Sunday, March 26, 2023

Dennis A. ‘Denny’ Marcin, 75, collegiate and NFL coach

Dennis A. ‘Denny’ Marcin

SOUTHPORT — Dennis A. ‘Denny’ Marcin, 75, passed away Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. He was born April 24, 1942, in Cleveland, Ohio, to John and Mildred Marcin. The “Old Ball Coach” spent most of his life on a football field, from his playing days at Benedictine High School and Miami (Ohio) University to his 50 years of coaching at the high school, college and professional level.

Soon after graduating from Miami in 1964, Denny married Elizabeth (Betsey) Merritt on Jan. 30, 1965; together, they had four children.

Denny began his coaching career as an assistant at St. Edward High School in Lakewood, Ohio, in 1964. He was head coach at St. Edward 1972 to 1973. From there, he joined the collegiate coaching ranks in 1974 at his alma mater, Miami University, where he stayed for four years before moving on to the University of North Carolina. He spent 10 years leading the UNC defense, which was followed by a nine-year stint at the University of Illinois.

Denny made the jump to the NFL as an assistant coach with the New York Giants in 1997 and coached in Super Bowl XXXV. After seven years with the Giants, he finished his coaching career with the New York Jets from 2004 to 2007. In 2003, Denny was inducted into the Miami University Cradle of Coaches, joining other greats who played and coached at his alma mater.

While Denny coached numerous all-conference players and two NFL Hall of Famers, he treated all players, from walk-ons to all-stars, with respect and his special sense of humor. He greatly enjoyed catching up with his former players and following their careers, and retained a great memory of stories that he loved to share.

After retiring from coaching, Denny and Betsey retired to Southport, N.C. He received his master gardener certification and took immense pride in his lawn and garden. Denny was active as a volunteer with Kiwanis of Southport-Oak Island, Meals on Wheels and with Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

Denny is survived by his beloved wife of 52 years, Betsey; loving father to sons, Jeff (Lynn) and Denny (Lynn); daughters, Melinda and Susan; devoted and proud grandfather to six grandchildren, Carlton, Maliik, Micah, Michael, Jeffrey and Peyton; brother, Phil (Linda); nephews, Philip (Maggie) and Joshua; and faithful dog, Sunshine.

The family will greet friends from 5 to 8 p.m., Monday, Sept. 25, at Peacock, Newnam & White Funeral Home, 1411 North Howe St., Southport. A funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 26, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 5269 Dosher Cut Off, Southport.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Kiwanis Club of Southport-Oak Island, P.O. Box 11487, Southport, NC 28461; or the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, 230 East Ohio St., Suite 500, Chicago, IL 60611.

Online condolences may be made at

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