Don Strock

Last updated

Don Strock
No. 10, 12
Position: Quarterback
Personal information
Born: (1950-11-27) November 27, 1950 (age 70)
Pottstown, Pennsylvania
Height:6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight:220 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High school: Owen J. Roberts
(Bucktown, Pennsylvania)
College: Virginia Tech
NFL Draft: 1973  / Round: 5 / Pick: 111
Career history
As coach
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Passing yards:5,349
Passer rating:79.4
Head coaching record
Regular season:AFL: 13–11 (.542)
Postseason:AFL: 1–2 (.333)
  • AFL: 14–13 (.519)
  • NCAA: 15–41 (.268)
Player stats at

Don Strock (born November 27, 1950) is a former American football player and coach. He played professionally as a quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) with the Miami Dolphins (1973–1987), Cleveland Browns (1988), and Indianapolis Colts (1989). Strock served as the head football coach at Florida International University from 2002 to 2006, compiling a record of 15–41.


Playing career


Strock played college football at Virginia Tech. In his senior season in 1972, Strock led the nation in total passing and total offense, yet finished only ninth in voting for the Heisman Trophy. He was voted third-team All-America. [1] The college game was then dominated by running backs; the 1972 Heisman went to wingback Johnny Rodgers of Nebraska. [2]

To date, Strock still holds many collegiate football passing records at his alma mater [3] and was inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 1985.


Strock played in the National Football League as a quarterback. A 5th round selection (111th overall pick) of the 1973 NFL Draft, he spent the majority of his professional career with the Miami Dolphins (1973–1987), and was mostly known for his role as a back-up to Hall-of Famers Bob Griese in his first years with the team and Dan Marino as he finished his career with the club. He also played one season with the Cleveland Browns (1988) and part of a season on the roster of the Indianapolis Colts (1989) before retiring as a player.

Strock was a member of the "taxi squad" during the 1973 season when the Dolphins won their second straight Super Bowl following the undefeated 1972–73 season. He was also a member of the Dolphin teams who played and lost in the 1982 and 1984 Super Bowls.

Strock is well-remembered for coming off the bench on January 2, 1982, for the Miami Dolphins in an AFC Divisional Playoff Game against the San Diego Chargers at the Miami Orange Bowl. Strock led Miami from a 24–0 deficit to tie the score in the 3rd quarter. Ultimately, Miami lost the game to San Diego, 41–38, in overtime. The game is also remembered for the image of San Diego tight end Kellen Winslow being helped off the field by his teammates after the game while suffering from exhaustion. Strock finished the game with 29 of 43 completions for 403 yards and four touchdowns, with one interception. The game later became known as The Epic in Miami and has entered NFL lore as one of the greatest games ever in NFL history.

Coaching career

Arena Football League, the World League and the NFL

Strock began his coaching career as the head coach of the Miami Hooters of the Arena Football League for one season in 1993. The following season, he moved on to be the head coach of the Massachusetts Marauders and again only stayed for one season. He then moved on to be an assistant coach of the Rhein Fire in the World League during 1995 season. Between 1996–1998 seasons, he was the quarterbacks coach of the Baltimore Ravens in the NFL.

Florida International University

On September 13, 2000, Strock was named the first head football coach in FIU's history. He was named to the position just shy of two years before the university's inaugural football game. Prior to being named head coach he was the director of football operations, a job he had obtained the year before. His overall record through the 2006 football season was 15–41.

On November 15, 2006 Strock resigned as head coach of the FIU Golden Panthers. Of his 15 career victories, none came during the 2006 campaign and only three of them came against NCAA Division I-A opponents. His resignation came after an 0–9 start and a much-publicized brawl against the University of Miami Hurricanes caused 16 players from FIU to be suspended. [4] His resignation became effective following FIU's last game against Troy University on December 2, 2006.

Head coaching record


FIU Golden Panthers (NCAA Division I-AA independent)(2002–2004)
2002 FIU 5–6
2003 FIU 2–10
2004 FIU 3–7
FIU Golden Panthers (Sun Belt Conference)(2005–2006)
2005 FIU 5–63–4T–2nd
2006 FIU 0–120–75th

See also

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  1. "Tech All-Americans" . Retrieved March 9, 2019.
  2. - 1972 voting Archived November 8, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  3. "Football :: Lane Stadium Records". Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  4. "Florida International coach resigns". Associated Press. November 15, 2006. Retrieved November 15, 2006.