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Life after football: Dan Marino's second career

Until his retirement after the 1999 season, Dan Marino was one of the NFL’s most-feared passers, his quick release and strong arm terrifying defenses and making opposing coaches work around the clock to game plan for his talent.

It’s now been more than 15 years since Marino last took a snap for the Miami Dolphins. Although he’s likely not keeping anyone up at night, he’s remained in the minds of football fans thanks to a successful second career.

Marino eased into his life after football by hovering close to the game, joining CBS as a studio analyst for The NFL Today in 2002. He left the show after the 2013 season.

“TV was something I knew I always wanted to do,” Marino said by phone. “I was fortunate enough to be able to do that for over 10 years.”

Of course not everyone, from football star to firefighter, is sure of what they want to do during retirement. So Marino has made helping those who are unsure part of his second career as well, joining AARP as a “Men’s Life Ambassador” in 2012.

As Marino puts it, his role is to help others find what drives them.

“It’s all about helping people find their passions,” Marino said. “I try to tell people to find what they’re passionate about in their community. I tell them to build relationships within the community, be professional, be personable. The relationships you build are very important.”

Marino practices what he preaches to other retirees. He’s still active in the community where he played. On Jan. 24, his charity organization, The Dan Marino Foundation, completed its fifth annual Dan Marino Foundation WalkAbout Autism & Expo in partnership with the South Florida Autism Community.

His professionalism has also helped him in the business world, where Marino was a restaurateur and is now a pitchman for Nutrisystem.

Of course with Marino, it also comes back to football. He’s currently working as a special advisor with the Dolphins, a role he’s held since August. He was often seen at practices throughout 2014, and he helped mentor Miami’s current crop of quarterbacks. 

As a Men’s Life Ambassador for AARP, Marino is an integral part of their "Life Reimagined" service. Through Life Reimagined, AARP offers a variety of programs designed to help people choose a path for a second job or second career.

Although many Dolphins fans wish Marino could return to his football career and save their struggling team, they’re happy South Florida’s most celebrated athlete has remained close, and Marino is happy the community still embraces him.

“I was fortunate throughout my career to build relationships here,” Marino said of staying in Miami. “I’ve gotten to know people in the Dolphins organization so well, as well as the community.”