Thursday, June 13, 2019

John Marinelli

John Marinelli stepped down as head coach of the Greenwich High School football team today.

If the Cardinals were ever "off the map," John quickly put them back on it.

It wasn't easy at first, and it never is. There was a bit of a rebuilding that was necessary, if only to get John's system understood at GHS.

Soon he had a roster that was exploding with talent and each year seemed to bring better results.

John was different. I can still remember a game getting ready to kick off when, suddenly, there was John, running through press box at Greenwich High School to fix or adjust some kind of technology.

It made me laugh -- both then and now.

John also recognized the importance of broadcasting, and very much wanted to create his own Greenwich football video channel. So he brought me in to help on the audio end, as we tried to tie it into the video.

There's John -- the coach of the team -- standing with me in the booth at West Haven trying to make it work up until minutes before kickoff.

He was the Energizer bunny.

You knew big things were coming, and boy did they ever happen.

The Cardinals reached the state championship game in 2017, losing to Darien 31-22. On media day in August, 2018 (another Marinelli creation at Greenwich), John politely chided me for wearing a Hudson Valley Renegades shirt.

Which I was photographed in. And went into the program.

The shirt was blue. As in Darien Blue Wave.

Don't worry. My face was cardinal red with embarrassment.

In 2018, Marinelli and his staff led a talented team to a 13-0 season, a Class LL championship, an FCIAC championship, and the number one team in the state.

I texted him today to wish him well. Obviously, he's swamped with others contacting him, but I thank him for his kindness and openness to me. He learned from his dad how to run a team and he'll do great things at the University of Arizona as an offensive analyst.

He faced any adversity with dignity, and won with the same dignity as well.

Something kept telling me that changes were coming. I felt it at the banquet.

I felt it at the ring ceremony.

I wasn't sure what.

But now I know.

Thanks, coach. Good luck.

No comments: