John Marinelli started his tenure as the Head Football Coach with Greenwich in the spring of 2015. He came from New Canaan High School where he served as the Offensive Coordinator from 2009 to 2014. Running the most efficient offense in the state over those years, Marinelli was a part of five State Championship Games out of a possible six from 2009 to 2014, winning three State Titles, and one FCIAC Championship. As a coach for New Canaan, he also worked with the quarterbacks. Since 2006 a quarterback under his tutelage has earned All State Honors ten times out of thirteen possible seasons. Most recently, Gavin Muir in 2017 & 2018 for Greenwich.
Off the field, Coach Marinelli has been a dedicated advocate against Domestic Violence. Since his first year, he has worked closely with the YWCA & YNET services in Greenwich to promote the awareness of Domestic Abuse. In 2017 he was honored by the YWCA Greenwich Domestic Abuse Services with the esteemed “Purple Ribbon Award” for his outstanding commitment to the prevention of Domestic Violence. In October of 2018, he participated on a panel for the Fairfield County Community Foundation to initiate awareness for teenage student-athletes to help prevent sexual violence.
Greenwich Time, October 12th, 2017: YWCA lights candles for domestic violence awareness
He has instituted a speaker program throughout the year to have individuals of various backgrounds including, former and current NFL players, collegiate student-athletes, law enforcement personnel, political leaders, and more. All to enhance the educational experience for the program.
Aside from his duties as the Head Coach at Greenwich High School, Marinelli has dedicated much of his time to the youth organizations, mainly the GYFL (Greenwich Youth Football League) to help advocate on behalf of the sport. He has worked to implement the changes in the sport at the youth and high school levels. He continues to promote a uniformed approach of the fundamentals and techniques for all football players, and to mentor youth coaches to ensure that the skills and tools needed to play and coach are always being sharpened.
Coach Marinelli has overseen the off season program which in 2018 was crowned with the “Strength of America Award” by the United States Council for Sports & Nutrition, sponsored by the NSCA (National Strength & Conditioning Association) as one of the top programs in the nation.
When Marinelli took over Greenwich in 2015, it was the programs first losing record in decades, finishing 4-5. However, in 2016, the Cardinals made the State Playoffs for the first time since 2012, losing in the first round to eventual champion and #1 ranked team in the state. Greenwich finished 7-4, with all four loses coming to the 1, 2, and 3 ranked teams in the final poll of the state. In 2017, the Cardinals went perfect in the regular season, 10-0, ending a ten year drought of FCIAC Championships, and the 1st for Coach Marinelli as a Head Coach. The Cardinals lost in the State Championship, but won two playoff games, (Greenwich’s first playoff win since 2007). In year four of Marinelli’s tenure, 2018, his team went perfect, 13-0, on the way to Greenwich’s first State Championship since 2007. For the first time in Greenwich’s storied history, the Cardinals ended the year as the Number 1 Team in Connecticut in the Media and Coaches Polls. Greenwich also won the Joseph W. Kelly Award, given to the Team of the year by the Walter Camp Foundation, and the CHSCA (Connecticut High School Coaches Association) Team of the Year. Greenwich also repeated as FCIAC and Divisional Champions, and finished #30 in the Country.
In his first four years at the helm, Greenwich has sent 26 players to continue their dreams at the next level in college. He continues to help student-athletes achieve their goals both academically and athletically.
Coach was selected by members of the media to be the 2018 New Haven Register / GameTime CT Coach of the Year for Connecticut, the 2018 Walter Camp Coach of the Year, and also awarded 2018 Coach of the Year by USA Today for Connecticut, and 2018 FNF Coach of the Year for Connecticut. The Connecticut Sports Writers’ Alliance named Coach Marinelli the recipient of the 2018 Doc McInerney Coach of the Year. In 2017 & 2018 his third & fourth years at Greenwich, he was selected as the Coach of the Year in the FCIAC. In 2017 & 2018 he won the National Football Foundation’s Desantis/McDougal Chapter Coach of the Year, and the National Football Foundation’s FCIAC Coach of the year. In those years his teams went 25-1 with back to back FCIAC Championships, a State Runner Up in 2017, and a State Championship in 2018. In 2016, HUDL featured Coach in HUDL 100's most influential users.
A graduate of New Canaan High School, in 2002 and 2003, Coach Marinelli was an All-FCIAC selection as a defensive back and quarterback for the Rams. In 2003, he was an All-State safety and quarterback. During his time at New Canaan, he helped the Rams win back to back State Championships in 2001 and 2002. He then went on to attend Canterbury School as a post-graduate, he helped Canterbury earn a bid to the Prep Bowl in 2004. In 2004, with Canterbury, he was an All-League Quarterback and Safety, and nominated to the All-New England Team.
Coach Marinelli went on to play at Fordham University for his freshman year before transferring to Trinity College. Coach Marinelli was a three year starter for the Bantams, and helped Trinity win the NESCAC Title in 2008. In 2008 & 2009 he was an All-NESCAC selection at safety.
“Culture is not built by what you proclaim. It is built by what you practice, promote, and permit” ~Unknown