Vic Fangio Takes His Meatball Recipe Seriously, Won’t Reveal Secrets To Even His Girlfriend

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Nobody cooks up a defense quite like Vic Fangio.

With more than 35 years of NFL coaching under his belt, the newly named Miami Dolphins coordinator is one of the greatest defensive minds in football.

But when he’s not on the field drawing up defensive schemes, he’s in the kitchen cooking meatballs.

Vic Fangio Won't Tell Anyone His Meatball Recipe - Not Even His Girlfriend
(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

According to a recent report by The Athletic, Fangio’s meatball recipe is so sacred he has it laminated and displayed in his home.

And it has followed him to each of the 15 places he’s lived during his coaching career.

But the history of the meatball recipe goes back way farther than that. In1919, Andelinda and Anthony Fangio left Castiglione, Italy, for Dunmore, Pa. Andelinda carried the recipe in her truck, and she passed it on to her daughter Alice, Vic’s mother. Alice, of course, wrote down the recipe for Vic.

The recipe calls for ground beef, ground pork and parmesan cheese. The sauce is made with a combination of tomato puree and tomato paste.

And making them is a labor of love.

Fangio drops the meatballs in the sauce and lets them simmer on low. Before bed, maybe four hours later, he turns off the flame and lets them sit in the heat overnight.

But he doesn’t follow his family recipe exactly.

“I have my own little twist,” he says. “And that’s a secret.”

So secret, in fact, that he won’t even tell Kathy Maruyama — his girlfriend of 12 years. He makes her look away during some parts of the cooking process.

But she doesn’t seem to mind.

Fangio said the couple likes to go to Italian restaurants just to test out the meatballs and see if they compare. They never do.

Vic Fangio joins the Dolphins as the highest-paid coordinator in the NFL.

And for good reason.

In the past 11 seasons, Fangio has presided over eight defenses that finished in the top 10 in fewest points allowed.

And he’ll have plenty of weapons to work with in Miami. The Dolphins recently acquired three-time All-Pro Jalen Ramsey. Based on his past production, Fangio said Ramsey could be the best cornerback he’s ever worked with.

But he had a lot of great things to say about the rest of the squad, too.

He is pumped to work with some of his unit’s other standouts, including safety Jevon Holland, defensive lineman Christian Wilkins, cornerback Xavien Howard, outside linebacker Jaelan Phillips and pass rusher Bradley Chubb, whom he coached in Denver. And Fangio says he believes he can get more out of players with room to grow, among them linebackers Jerome Baker and Channing Tindall and safety Brandon Jones.

The Athletic
Vic Fangio Won't Tell Anyone His Meatball Recipe - Not Even His Girlfriend
(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

Fangio joins the Dolphins after spending the 2022 season as a defensive consultant for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Previously, he went just 19-30 in three seasons as the Denver Broncos’ head coach. But he had big success as a defensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers, Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts

But Fangio said he won’t be recycling the same old playbook.

“He has been bragging to me about how he created a new coverage,” sayid Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy, the head coach of the Bears in Fangio’s final season there. “He knows everyone is trying to get this Vic Fangio Defense. He’s super proud of it and should be.”

It will be exciting to see what Fangio’s got cooking. Other than meatballs.

Written by Amber Harding

Amber is a Midwestern transplant living in Murfreesboro, TN. She spends most of her time taking pictures of her dog, explaining why real-life situations are exactly like "this one time on South Park," and being disappointed by the Tennessee Volunteers.

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