In 2023, Lou Marinelli will begin his 42nd season as Head Coach for the New Canaan Rams. In 2017 Coach Marinelli won his 332nd career game, making him the winningest coach in CT high school football history.
Lou came to New Canaan High School in 1981 when the football program was struggling having gone winless over the previous thirty games. In only his second season (1982) Coach Marinelli led the Rams to a State Championship title. At New Canaan he has won a total of 13 State Championships (1982, 1993, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2022). He has also won the FCIAC Championship six times (1993, 2000, 2001, 2008, 2013, 2021). His total career record is 381 wins, 112 losses and 7 ties. His record at New Canaan is 362 wins, 105 losses and 6 ties. His record against arch rival Darien is 28-17-1.
Lou has been recognized several times by his peers as FCIAC Coach of the Year, National Football Foundation Coach of the Year, and Hall of Fame Coach of the Year, Walter Camp Football Foundation’s Connecticut Coach of the Year and, in 2002, Connecticut High School Coaches Association Coach of the Year. He has won the Gerald R. Ford Award for Outstanding Coaching by the All-American Football Foundation, the Legendary Coach Award by the MSG Network and has been a finalist for the National Coach of the Year by the National High School Coaches Association on three separate occasions (2007, 2010 & 2016). He has also won the National Football League’s Coach of the Year (2008). In November 2009, he was inducted into the Connecticut High School Hall of Fame & in 2013 he was inducted into the FCIAC Hall of Fame. In 2016 Coach Marinelli was inducted into the Fairfield County Sports Hall of Fame and a year later he was a recipient of the prestigious Gold Key award from the Connecticut Sports Writers’ Alliance.
In 2019, it all came full circle for Coach Marinelli as he was honored by his alma mater with an induction into the Springfield College Athletic Hall of Fame.
Lou Marinelli was born in Tarrytown, New York and graduated high school from the New York Military Academy. He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from Springfield College where he also lettered four years in football and two in lacrosse. He served as a Graduate Assistant Coach for Springfield while earning his Master’s before leaving to become the Head Coach at Mamaroneck High School in Mamaroneck, New York in 1976. From 1977-1978 he was an Assistant Football Coach at Boston College. In 1979 he left Boston College to become the Head Coach at Yorktown High School in Yorktown, New York. He was 15-3-1 in his two seasons, including a New York State Sectional Bowl Victory. Since 1981, Lou Marinelli has been the Head Coach of the New Canaan Rams. Lou and his wife, Frances, have three children, Francesca, Anna, and John — all NCHS graduates.