American professional football player, a quarterback who in 1995 set National Football League (NFL) career records in passing completions, passing yardage, touchdown passes, and passing attemptsrecords all previously set by Fran Tarkenton.
Born Daniel Constantine Marino, Jr., in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he played football and baseball in high school and enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh in 1979. During his notable college football career, he led his team to four bowl games (postseason games held in December and January to which the best college football teams are invited each year) in four years: the Fiesta Bowl in December 1979, the Gator Bowl in December 1980, the Sugar Bowl in January 1982, and the Cotton Bowl in January 1983. He was selected by the Miami Dolphins in the first round of the 1983 NFL draft.
Early in the 1983 season, Marino became the starting quarterback for the Dolphins, a surprising accomplishment for a rookie. He led the Dolphins to the American Football Conference (AFC) Eastern Division title that year and was named the NFL's rookie of the year and a starting quarterback in the Pro Bowl, the annual postseason all-star game held by the NFL. In 1984 Marino became the first quarterback to pass for more than 5000 yards in a single season, and he broke the single-season record for touchdown passes. He was voted NFL player of the year, and in the postseason he led the Dolphins to the 1985 Super Bowl, which they lost to the San Francisco 49ers. In subsequent years Marino became famous for his throwing power and accuracy, quarterbacking the Dolphins to numerous playoff appearances.
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