and BJ Penn in addition to son Todd, whose football career was derailed by substance abuse problems.
Guided by his father, he set local and national high school passing records while leading his team at Capistrano Valley High School in Mission Viejo and enrolled at USC, leaving after playing two seasons to make himself eligible for the 1991 NFL draft where he was chosen by the Los Angeles Raiders with the 24th overall pick and the second quarterback taken, ahead of future Hall of Famer Brett Favre.
Along with his sons, the elder Marinovich is survived by his daughter, Traci Marinovich Grove, his brother, Gary, and several grandchildren.