Interview with Buffalo Bills Head Coach Doug Marrone

November 21, 2013 – On a beautiful autumn afternoon in October, I traveled to Orchard Park, New York to interview Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone for a feature, which will appear in the 2013 New Era Pinstripe Bowl Official Game Program.

Prior to taking the Bills job in January, Marrone was the head coach at Syracuse University, and he led his team to victories in the inaugural New Era Pinstripe Bowl in 2010, and he hoisted the George M. Steinbrenner Trophy again after defeating West Virginia University in the game last year.

In the interview, which took place after a Bills practice, the Bronx native shared his favorite memory from the week leading up to the first Pinstripe Bowl game.

“A few days before the game, I participated in a coaching clinic with a group of kids from the Bronx,” said Marrone. “I spoke to them about how important education and sports were in my growth as a person. When I was delivering that talk, I thought to myself, ‘This is my life right in front of me. I was just like these kids.’ I was in the same place as those kids, and fortunately, I got a college scholarship. Now, I’m a head coach speaking to him. That clinic made me realize that life had really come full circle for me.”

Marrone, who led the Orange to 8-5 records in 2010 and 2012, also spoke about the moments after the inaugural Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium.

“One of the most special moments of my life was when I received the trophy,” Marrone said. “They handed me the microphone, and I began to thank the people who helped us get to that point. When I started to speak, I heard an echo, and it made me think about Lou Gehrig’s speech. There’s nothing like winning a game in New York City because you become part of such great history. That was very special for me.”

The 2012 New Era Pinstripe Bowl was played in a snowstorm, and in my opinion, the weather conditions only enhanced the atmosphere in Yankee Stadium and added to the excitement. Near the end of the interview, I asked Marrone about coaching that game in the snow, and his response resonated with me.

“Being on the field that day reminded me of some of the football games at the old Yankee Stadium and at the Polo Grounds, which were played on torn-up fields while it was snowing,” Marrone said. “I’m a purist, and I believe those are the best conditions to play football in. I loved everything about that day.”

Again, the entire interview with Marrone will be published in the 2013 New Era Pinstripe Bowl Official Game Program. That publication will be available at the 2013 New Era Pinstripe Bowl on December 28, and it can be purchased by calling (800) GO-YANKS or by logging on to http://www.yankees.com/publications.

–Alfred Santasiere III

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