PRINCETON, N.J. – Veteran bench boss John Marks will reach another milestone on Friday at Gwinnett when he coaches his 878th game in the ECHL, tying the league record held by the legendary John Brophy for whom the ECHL Coach of the Year award is named. Marks will become the all-time leader on Saturday when the Grrrowl visits Augusta.
In his eighth season in Greenville and the only coach in team history, Marks is in his 13th season in the ECHL which ties him with Brophy for most years coached.
Prior to Thursday’s game against Gwinnett, Marks was 248-235-47 with the Grrrowl and is 439-355-82 overall in the ECHL and ranks second to Brophy in wins (480). Marks and Brophy share the distinction of being the only two ECHL coaches to lead teams to both the Riley Cup and the Kelly Cup while Marks and Mike Haviland are the only coaches to lead two different teams to the ECHL title. Marks led Charlotte to the Riley Cup championship in 1996 and coached Greenville to the Kelly Cup championship in 2002.
Marks has led his teams to the postseason nine times and he is 42-33 in the playoffs while ranking second in the ECHL in titles (2), appearances (9), games (75) and wins (42). The Grrrowl improved by 50 points from 2003-04 (33 points) to 2004-05 (83 points) which is the largest single-season point increase in league history.
Marks, who coached six seasons in the International Hockey League with Kalamazoo and Indianapolis, began his coaching career in 1982 as an assistant coach at his alma mater the University of North Dakota and helped guide the team to the NCAA championship in 1987. A two-time All-American at North Dakota, Marks was a first-round selection (ninth overall) of Chicago in the 1968 National Hockey League Amateur Draft and went on to play 12 seasons in the Blackhawks organization, including 10 seasons in the NHL where he was named to the Campbell Conference All-Star Team in 1976. Following a broken leg, Marks concluded his career in the Central Hockey League where he helped Indianapolis win the league title in 1982.