Michael Marcott was only able to play one season on the Oregon club lacrosse team, but even without athletic eligibility, his time as a Duck is not over quite yet.
Marcott, the team’s 2016 assist leader has assumed a new role as the offensive coordinator. Although he has no remaining eligibility as a player, he will continue to get his undergraduate degree at the University of Oregon while he coaches.
“I’ve always wanted to coach,” Marcott said. “It was always in the back of my mind, and coming back to school it just made it easier. When I was approached to be a coach, it was kind of an easy answer. Not only does it keep me busy, but I really enjoy being around the team and the guys.”
Because Marcott is so fresh off of his time as an athlete on the club lacrosse team, many of the players he now coaches were his teammates just last year. Now that he has been brought on as offensive coordinator position, it is a tricky dynamic transitioning into a position of authority.
“That was something that I was worried about, just being that I’m only a year older than most of them, especially the seniors,” Marcott said. “So I was worried, not that I wouldn’t be treated as their coach, but just that there would be this weird dynamic when I was telling them to do something. But the guys have treated me with all the respect in the world. Last year I think it helped being a captain and I addressed the team a lot last year from a captain’s role, and I think I garnered a lot of respect there.”
Marcott transferred from the University of Denver last year, and quickly earned himself a spot as team captain after being on campus for only six weeks. He was such a significant leader on the team then that the players were happy to accept him as a coach this year.
“Honestly, last year he played as a player-coach,” senior Justin Knowles said. “From the field, he was still making plays, but he had the vision of a coach on the field. As a transfer last year, he earned his spot in a captain position just being that leader on the field. It was a hell-of-a-fun season to play with him last year, and to have him as a coach this year, doesn’t necessarily change things too much because he’s preaching the same principles; he’s just not wearing a helmet.”
Last year’s defensive coordinator, Markus McCaine, was named the new head coach earlier this year. According to Marcott, they have a good relationship and not a lot has changed between the two of them despite the newfound leadership roles.
“Last year, we had a similar relationship,” Marcott said. “Even though I was a player, we still talked about what we wanted to do; what I was seeing on the field, how I would approach certain situations. Yeah, I’m in a different role, but I don’t think that our relationship has changed that much. We both still respect each other’s opinions. I took his advice last year, he took some of mine.”
The players this year have noticed that cohesion between Marcott and McCaine, as well.
“Both Markus and Mike are on the same page,” Knowles said. “They definitely believe in the same principles between for the game and for the strategy. So it’s been interesting to see their relaxed approach to a hard work mentality.”
Although Marcott played lacrosse since he was in fifth grade, he has found a new love in coaching.
“I’ve always loved playing the game, but I like studying the game a lot more,” Marcott said. “So this allows me to study the game and look at it from a different way than I’ve ever looked at it before. I always say that the best players are the best students of the game, and I’ve always thought that I was that.
“I truly — at this time in my life — enjoy coaching more than I do playing.”
Follow Kylee O’Connor on Twitter @kyleethemightee