Coaching flame still burns bright for Marmie

For Larry Marmie coaching football is an addiction.

The Barnesville native, who turned 71 in October, has spent basically his entire adult life coaching the game he loves.

After two years in more of a scouting and advisory role with the Oakland Raiders, Marmie made a decision he wanted to get back on the field.

“The personnel thing was OK in that it was still football, but it’s not coaching,” Marmie said during a recent phone interview. “I missed that part of it.”

Ironically, one of his former players at the University of Tulsa – Lovie Smith – had been recently hired as the new head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“Not only did I coach Lovie, but I hired him on my staff when I was the head coach at Arizona State,” Marmie said. “He was on my staff for four years, so we definitely go back a ways.”

As Smith was putting his new staff together, he called his former boss to gauge his interest in getting back on the field.

“My passion is still there, and I’ve been lucky and fortunate that my health has been good, so I can still do it physically,” Marmie said. “(The job) really happened quickly.”

Marmie was allowed out of his contract with the Raiders and accepted Smith’s offer to serve as a secondary coach.

“I had an agreement with (Raiders GM) Reggie McKenzie, who I coached at Tennessee, that if I had a chance to get back on the field, he’d release me from my contract. He was true to his word.”

Since being hired, the Tampa staff has been spending much of its time evaluating tape.

“We spend about a half a day on formulating our schemes and building our playbook and the other half of the day on evaluating players,” Marmie said. “We’re evaluating our own roster, (soon-to-be) free agents and soon we’ll begin evaluating college players as we prepare for May’s draft.”

Marmie, who was inducted to the OVAC Hall of Fame last summer, isn’t the only Ohio Valley native on the Bucs’ staff. Tim Spencer, who starred at St. Clairsville and Ohio State, is the Tampa running backs coach. He held the same position under Smith when he was the head coach of the Chicago Bears.

“I had met Tim before, but I didn’t know him that well,” Marmie said. “We’ve had some conversations about the Ohio Valley already. It’s been fun getting acquainted with him.”


CADIZ NATIVE Jay Peterson, who is a member of the OVAC Hall of Fame, has a new job. He was hired, for the second time, as member of the Eastern Michigan football staff. He had previously served as the defensive coordinator at Miami of Ohio, but wasn’t retained for that position after the coaching change. With the Eagles, Peterson will coach the running backs.

WHILE IT’S unfortunate, it’s true. The Barnesville Shamrocks and Shadyside Tigers will not be meeting on the football field this season. The contract between the two schools was up and Barnesville elected to sign a deal with Magnolia for the Week 10 spot. The Shamrocks and Tigers had played every year, except for two, since 1950.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE High graduate Alyssa Robinson is off to a strong start in collegiate track and field career. She achieved a new personal best in the shot put at last weekend’s Penn State National Invitational. She finished sixth with a mark of 46-ft-11 1/2. Robinson is a two-time Division II state shot put champion.

SPEAKING OF track, Cambridge’s Eric Fox will continue his track and field career at the University of Louisville. Fox is the defending state runnerup in the vault.

IT’S HARD to believe, but after this week, all winter sports will be in tournament mode. That means spring sports are just around the corner. Athletic Directors are reminded to email their baseball, softball and track schedules into The Times Leader Sports Department as soon as possible.