The Pro Football Writers of America announced that Raiders defensive line coach Rod Marinelli and 49ers running backs coach Bobby Turner were selected as the 2021 Paul “Dr. Z” Zimmerman Award winners.
Marinelli and Turner are the 17th and 18th recipients of the Dr. Z Award, which the PFWA instituted in 2014.
The Dr. Z Award is given for lifetime achievement as an assistant coach in the NFL. The award is named for Zimmerman, who covered the NFL for 29 years as Sports Illustrated‘s lead pro football writer.
Other 2021 nominees for the Dr. Z Award were late defensive line coach Bobb McKittrick, late defensive coordinator Floyd Peters and late defensive line coach John Teerlinck.
Marinelli is entering his 26th season as an NFL coach, and his second as the defensive line coach for the Raiders. He previously spent seven years (2013-19) with the Cowboys as defensive coordinator (promoted in 2014) and defensive line coach.
He entered the NFL as a defensive line coach, and later assistant head coach, for the Bucs (1996-2005). After three seasons as the Lions head coach (2006-08), he was the Bears assistant head coach/defensive line coach in 2009 and was promoted to assistant head coach/defensive coordinator (2010-12).
Turner is in his 26th season as an NFL assistant coach in 2021 and his fifth as San Francisco’s running backs coach. Turner is responsible for overseeing three of the top nine rookie rushing seasons in the NFL since 1970 with Alfred Morris, Clinton Portis and Mike Anderson. He also served as running backs coach with Atlanta (2015-16), Washington (2010-14) and Denver (1995-2009).