Larry Zierlein (ZURL-line) enters his second season with the Cardinals and 10th in the NFL after he joined the team as assistant offensive line coach on 2/5/13. He previously coached in the NFL as the offensive line coach with Pittsburgh (2007-09), the assistant offensive line coach with Buffalo (2006) and the offensive line coach with Cleveland (2001-04).
In his first season in Arizona, the Cardinals offense finished 12th overall in the NFL and scored 379 points on the year, tied for the fifth-best single season total in franchise history. Arizona’s 5,542 net yards of offense last season were also good for fifth in team annals.
While in Pittsburgh, Zierlein helped the Steelers win Super Bowl XLIII after ranking third in the NFL in rushing with 2,168 yards in 2007. Running back Willie Parker finished fourth in the league with 1,316 rushing yards that season, earning a Pro Bowl selection, while guard Alan Faneca was selected to his seventh consecutive Pro Bowl. The Steelers had two 1,000-yard backs in three seasons with Zierlein in charge of the offensive line (Parker with 1,316 yards in 2007 and Rashard Mendenhall had 1,108 yards in 2009).
Prior to his one year in Buffalo, Zierlein helped Cleveland’s offense average 4.1 yards per rush and 104.4 rushing yards per game in 2003. During his stops in both Pittsburgh and Cleveland, Zierlein worked under then offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.
Zierlein, who has 39 years of coaching experience at the high school, collegiate and professional level, spent four seasons as offensive line coach for the University of Cincinnati (1997-2000) and added the title of running game coordinator in 2000. He helped Cincinnati set a Conference USA rushing record with 215.5 yards per game in 1997, and his 1999 offensive line set a school record by allowing just eight sacks, the fewest in the nation that year, despite having four first-year starters.
In addition to his tenure at Cincinnati, Zierlein had two stints as the offensive line coach at Tulane (1995-96 and 1988-90), spent two seasons at LSU (1993-94) and served as offensive line coach at the University of Houston (1978-86) for nine seasons.
Zierlein gained experience at the professional level as co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach for the New York/New Jersey Knights of the World League of American Football (WLAF) in 1991-92 and as an assistant coach for the Washington Commandos of the Arena Football League in 1987. He also worked as offensive line coach with the Hartford Colonials in the United Football League in 2011.
In addition to coaching, Zierlein also served in the United States Marine Corps from 1966-68, including a one-year tour of duty in Vietnam (1967).
A 1971 graduate of Fort Hays (KS) State College after playing defensive end, Zierlein began his coaching career at his alma mater as a graduate assistant/linebackers coach. After two years at Fort Hays State, he spent six years at the high school level, coaching at Abernathy (TX) High School from 1972-74 and Lamar Consolidated (TX) High School from 1975-77.
A native of Lenora, KS, Zierlein and his wife, Marcia have three children, sons Lance and Mike and daughter Nicci, nine grandchildren and one great grandchild.
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month NFL Films profiles the Arizona Cardinals Spanish radio announcers Rolando Cantu and Gabriel Trujillo.