Sports

NFL Notebook

Ex-Colts coach, Bill Belichick mentor Ted Marchibroda dead at 84

Ted Marchibroda, shown with Colts quarterback Bert Jones in 1975,  went 87-98-1 in his career, including 2-4 in the playoffs.
Associated Press/File
Ted Marchibroda, shown with Colts quarterback Bert Jones in 1975, went 87-98-1 in his career, including 2-4 in the playoffs.

Former Colts coach and broadcaster Ted Marchibroda, a mentor for Patriots coach Bill Belichick, has died at age 84.

Team officials made the announcement Saturday after confirming the death with his family.

Marchibroda coached the Colts twice — in Baltimore from 1975-79 and in Indianapolis from 1992-95.

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In his first stint with the Colts he hired Belichick, then 23, as a special assistant for $25 per week. Belichick was promoted to assistant special teams coach in 1976 and coached receivers and tight ends in 1977.

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“It’s with a real heavy heart that I stand here,” Belichick said after the Patriots’ win Saturday. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Ted Marchibroda. He gave me a great opportunity. I learned so much from him, a lot of X’s and O’s, but it really isn’t about the X’s and O’s.”

Belichick’s link with Marchibroda and the Colts ended in 1978 when he took a job with the Broncos. He began a 12-year stint with the New York Giants the following season.

Marchibroda led the Colts to the playoffs three times in Baltimore and once in Indianapolis before returning to Baltimore as the Ravens’ first coach.

Colts owner Jim Irsay released a statement shortly after Marchibroda’s death.

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“We are extremely saddened and mourn the loss of Ted Marchibroda,” the statement read, via ESPN.com. “He had a proud history not just with the Colts, but also as a player, coach and broadcaster for over half a century with the NFL. Ted was an innovator and turned the Colts into an instant playoff team when he took his first head coaching role in 1975. Ted was as humble as they come, and he represented the Colts and our community with class both off the field and on. He was beloved by many, and will be sorely missed.’’

Marchibroda, the only man to coach both Baltimore franchises, the Colts and Ravens, went 87-98-1 in his career, including a 2-4 mark in the playoffs.

Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk played his first two NFL seasons under Marchibroda in Indianapolis.

“Just a grave loss,” Faulk said. “The man who I’m endeared to. Taught me a lot about football and life and just how they correlate and how taking care of your job, taking care of your family and handling your responsibilities and being a good teammate is very important. We lost a special man.”

Though Marchibroda wasn’t very successful after taking over the Ravens, going 14-31-1 in three seasons, he was just as appreciated by those in the locker room and around the organization.

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‘‘Ted is a founding father of the Ravens. He was a tremendous competitor and a tough man with a gentle soul,’’ general manager Ozzie Newsome was quoted as saying on the team’s Twitter feed.

Belichick wasn’t the only coach to develop under Marchibroda. Among other assistants who went on to become NFl head coaches were Lindy Infante, Marvin Lewis, Eric Mangini, Jim Schwartz, and Ken Whisenhunt.

After finishing with the Ravens in 1998, Marchibroda spent seven seasons working on Indy’s radio broadcasts.

He is survived by his wife, Ann; two daughters and two sons.

Titans hire Mularkey

The Titans announced that interim coach Mike Mularkey has been elevated to the role of head coach. Mularkey took over the interim role in November after the Titans fired coach Ken Whisenhunt following a 1-6 start. Tennessee went 2-7 the rest of the way to finish at 3-13 on the year -- missing the playoffs for the seventh consecutive season. Mularkey is 18-39, including stints with Buffalo and Jacksonville, as a head/interim coach in the NFL. ‘‘Mike is a quality coach and an outstanding person who will help us build this team the right way,’’ Controling owner Amy Strunk said in a statement, adding Mularkey is the right man to develop rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota. ‘‘He has experience as a head coach and a track record for developing young quarterbacks and dynamic offenses, and he also brings continuity for our franchise quarterback. We understand this may take time as we rebuild the roster and bring in new coaches for Mike’s staff, but we believe he has the experience and expertise to build a consistent winner.’’ . . . The Colts hired former Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin as their new offensive line coach.