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Leonard Marshall’s New Career

Everyone remembers Leonard Marshall for his hard hits on the gridiron. No play by Marshall is more memorable than the clip below. One of the most legendary hits in NFL history, leaving Joe Montana with cracked ribs and a broken hand.

Leonard Marshall, former LSU Tiger and NFL Super Bowl Champion has gone down several career paths since retiring from the league. His current one has him back in football, coaching high schoolers the art of hitting. Jim Weber of Yahoo Sports chronicled some of Marshall’s life in 2010, and the journey that brought him to this point.

Leonard Marshall probably doesn’t need to worry much about discipline, even as a first-year high school head coach. If his players act up, all he has to do is show them a clip of “The Hit.” You know, the blind-sided shot the former Giants defensive end put on Joe Montana in the fourth quarter of the 1990 NFC championship game that ended Joe Cool’s career with the 49ers and propelled the G-Men to their second Super Bowl victory under Bill Parcells.

Even though Marshall’s current players weren’t even born then, they’re certainly familiar with the play. 

Now nearly two decades later, Marshall is a rookie head coach at Hudson Catholic High School, a private school of just over 400 students in Jersey City, N.J., just 10 miles away from where he starred with the Giants. Marshall got the job this spring despite having no formal coaching experience.

How? Cold calling.

After learning about the opening from his girlfriend, Marshall left a voicemail for the school’s athletic director saying he was interested in the position. Originally thinking it was a joke, the AD made a huge splash locally by hiring the three-time Pro Bowler and two-time Super Bowl champion. It didn’t hurt that one of Marshall’s references was none other than Giants owner John Mara.

 

Apparently Hudson Catholic almost shut down years ago due to financial issues. The football team at the school has had no semblance of recent success either. As Jim Weber of Yahoo Sports points out, Marshall hasn’t gone for tackled any “easy” jobs the way he’d tackle opposing QBs with easy during his playing days.

In fact, he’s become somewhat of a renaissance man since then. Marshall’s gotten his MBA in business finance, been involved in several business ventures for everything from an ATM business to an anti-smoking device, started his own football academy, served as a motivational speaker, become an author and even served as a college professor.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Marshall was an adjunct professor of sports management at Seton Hall University for several years until being asked to take a pay cut. The New York Daily News even dubbed him “Professor Sack.”

Marshall obviously still has the same work ethic today, at 49 years old, than he did as a teen when he played football for the LSU Tigers. Speaking of LSU and all of Marshall’s post playing career endeavors, what would his ultimate dream job be?

“My ultimate goal is to walk on the sideline down there in Baton Rouge and one day become the head football coach at LSU,” said the Tiger legend and Franklin, La., native. “And if it’s not LSU, it’s somewhere else, another big-time college program where I can lead and show kids what was taught to me.”

Marshall said he hasn’t started inquiring about college coaching positions or putting feelers out to LSU about an assistant role but plans on hiring a football agent after the season to work on that full-time.

Considering some of Marshall’s old Giant teammates have been in the news for all the wrong reasons (Lawrence Taylor, Mark Ingram, Dave Meggett), it’s great to see the former Pro Bowl defensive lineman excelling in his post playing career. What about the NFL for Leonard? Any interest to be a coach there someday?

“Think about this for one second: They’re paying me $2 million a year to coach this kid and they’re paying him $5-6 million to play,” Marshall said. “It would only take one time that he would disrespect me in a meeting or disrespect my authority as a coach for me to lay that guy out or do something that’s totally out of character.”

Just ask Joe Montana what getting laid out by Marshall feels like. 

I couldn’t have put it any better than Jim Weber just did. To read all of Weber’s article from Yahoo sports click here.

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