John Marks of Greenville will coach his 1,200th regular season game on Thursday when the Grrrowl plays at Greensboro. In 17 years as a professional coach, Marks is 615-468-116 in the regular season and 57-50 in the postseason. In his sixth year as Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations, Marks is the only coach in Grrrowl history. Prior to Greenville, Marks coached five seasons in the ECHL with Charlotte and six seasons in the International Hockey League with Kalamazoo and Indianapolis.
He is the dean of ECHL coaches and ranks second in career wins (369), career games (707) and years coached (11), trailing only the legendary John Brophy, who was 480-323-75 in 878 games over 13 seasons. Marks and Brophy are the only coaches to win both the Jack C. Riley Cup, awarded to the ECHL postseason champion from 1988-96, and the Patrick J. Kelly Cup, awarded to the ECHL playoff champion from 1997-present. Marks is the only coach in history to lead two different teams to the ECHL title, leading Charlotte to the Riley Cup in 1996 and Greenville to the Kelly Cup in 2002. Brophy won three ECHL titles while Marks and Chris McSorley, who led Toledo to back-to-back titles in 1993 and 1994, have each won two titles.
Marks is 178-147-36 with Greenville marking the third time that he has won 150 regular season games in a city. He was 191-120-35 in five seasons with Charlotte and 181-121-26 in four seasons with Kalamazoo. When Charlotte hosted the 1997 ECHL All-Star Game, Marks coached the Checkers to a 7-6 win over the ECHL All-Stars. He began his coaching career in 1982 as an assistant at the University of North Dakota, his alma mater, and helped guide the Fighting Sioux to the 1987 NCAA Championship.
A two-time All-American at North Dakota, Marks was a first-round selection (ninth overall) of the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1968 National Hockey League Amateur Draft. He played 12 seasons in the Blackhawks organization, including 10 in the NHL, and in 1976 was named to the NHL’s Campbell Conference All-Star team. Following a broken leg, Marks concluded his playing career with Indianapolis in the Central Hockey League, helping the Checkers win the 1982 CHL title.