JON MARSTON’s basketball coaching resume suggests he can perform turnarounds. His latest: the St. Thomas More girls’ program that finished
8-17 last season:
Where did you coach before coming to STM?
I was at Murphysboro. I was a freshman boys’ coach, doing that for about three or four years. But I got hired at Murphysboro as a girls’ head coach back in 2012. I did that for four years. ... My first head coaching job was at LeRoy High School (with the girls in 2003-04). I did that for one year. I think we ended up with like the third-best record there at the time. ... (After three stops in Colorado), we moved back here, hired to Murphysboro. Got hired to turn that program around, and we did. Their last winning season was in ’84, so my first year there we won seven, second year won 17, then won 26. We had the most wins ever there. So we got it turned around.
Are you from this area originally?
I’m actually from Oregon. ... I graduated from Canby High School. I met a gal from Gibson City, so that’s why I’m out here.
How did you get connected to the folks at STM?
Actually, they were looking for an assistant athletic director. ... Got talking there, and I knew there was a girls’ opening, too. ... So I gave them my resume, and they’re like, “Wow.” They said I had a lot of experience, had some success, and I said, “Yeah, I’ve had success turning programs around.” ... I think it’s a good fit because it’s a rebuild. I’m kind of experienced rebuilding teams.
What has it been like so far working with the Sabers?
So far, I really like who I have. They come and work hard every day. I love coming to practice and leaving practice just knowing they worked hard. They know they have to spend some time at this to get better.
What do you bring to the table as far as coaching philosophy is concerned?
It’s really kind of a people-type philosophy. Everybody’s got to be part of a program and trying to rebuild it. ... But changing the culture is something I talk about a lot with them. Changing the culture of working hard, coming to practice all the time. With that mentality, being able to be coachable. And then getting in the weight room. I think that’s really huge.