UNO Alum Feature Article
In 1998, Nick Schinker wrote a four-page feature article about Marlin Briscoe for the UNO Alum magazine. Briscoe was five when he moved from California to Omaha with his mother and younger sister. He grew up in the projects, and sports offered him a path to education. He started studying engineering at the University of Omaha, but ended up earning his degree in education. In addition to being a student athlete, he was the first black member of the OU Student Council, which turned him into a civil rights activist. His spectacular success at football during his time at OU netted him a pro football career, making him the first black starting quarterback in professional American football, though he only held that position for part of one season due to a prejudiced coach. He stayed in pro football as a wide receiver until age 31. After that, he moved to California, where his life went off the rails and he became addicted to drugs. After a brief stay in jail for possession of cocaine, he set his mind to change, and he put his life back together. He became active in his church and dedicated himself to helping young people. Though he went through some rough times, he persevered, and continues to persevere today.