Marv Marinovich

Last updated

Marv Marinovich
No. 68
Position: Offensive guard
Personal information
Born:(1939-08-06)August 6, 1939
Watsonville, California
Died:December 3, 2020(2020-12-03) (aged 81)
Mission Viejo, California
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:250 lb (113 kg)
Career information
High school: Watsonville (CA)
College: USC
NFL Draft: 1962  / Round: 12 / Pick: 156
(by the Los Angeles Rams) [1]
AFL draft: 1962  / Round: 28
Career history
Career NFL statistics
Games played:1
Player stats at

Marvin Jack Marinovich (August 6, 1939 — December 3, 2020) was an American college and professional football player who became a strength and conditioning coach. He played college football as a two-way lineman for the USC Trojans and was captain of their national championship team in 1962. He played professionally as an offensive guard for the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League (NFL). He was later the founder of Marinovich Training Systems. [2] [3] [4]


Early years

Marv Marinovich grew up with his extended family on a three-thousand-acre (12 km²) ranch in Watsonville, in northern California. The area was owned by his Croatian grandfather, J. G. Marinovich, who had supposedly been in the Russian Army and overseen the battlefield amputation of his own arm. [5] Marinovich attended Watsonville High School.

College career

Marinovich went to Santa Monica College, where the team went undefeated and won the 1958 national junior-college championship. From there he transferred to the University of Southern California. While majoring in art at USC, Marinovich was a two-way lineman and a captain of the USC team that won the 1962 national championship; however, during the 1963 Rose Bowl he was ejected for fighting. Known for his passion, he was named Most Inspirational Player by his teammates. In college, he met his wife, Trudi (née Fertig), who was a sorority girl at USC, and the sister of USC quarterback Craig Fertig; she dropped out of college after her sophomore year to marry Marinovich. [5]

Professional career

Marinovich entered professional football during the era of NFL and AFL competitive drafts, and was drafted in the 12th round of the 1962 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams and in the 1962 AFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders. After a disappointing three-year career, where he over-trained himself based on weight and bulk with little time for recovery, Marinovich left to focus on sports training.

Strength and conditioning coach

Marinovich studied Eastern Bloc training methods and was hired by Oakland Raiders owner, Al Davis, as one of the NFL's first strength-and-conditioning coaches. Marinovich learned to focus more on training for speed and flexibility, and much of his work became the basis for modern core- and swimming-pool-based conditioning programs. He later worked for the MLB's St. Louis Cardinals, and then the Hawaiians of the World Football League. He eventually moved his young family in with his in-laws on the Balboa Peninsula of Newport Beach, California. [5] He later opened his own athletic research center, and began applying the techniques to his children, Traci and Todd Marinovich, introducing sport training before they could leave the crib and continuing it throughout childhood and adolescence. [6]

Todd Marinovich became a high school football legend, dominating all records in Orange County and coming to national attention when Sports Illustrated published an article, titled "Bred To Be A Superstar", that discussed his unique upbringing under his father who wanted to turn his son into the "perfect quarterback". The article declared Marinovich "America's first test-tube athlete", and mentioned his mother took him to museums, played him classical music and jazz while banning cartoons as too violent and instead viewing films by Alfred Hitchcock. Marv Marinovich had assembled a team of advisers to tutor him on every facet of the game. [6] [7] In a noted passage, the article described that:

He has never eaten a Big Mac or an Oreo or a Ding Dong. When he went to birthday parties as a kid, he would take his own cake and ice cream to avoid sugar and refined white flour. He would eat homemade catsup, prepared with honey. He did consume beef but not the kind injected with hormones. He ate only unprocessed dairy products. He teethed on frozen kidney. When Todd was one month old, Marv was already working on his son's physical conditioning. He stretched his hamstrings. Pushups were next. Marv invented a game in which Todd would try to lift a medicine ball onto a kitchen counter. Marv also put him on a balance beam. Both activities grew easier when Todd learned to walk. There was a football in Todd's crib from day one. "Not a real NFL ball," says Marv. "That would be sick; it was a stuffed ball." [6]

Because of his strict upbringing and almost mechanical lifestyle under his father, some nicknamed him the "Robo QB." [7] Todd Marinovich went on to have a solid career at USC, but began to show signs of emotional rebellion against his strict upbringing under his father; by the time he entered the NFL as a first round draft pick, he soon became a major bust due to personal issues. As a result, an ESPN columnist named the elder Marinovich one of history's "worst sports fathers." [5]

In 1997 Marinovich started training athletes privately. [8] Training professional athletes such as Steve Finley, Jason Sehorn, Tyson Chandler and Troy Polamalu. [8] [9] [10] In 2003 together with Biomedical expert Gavin MacMillan they founded SportsLab gym in Rancho Santa Margarita, California with MacMillan as owner and president and Marinovich as head coach. [11] [12] In 2003 Marinovich together with chiropractor Edythe Heus, wrote and published ProBodX: Proper Body Exercise – A sum of the research and experience in the unique strength and conditioning program. [8]

In 2008 the gym name changed to Sport Science Lab (SSL) and was located at San Juan Capistrano, California. Under Sports Science Lab, Marinovich's unique training system was called the Neuromuscular Intensification System. [13] At some point between 2008–2010 Marinovich stopped being associated with SSL. [14] [15]

In May 2009, Marinovich became the strength and conditioning coach for MMA fighter BJ Penn for his August 8 title defense against Kenny Florian, at UFC 101 in the main event. Penn defeated Florian by a rear naked choke at 3:54 of the 4th round to retain the UFC lightweight title, [16] and then following with another win against Diego Sanchez via 5th-round TKO due to a cut. [17]

In late 2011, Marv Marinovich along with his brother Gary trained either at Integrated Martial Sciences Academy (IMS Academy) in Live Oak, Santa Cruz County, California or at Noble-Moreno Boxing Gym in Watsonville, California. His training program is known as Marinovich Training Systems. [2] [3] [4]

In 2018 the Marinovich family revealed that Marv Marinovich had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and was living at a care facility in Mission Viejo, California. [18] Marinovich died on December 3, 2020 in Mission Viejo, California. He was 81 years old. [19]


Marinovich is the father of Todd Marinovich, Mikhail Marinovich, and Traci Marinovich Grove. Todd and Traci's mother is Trudi Marinovich, and Mikhail's mother is Jan Crawford. His brother-in-law is Craig Fertig, who was also a former USC football player. [6]

Related Research Articles

Troy Polamalu American football player, safety and American football executive

Troy Aumua Polamalu is a former American football strong safety who played his entire twelve-year career for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Southern California (USC) and earned consensus All-American honors. He was chosen by the Steelers in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft. He was a member of two of the Steelers' Super Bowl championship teams and was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2010. Polamalu is an eight time Pro-Bowler and a six time All-Pro selection. He was also the Head of Player Relations of the Alliance of American Football. Polamalu was inducted into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame in 2020, his first year of eligibility.

Todd Marvin Marinovich is a former American and Canadian football quarterback. He played for the Los Angeles Raiders of the National Football League and also in the Canadian Football League, Arena Football League, and Development Football International. Marinovich is known for the well-documented, intense focus of his training as a young athlete and for his brief career upon reaching the professional leagues that was cut short primarily because of his addiction to drugs.

Johnnie Morton, Jr. is a former American football wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL) during the 1990s and 2000s. He played college football for the University of Southern California (USC), and was recognized as an All-American in 1993. Originally drafted by the Detroit Lions in the first round in the 1994 NFL Draft, he also played professionally for the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers of the NFL. Morton also had a brief career in mixed martial arts fighting in 2007.

Patrick O'Hara is a former coach and quarterback in the Arena Football League (AFL). He currently serves as the quarterback coach for the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 10th round of the 1991 NFL Draft. He played college football at USC.

Ricky Ervins

Richard Ervins is a former American football running back in the National Football League (NFL) for the Washington Redskins and San Francisco 49ers. He played college football at the University of Southern California.

Kennedy Polamalu

Kennedy Polamalu is an American football coach and former player who is currently the running backs coach for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL). He was the offensive coordinator for the UCLA Bruins. Prior to that he was the offensive coordinator for the USC Trojans.

Vincent Tobias Evans is a former professional American football quarterback who was selected by the Chicago Bears in the sixth round of the 1977 NFL Draft. Evans played college football at the University of Southern California (USC) and was the MVP of the 1977 Rose Bowl after the Trojans' 14–6 victory over Michigan.

Jay Schroeder American football quarterback

Jay Brian Schroeder is a former professional American football quarterback. He played college football at UCLA, after which he was selected in the third round of the 1984 NFL draft by the Washington Redskins where he played for three seasons. He then played for the Los Angeles Raiders for five seasons and spent one season each with the Cincinnati Bengals and Arizona Cardinals.

Craig Fertig was an American football player and coach. He was the head football coach at Oregon State University from 1976 to 1979, compiling a record of 10–34–1 (.233) in four seasons.

Watsonville High School

Watsonville High School is a high school located in Watsonville, Santa Cruz County, California, and is part of the Pajaro Valley Unified School District. This is an open campus school, thus students are able to leave and come back after lunch. The school mascot is Willy the Wildcat. The school colors are black and gold. Their most recent rival is Pajaro Valley High School, which is also located in Watsonville. Watsonville High's long-time rival is Aptos High School; the football game between the two schools is known as the "Black and Blue Bowl." Watsonville High School is a large school with over 2,000 students and staff, making it the largest school in the Pajaro Valley Unified School district.

Lamont Bertrell Hollinquest is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League for the Washington Redskins and the Green Bay Packers. He played college football at the University of Southern California.

Matt Barkley American football quarterback

Matthew Montgomery Barkley is an American football quarterback for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Southern California, and was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He has also played for the Chicago Bears, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers and Cincinnati Bengals.

The 1963 Rose Bowl was the 49th edition of the college football bowl game, played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California on Tuesday, January 1, at the end of the 1962 season. The top-ranked USC Trojans defeated the Wisconsin Badgers, 42–37. This was the first #1 versus #2 match-up in a bowl game, although #1 versus #2 match-ups had occurred previously as regular season games. The quarterbacks, Ron Vander Kelen of Wisconsin and Pete Beathard of USC, were named co-Players of the Game.

Richard Enright is a former American football player and coach. He was the head coach at the University of Oregon in 1972 and 1973, with a record of 6–16. Enright was a three-year letterman as a lineman at the University of Southern California.

The 1990 USC Trojans football team represented the University of Southern California (USC) in the 1990 NCAA Division I-A football season. In their fourth year under head coach Larry Smith, the Trojans compiled an 8–4–1 record, finished in second place in the Pacific-10 Conference (Pac-10), and outscored their opponents by a combined total of 348 to 274.

The 1959 USC Trojans football team represented the University of Southern California (USC) in the 1959 NCAA University Division football season. In their third year under head coach Don Clark, the Trojans compiled an 8–2 record, finished in a tie for the Athletic Association of Western Universities championship, and outscored their opponents by a combined total of 195 to 90. Total attendance for all 10 games was 453,865.

The 1962 USC Trojans football team represented the University of Southern California (USC) in the 1962 NCAA University Division football season. In their third year under head coach John McKay, the Trojans compiled an 11–0 record, won the Athletic Association of Western Universities championship, defeated Wisconsin in the 1963 Rose Bowl, outscored their opponents by a combined total of 261 to 92, and finished the season ranked #1 in both the AP Poll and UPI Coaches Poll.

Michael Yessis

Michael Yessis is a teacher, sports performance trainer, biomechanist, and author. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. He has done work translating, adapting, and implementing sports training methodology from the former Soviet Union, including work by Yuri Verkhoshansky, Anatoliy Bondarchuk, and Vladimir Issurin, for over fifty years. Yessis has worked extensively with professional and amateur athletes, including Marv Marinovich, Evander Holyfield, Dianne DeNecochea, Jose Luiz Barbosa, and others in over 50 years of active work. Yessis worked with the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Raiders professional football teams, as well as Team USA Volleyball. Muscle & Fitness Magazine referred to Yessis as a "legendary biomechanist."

History of the Los Angeles Raiders

The professional American football team now known as the Las Vegas Raiders played in Los Angeles, California as the Los Angeles Raiders from 1982 to 1994 before relocating back to Oakland, where the team played from its inaugural 1960 season to the 1981 season. The team's first home game in Los Angeles was at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum against the San Diego Chargers on November 22, 1982 after a 57-day player strike. They played their last game as a Los Angeles-based club on December 24, 1994 at the Coliseum against the Kansas City Chiefs, a game which they lost 19–9 to eliminate them from playoff contention.

Nicholas Curson is an American strength and conditioning coach, founder of Speed Of Sport gym in Torrance, California. Curson has been involved with various S&C training modalities since the mid-1990s, as a Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) practitioner, competitor and instructor. Since late 2009, he has specialized in Eastern Bloc influenced Marinovich Training Systems and works closely with Russian–born neuroscientist and neurophysiologist Dr. Igor Lavrov of the S.M. Kirov Military Medical Academy and currently a Mayo Clinic principal researcher. Curson describes himself as a sports performance specialist, since he is not credentialed with a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) certificate.


  1. "1962 Los Angeles Rams". Archived from the original on April 11, 2007. Retrieved July 18, 2020.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  2. 1 2 "Marinovich Training Systems". Archived from the original on May 16, 2016. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
  3. 1 2 "Marinovich brothers to host seminar on Sunday". Register-Pajaronian . April 14, 2012. Archived from the original on June 17, 2016. Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  4. 1 2 "Marinovich training a change of pace, direction for athletes". Santa Cruz Sentinel . Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  5. 1 2 3 4 Mike Sager, Todd Marinovich: The Man Who Never Was, Esquire, April 14, 2009, Accessed April 15, 2009.
  6. 1 2 3 4 Douglas S. Looney, Bred To Be A Superstar, Sports Illustrated, February 22, 1988, Accessed September 10, 2008.
  7. 1 2 Douglas S. Looney, The Minefield, Sports Illustrated, September 3, 1990, Accessed October 2, 2015.
  8. 1 2 3 "Diamondbacks star 'goes yard' with ProBodX". Retrieved May 26, 2016.
  9. "Polamalu in middle of training revolution". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette . Retrieved May 26, 2016.
  10. "Trainer takes a whole-body approach with ProBodX.(The Orange County Register)". HighBeam Research. September 26, 2003. Archived from the original on September 10, 2016. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
  11. SportsLab, Manta, Retrieved May 27, 2016
  12. Trademarks owned by Gavin MacMillan , Retrieved May 27, 2016
  13. "Neuromuscular Connection". Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  14. "About Us | Sports Lab (Archived)". Wayback Machine . June 9, 2008. Archived from the original on June 9, 2008. Retrieved May 26, 2016.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  15. "About Us | Sport Science Lab". Wayback Machine . February 3, 2009. Archived from the original on February 3, 2009. Retrieved May 26, 2016.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  16. Chiappetta, Mike (May 2, 2009). "BJ Penn Enlists Infamous Trainer in Preparing for Florian". SB Nation ( Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  17. McElroy, Jordy. "BJ Penn Training with Marinovich Again". Bleacher Report . Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  18. Rosenberg, Michael (January 14, 2019). "Learning to Be Human Again". Sports Illustrated. p. 65. Archived from the original on January 11, 2019. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  19. Rittenberg, Adam (December 4, 2020). "Marv Marinovich, captain of USC Trojans' 1962 championship team, dies at 81". . Retrieved December 4, 2020.