The Press Democrat

Mariucci era comes to a close
January 16, 2003
Mariucci might be in demand in 2004


SANTA CLARA -- Steve Mariucci does not figure to be out of a job for long.

Seen as a natural for the television studio, the handsome and articulate Mariucci almost assuredly will end up working on Sundays in the fall whether it is in broadcasting or coaching.

If Mariucci does not end up working on the sideline, he will pocket $2.2 million after the 49ers fired him Wednesday with one season remaining on his contract. He will forfeit part of that amount if he returns to coaching this year, 49ers owner John York said.

Mariucci is considered a friend of the ESPN conglomerate. The only interviews he conducted Wednesday were with ESPN reporters. Mariucci would easily slide into the analyst chair vacated by Bill Parcells' return to coaching.

Currently, there is only one NFL job opening, but Jacksonville Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver ruled out hiring Mariucci.

"His agent (Gary O'Hagan) told us that Steve's interest right now is taking some time off and doing some broadcasting," Weaver said.

One team source said Mariucci was so shell-shocked from the events of Wednesday that he is apt to change his mind.

Mariucci, 47, is still seen as one of the league's bright young coaches. If he sits out next season, Mariucci figures to attract a host of suitors the following year. Mariucci is known to be a socialite at NFL meetings, and personally knows every owner in the league.

Among the many teams that could bid for his services in 2004 are Detroit, Atlanta, Seattle, Minnesota, Chicago, Kansas City, San Diego and Arizona.

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