By: Director of Athletic Communications and Public Relations Kevin Ruple
BEREA, Ohio -- Tony Oden '95 and Marwan Maalouf '00 are living out their dream of being a football coaches in the National Football League. The former Baldwin Wallace University all-conference student-athletes and Yellow Jacket football team captains have worked hard and paid their dues and are enjoying the fruits of his labor of love as they are both members of the coaching staff of the Miami Dolphins. Today is a big day for both as the 2018 NFL Draft begins. For Oden, Day 1 will be be full-go, but for Maalouf it will be a "wait and see" situation.
"Since I am the Special Teams Coach, and teams usually don't draft a kicker, punter, long snapper or return specialist/ athlete in the early rounds, I will be watching closely to see who is available," said Maalouf, a native of Strongsville who played on the offensive at BW and is in his sixth season with the Dolphins. "I will be looking to see who is available and then possibly recommend a strategic special teams pick or work on getting those players we like into camp as free agents."
Maalouf previously coached the special teams in both Baltimore (four seasons) and Indianapolis (one season) and is in his 14th season overall in the NFL. He has helped the Dolphins rank in the top half of Rick Gosselin's annual Dallas Morning News Special Teams rankings each season he has been in Miami. He began his coaching career with the Cleveland Browns in 2004.
"I got my start in coaching from John Snell '87 at BW, and I will forever be grateful," said Maalouf, who played center at BW. "We [Marwan and his wife, Dana] met while I was at BW and this has been a journey for both of us. The game of football is a love, but it is a tough industry and you'd better be willing to move at the drop of a hat. Being with one team for a longer period of time, like I am now with the Dolphins has been great. We have been able to establish a system."
The Maalouf's have one child and are expecting their second at the time of this story.
In the fall of 1994, then BW senior outside linebacker Tony Oden was chasing opposing quarterbacks, including recording four of nine quarterback sacks in a thrilling, 23-10 win at the University of Mount Union when BW was ranked No.1 and the Purple Raiders were No.2 in Division III.
Today, the BW legend is in his 15th season in the NFL (2018 season) and coaching the cornerbacks for the Dolphins. He joined the Miami staff after spending the past four seasons in his second career stint with the Detroit Lions. He loves coaching and teaching his defenders to chase quarterbacks, running backs and receivers. In 2010, the two-time All-Ohio Athletic Conference and Academic All-OAC linebacker at BW was a member of the coaching staff of the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints.
Oden will be on the front lines in the "war room" for the Dolphins as the draft begins today.
"Tony and the rest of our regular position coaches will be trying to recommend the best player available at the time and one who fills a "need" for us," said Maalouf. "I haven't had a great deal of time to talk with Tony since he got here [to Miami] because most of our duties have involved positional meetings. So, I look forward to working with Tony.
"I've known Tony for a long time and not just from BW," continued Maalouf. "We spoke quite often when we were members of different coaching staffs and he is outstanding with a fantastic knowledge of the game. I respect him and his opinion a great deal."
Oden also is in his 14th season in the NFL and first with the Dolphins. He spent the 2017 season with the Detroit Lions.
"I am living out a lifelong dream of coaching in the NFL," said Oden, who along with his wife, Amanda, have two children, a son, Jaylen and a daughter, Ryan. "It took eight years to get to the NFL and then five teams to find a home in Miami. I couldn't be happier for my family and we feel like we are making great progress with the Dolphins. Winning a Super Bowl title with the Saints and getting that Super Bowl ring also was a very special moment.
"I still love to talk with some of my teammates from BW from time-to-time about our football experiences, and especially that game versus Mt. Union," said Oden. "BW helped to make me who I am today. The experience of playing football and being a captain taught me a great deal about the dedication and commitment it takes to be a good husband, father, teacher and coach. I wouldn't trade that experience for anything in the world.