George Gojkovich, Getty
Eugene Marve, a former NFL linebacker who played 11 NFL seasons for the Buffalo Bills, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and San Diego Chargers from 1982 to 1992, died Monday in his native Michigan after a brief hospital stay. He was 60.
Marve’s passing was confirmed by Saginaw Valley State University, where he played his college football from 1979 to 1981. Marve was the first member of the school to ever play in the NFL.
“The SVSU Football family is deeply saddened by the passing of Eugene Marve,” read a statement by Saginaw Valley State University head coach Ryan Brady. “Eugene is and always will be a dear friend and an all-time great of SVSU Football.”
Marve was chosen by the Buffalo Bills in the third round of the 1982 NFL Draft, and played in Buffalo for the first five seasons of his career. Although Marve would endure one of the leanest periods in the history of the franchise – the Bills never had a winning season while Marve was on the team and posted a 2-14 record in both 1984 and 1985 – his tenure would overlap with several players who became an integral part of Buffalo’s success in the 1990s. By the end of his Bills career, fellow members of the linebacking corps alongside Marve included future franchise greats such as Darryl Talley, Cornellius Bennett, and Shane Conlan.
After leaving the Bills following the 1987 season, Marve would play four seasons for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and one season for the San Diego Chargers. In 156 career games, Marve was credited with 126 starts, three interceptions, and eight fumble recoveries. He would return to his alma mater after the end of his football career, earning a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in 1995 before being inducted into SVSU’s athletic Hall of Fame in 2010.
Marve is survived by his wife Stacey, daughter Rebecca, and son Robert, who played college football at Miami and Purdue before a brief stint with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL.