Rodney Marinelli (born July 13, 1949 in Rosemead, California) is the defensive coordinator and assistant head coach of the Chicago Bears. He is the former head coach of the Detroit Lions. He was fired from his position as head coach on December 29, 2008, one day after coaching the Lions to the worst single-season record in NFL history, 0–16.
Marinelli's coaching career began in 1973 as an assistant at Rosemead High School in suburban Los Angeles from 1973 to 1975. He earned his first collegiate job in 1976, serving as an assistant at Utah State University until 1982. He then moved on to the University of California for nine seasons, serving as the defensive line coach and later the assistant head coach. He was then on staff with Arizona State University for three seasons, again holding a dual role as defensive line and assistant head coach, between 1992 and 1994. Marinelli spent his final year in college football at University of Southern California in 1995.
Marinelli went to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1996 and was the defensive line coach for 6 seasons under head coach Tony Dungy. The latter four seasons he also served as assistant head coach. He was known for his structured approach and his commitment for trying to get the most out of his players. There he worked to develop lineman such as Warren Sapp and Simeon Rice into Pro Bowl caliber players. During Marinelli's tenure in Tampa Bay, the Buccaneers earned more sacks than any other franchise.
Despite a perfect 4-0 preseason, Marinelli coached the 2008 Lions to an 0-16 season, the first team in NFL history to lose every game of a season since a 16-game regular season was instituted in 1978 (the last winless regular season NFL team being the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers during a 14-game campaign). Many fans and sportswriters questioned Marinelli's mind over matter approach and ability to correctly judge and assemble talent.