Marrone was born in the Bronx. He was a three-year letterman at Syracuse University, playing from 1983-1985 on the offensive line; he returned to graduate from the university in 1991. He played with the Miami Dolphins in 1987 and with the New Orleans Saints in 1989, and was with the London Monarchs of the World League in 1991.
On December 11, 2008, he was chosen as Syracuse University's head football coach after the 2008 season by athletic director Daryl Gross. He is the first Syracuse alumnus to serve as head football coach since Reaves H. Baysinger in 1948. Prior to being hired at Syracuse, Marrone served as an assistant coach for numerous universities and organizations since 1992 including a stint with the New Orleans Saints as an offensive coordinator from 2006 to 2008.
Reportedly, alumni such as Tim Green and Floyd Little wanted Marrone from the moment the previous coach Greg Robinson was fired, and when interviewed by Green, it was learned that Marrone had kept a folder of current high school players in the Syracuse area to get a head start in recruiting.
In Marrone's first season, the Orange finished with four wins, one more than the previous year. The Orange doubled that output the following season. The eight wins in 2010 were the most since 2001 for the Orange. The 2010 season was highlighted with a victory over Kansas State and a victory in the first ever Pinstripe Bowl in New York City. This was the Orange's first bowl win since 2001. In 2011, the team started 5–2, which included a win over then #11 West Virginia Mountaineers. After the 5-2 start, the Syracuse Orange failed to win another game in the season, resulting in a 5–7 record for the season. In 2012, Marrone coached the Orange to an 8-5 record, and a share of the Big East title as the result of a four-way tie. Their 38-14 victory in the Pinstripe Bowl again came against the West Virginia Mountaineers.
On January 6, 2013, he was chosen to succeed Chan Gailey as head coach of the Buffalo Bills. His overall record as head coach of the Bills was 15–17.
In 2014, the Bills finished with a record of 9–7, second place in the AFC East and two wins away from making the playoffs. This was the Bills' first winning season in 10 years (when the Bills finished 9-7 under Mike Mularkey in 2004). At the end of the 2014 season, it was revealed that Marrone had a three-day out clause in his contract in the event of an ownership change. Marrone exercised the out clause and quit on December 31, 2014, and still collected his 2015 salary in-full. After Marrone quit, several players expressed their displeasure and disgust with both the decision and the way that he informed the team; one of the captains and the longest-tenured player on the team, running back Fred Jackson, said it was "like getting punched in the stomach." Marrone interviewed with the New York Jets; his interview reportedly did not go well.
Following a two-year stint as the head coach for the Buffalo Bills, the Jaguars hired Marrone as Assistant Head Coach /Offensive Line Coach on January 20, 2015.
On December 19, 2016, Marrone was named the interim head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars following the firing of former head coach Gus Bradley. He coached the final two games of the 2016 season as the interim.
On January 9, 2017, the Jaguars officially removed the interim tag and named Marrone the fifth Head Coach in team history. On that same day, the Jaguars also announced the return of Tom Coughlin, the Jaguars' first head coach, who will serve as the Executive Vice President of Football Operations.
* Interim head coach.
Marrone has served under three NFL head coaches:Herm Edwards (2002–2005)
Sean Payton (2006–2008)
Gus Bradley (2015–2016)
Marrone has served under five collegiate head coaches:Bill Schmitz (1993)
Barry Gallup (1994)
George O'Leary (1996–1999)
Jim Donnan (2000)
Phillip Fulmer (2001)
Assistant coaches under Marrone who became NCAA or NFL head coaches:Mike Pettine: Cleveland Browns (2014–2015)
Scott Shafer: Syracuse (2013–2015)