Marciano shares story with fathers group

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Usually, when special teams coordinator Joe Marciano leads a meeting in the Texans auditorium at Reliant Stadium, his pupils are players wearing t-shirts and athletic shorts. On Tuesday morning, his audience was a group of middle-aged men clad in slacks and button-down shirts.

A single parent whose nine-year-old son Joseph battles autism, Marciano took a break from draft preparations to share fatherhood advice with approximately 50 men from the Annunciation Orthodox School's "Dads Club." The networking association encourages dads to become more involved in their kids' education.

Marciano is the Texans' representative for All Pro Dad, a program with strong NFL ties that is designed to help men to become better fathers.

"I look at a coordinator as being a leader," Marciano said. "If you're an offensive coordinator, a defensive coordinator, a special teams coordinator, you're a leader of that certain group. As dads, they're coordinators. They're leaders of their household. And through leadership comes teaching, comes discipline, comes role models, because everything starts at home.

"You can't have good children, good sons and daughters out in society if it doesn't happen at home, because the other people can't fix your children. It starts at the home. You can (substitute) the word leader or quarterback (for coordinator). Dads are the quarterbacks of the household."

Marciano balances the rigorous schedule of an NFL coach with his top priority – spending time with his son, whom Marciano adopted while coaching with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In 2006, Marciano made it clear to new Texans coach Gary Kubiak that he would be willing to stay on his staff only with the understanding that he would be able to spend ample time with Joseph.

{QUOTE}Kubiak responded by saying that as long as Marciano got him good field position, he could do whatever he wanted.

"Here's a man that has a high-paying, high-profile job," said Charles Kelley of the Dads Club. "And yet in terms of balancing all that and the demands that that brings, he makes it very clear to the head coach his son comes first. He has no qualms about standing up here and saying if his son has a need, that comes first in his life.

"Sometimes it makes you think, when all of us are sitting here with our own careers, how do we balance? And are we balancing things when we have maybe not as many challenges as Coach Joe faces? It's very inspirational."

Each summer, Marciano shares his passion for sound parenting at the All Pro Dad Father & Kids Experience at the Methodist Training Center. This year, the event is scheduled for June 14 and will feature Texans players and coaches, a fun zone area, interactive games and stations set up with fatherhood tips.

"We're going big-time this year," Marciano said. "We're going to go interactive, and our goal is to get about 1,500 people there. It's really cost-friendly for dads, and it's going to be a lot of fun."

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