The Marquis family is well represented in the TJC men’s basketball program.
Coach Mike Marquis joined the Apaches’ coaching staff in 2001 after moving from Iowa where he coached at Marshalltown Community College in Marshalltown, Iowa from 1987-1998 and at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa from 1999-2001.
“We moved from Ottumwa, Iowa and came to Texas in 2001 where I was hired to coach at TJC,” Coach Marquis said. “When I was hired at TJC, Tim Drain was still the assistant athletic director before becoming the official athletic director.”
His son, Mitch Marquis, however, started school at Whitehouse in the 5th grade after his family moved from Iowa. Upon entering high school he wasted no time in earning a spot on the varsity basketball team as a freshman.
Growing up, basketball was an instant hobby and love for Mitch. He started dribbling a basketball as soon as he could walk seeing as how his father put the ball in his hands at a very early age. His father would come home after work and shoot baskets with him.
“My dad never pushed me to play basketball even though he did introduce me to the game at an early age,” Mitch said. “I started dribbling whenIwas11⁄2to2yearsoldandwhenmydad was the coach for Marshalltown Community College in Iowa, I would go shoot around in the gym at halftime during their games.”
Recently, Mitch signed a letter of intent to play ball for the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) next season; a basketball town that has a lot of history behind it. “When I visited the campus, I just fell in
love with the atmosphere and the coaching staff,” Mitch said. “The movie Glory Road is tied to El Paso because it showcases the Texas Western National Championship team from 1966. They were called Texas Western back then before they changed the name of the school to what it is now and basketball in El Paso is what football is to the whole state of Texas,” said Mitch.
Consequently, one issue in the relationship between coach and son was jealousy.
Players tried to see if Mitch would get treated differently from all the other players because he was the coach’s son.
Coach Marquis believed that he was going to treat his son in a way that did not show favoritism.
“I had to push Mitch harder, especially on last year’s team, because of some jealousy issues,” Coach Marquis said. “I’m harder on him than the rest of the players but I’m trying to prepare him for upcoming challenges he will face in the game of basketball and every great player wants to be challenged. He is a good kid and great player.”
Off the court, basketball isn’t discussed much between Mitch and his father, Coach Marquis.
They have a special bond between father and son that is not limited to coach and player. They also have to focus on when they are not preparing for an upcoming game.
“When we are on the court, he’s my coach and when we are off of the court, he’s my dad,” Mitch said. “We don’t let basketball carry over to anything else. We only talk about basketball off the court when we are watching a college or NBA game and we watch basketball together pretty often.” At first, Mitch didn’t plan on attending
TJC after finishing high school at Whitehouse because he had several Division I offers.
Mitch originally chose to go to Centenary College, a Division I school, but the next year they dropped to a Division III school which led to Mitch’s decision to sign with TJC and join his father.
“We never planned on him playing for TJC because he was being looked at by other schools,” Coach Marquis said.
“When he came to TJC, it was such a proud moment as a father to be able to coach your son and be so close to him. I enjoy seeing him have success and I know he will go to UTEP and continue having that success.”