The inheritance of the centrosome during human fertilization remains mysterious. Here we show that the sperm centrosome contains, in addition to the known typical barrel-shaped centriole (the proximal centriole, PC), a surrounding matrix (pericentriolar material, PCM), and an atypical centriole (distal centriole, DC) composed of splayed microtubules surrounding previously undescribed rods of centriole luminal proteins. The sperm centrosome is remodeled by both reduction and enrichment of specific proteins and the formation of these rods during spermatogenesis. In vivo and in vitro investigations show that the flagellum-attached, atypical DC is capable of recruiting PCM, forming a daughter centriole, and localizing to the spindle pole during mitosis. Altogether, we show that the DC is compositionally and structurally remodeled into an atypical centriole, which functions as the zygote's second centriole. These findings now provide novel avenues for diagnostics and therapeutic strategies for male infertility, and insights into early embryo developmental defects.