In his first go-around as an FBS offensive coordinator, Brennan Marion is acquitting himself pretty darn well.
Marion, a former Pitt wide receivers coach and Greensburg, Pa. native, is in the midst of his first season as the UNLV offensive coordinator, and he’s been nominated for the Frank Broyles Award — the award given to the top assistant coach in college football.
It’s a triumphant return to serving as an offensive coordinator for Marion, who has spent the last three seasons as a wide receivers coach at three different locations.
Like everything we do, this was earned.
— UNLV Football (@unlvfootball) November 14, 2023
UNLV is averaging 36.4 points per game this season, up over 10 points from last season, and the Runnin’ Rebels are second in the Mountain West with a chance to take the lead in the standings with a win over Air Force this weekend.
While it’s not a high-powered passing offense, averaging just over 225 yards through the air per game, the Rebels are top-20 in the NCAA with just under 200 rushing yards per game — averaging 4.6 yards per carry and scoring 31 times on the ground.
Former Pitt running back Vincent Davis, who transferred to UNLV in the offseason, is leading the way with 553 rushing yards (5.5 yards per carry) and four touchdowns, but Jai’Den Thomas, Donavyn Lester, Courtney Reese and quarterback Jayden Maiava have all run for at least 199 yards this season.
Marion spent the 2022 season as the Texas wide receivers coach, and he spent the 2021 season as the Pitt wide receivers coach — helping Jordan Addison to bring home the Biletnikoff Award in 2021.
Marion, perhaps now infamously, wanted to stay at Pitt in an increased role after former offensive coordinator Mark Whipple resigned following the 2021 ACC championship game, but Pat Narduzzi opted to look elsewhere — naming Tim Salem as the interim coordinator for the ensuing Peach Bowl.
“When you have good coaches, people are going to come after them,” Narduzzi said following the Peach Bowl. “Guys have decisions to make. Whatever he wants to do, I’m good. We’ll be fine.”
Marion, at just 36 years old, is one of the fast-rising assistant coaches in college football, and there’s no doubt his name will pop up often as Power Five programs look to fill offensive coordinator vacancies in the offseason. He previously served as the offensive coordinator at William & Mary and Howard — gaining recognition for his Go-Go offense.
Pitt, of course, decided to fill the vacancy left by Whipple’s resignation by hiring Frank Cignetti Jr. And in the second year of the Cignetti-led offense, Pitt is averaging just under 20 points per game.