Marinaro is the son of Hector Marinaro, Sr., a native of Argentina who both played and coached extensively in Canada. Marinaro grew up playing soccer, football, basketball and baseball. He attended Thomas L. Kennedy High School and developed his soccer skills under the eye of his father, beginning his career with the Toronto Italia, coached by Marinaro, Sr. In 1982, the team won the National Soccer Championship and in 1983, it won the Ontario Soccer Championship.
In 1983, Timo Liekoski saw Marinaro playing for the Italia. He convinced Marinaro to travel to Cleveland for a trial with the Cleveland Force of Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL). The trial was successful enough for the Force to offer Marinaro a contract. While the team played him sparingly as a defender, it offered him a three-year contract extension at the end of the year. Marinaro declined the offer, stating he’d rather play out his option. The Force promptly cut him and Marinaro became a free agent.
He did not return to the MISL until 1986 when he signed with the Minnesota Strikers. That season, the Strikers suffered from numerous injuries and head coach Alan Merrick moved Marinaro to forward. The move paid off for both the Strikers and Marinaro who led the league in scoring with 58 goals the next season. Despite Marinaro’s scoring, the Strikers folded at the end of the season, and Marinaro moved to the Los Angeles Lazers for the 1988-1989 season. The Lazers folded at the end of the season and Marinaro became a free agent.
That summer, Cleveland gained a new MISL franchise, the Cleveland Crunch. Marinaro worked a move to Cleveland because of the excellent memories he had of playing his rookie year there. Marinaro would remain in Cleveland for the rest of his career. In 1992, the MISL folded and the Crunch moved to the National Professional Soccer League. They promptly went to the NPSL championship series, losing to the Kansas City Attack in five games. They returned to the championship the next season, this time winning it three games to one over the St. Louis Ambush. Marinaro scored the winning goal in double overtime of the deciding game to give the city of Cleveland its first professional sports championship in 30 years. The Crunch again won the championship in 1996 and 1999. In 2001, MISL was reconstituted and the Crunch was back where it started. The franchise changed its name to the Force in 2002.
On June 23, 2004, the Chicago Storm drafted Marinaro with the 16th pick in the MISL expansion draft. However, he made his intentions to retire known to the Storm and on October 11, 2004, the team traded Marinaro to the Cleveland Force in exchange for cash. The Storm did this in order to allow him to retire with the Force, the team with which he began his career. He announced his retirement from playing professional soccer the next day.
During his 19-year indoor career, Marinaro scored 1,233 goals and added 702 assists for 1,935 points in just 685 games. In the playoffs, he scored another 224 goals and added 96 assists for 320 points in 104 games. Marinaro is the all-time leading in goals (1,457) and points (2,255) in professional indoor soccer. He scored his 1,000th point against his brother Rob, a goalkeeper for the Chicago Power. Hector was a seven-time league MVP the most in any professional sport in the USA. In May 2005, the MISL announced that it would name its annual MVP award the Marinaro Award.
In addition to his extensive indoor career, Marinaro spent several seasons playing outdoor soccer. In 1986, he played for the Toronto Blizzard of the National Soccer League while his father was an assistant coach with the team. Marinaro remained with the Blizzard for the 1987 Canadian Soccer League season then returned to the Blizzard for the 1993 American Professional Soccer League season. He also had one season with Rochester Raging Rhinos of the A-League in 1996. Marinaro scored seven goals, as the Rhinos fell to the Seattle Sounders in the championship game.
Marinaro also earned six caps with Canada. Marinaro's first game with the national team was a 4-0 win over Indonesia on August 30, 1986 and his last was a 2-1 loss to Chile on October 11, 1995.
In 2002, the Cleveland Force elevated Marinaro to the position of assistant coach in addition to his playing duties. He continued in that role until retiring in 2004. On January 31, 2006, John Carroll University hired Marinaro as the head coach of the men's soccer team. Beginning with the launch of the team with the 2013–14 season, Marinaro was the head coach for the only season of the Cleveland Freeze, a professional indoor team that played in the Professional Arena Soccer League.
Hector, his wife Jodi, son Jesse and daughter Janice live in Brunswick, Ohio.
MVPNPSL: 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001
Points LeaderNPSL: 1992-1993, 1994–1995, 1995–1996, 1996–1997, 1997–1998, 1998–1999, 1999–2000, 2000–2001
Goals LeaderMISL: 1987-1988, 1991–1992
NPSL: 1992-1993, 1993–1994, 1994–1995, 1995–1996, 1996–1997, 1997–1998, 1999–2000, 2000–2001
NPSL First Team All Star1992-1993, 1993–1994, 1994–1995, 1995–1996, 1996–1997, 1997–1998, 1998–1999, 1999–2000, 2000–2001, 2001–2002