Marix focusing on future at Reserve Christian

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 29, 1998

Michael Kiral / L’Observateur / July 29, 1998

RESERVE – Michael Marix has overcome challenges throughout his athletic career, trusting in God to show him the way.

Marix now has a new challenge, that of leading the Reserve Christian Lady Eagles into the Louisiana High School Athletic Association. Marix has beenhired to coach the girls’ volleyball, basketball and softball teams at the school, which will compete at the Class B level after moving up from the Louisiana Christian Schools Athletic Association.

Marix has been around athletics almost all his life. Born and raised inPlaquemine, Marix, the oldest of three children, attended St. John HighSchool from kindergarten to graduation. He began to get involved inathletics in the fifth grade, playing football and running track.

Around his junior year in high school, the desire to play college football began to grow in Marix. But at just under six feet and 220 pounds, Marixrealized he would have to work hard to use the talent that God had given him. He signed with Marion Military Institute, a junior college in Marion,Alabama. Marix spent a year at MMI before transferring to LSU.”I grew up 20 miles from LSU,” Marix said. “It was all I wanted to do.”When he got to LSU, he decided to walk onto the football team as an offensive lineman, having played center at MMI. But sitting in on aoffensive line session the day before practice was to start, Marix looked around and saw the size of the players he would be competing against for a position. So the next day when the buses rolled up to the practice fieldsand each player went to the field where their position was practicing, Marix went over to the special teams field to practice being a long snapper.

Marix was the team’s starting long-snapper his junior year. In his firststart in the Tigers’ opener against Georgia, Marix snapped his second snap over the head of the Tiger punter. At halftime, he was sitting dejected inthe lockerroom when then LSU head coach Mike Archer came up to him and told him that he was the team’s first-team snapper when they went back on the field.

“God is a God of second chances,” Marix said. “He was ordering my stepsagain.”During the sixth game of the season against Kentucky, however, Marix was downfield making a tackle on a punt when he felt something in his knee popped. He was able to make it off the field under his own power butcollapsed into the trainer’s arms on the sidelines. Marix had torn hisAnterior Cruciate Ligament, ending his season.

Marix came back the following season with Curley Hallman as the Tigers’ new head coach and found himself sixth on the depth chart. On the firstday of spring practice, Hallman, standing over the football, called for the first string punt team. Marix instinctively ran out to his position and foran intermittent period of time, player and coach looked at each other.

Hallman then shouted for the practice to continue. Marix remained thestarter through spring practice and two-a-days in the Fall. But just beforethe season started, Hallman decided to go with Kevin Mawae as the starter.

Despite that disappointment, Marix said he was proud that out of approximately 50 walk-ons on the Tiger squad that first season, he was one of only five that remained for his senior year and one of only two starters.

While in college, Marix became involved with the Tigers’ athletic bible study group led by Tyler LaFauci, a former LSU All-American. He alsobecame friends with Todd Kinchen, the Tigers’ star wide receiver. Kinchenwould become his roommate and both stand would be in each other’s wedding. In fact, Marix met his wife, Angelle Aguillard, at Kinchen’s wed-ding.

“They were instrumental in my life, not only challenging me to be the best football player I could be, but also to be the person God wanted me to be,” Marix said of LaFauci and Kinchen.

After graduating from LSU in Dec. 1991, Marix went to graduate school fora semester and then went to California to work for a ministry that was run by Kinchen, who had been drafted by the then-Los Angeles Rams. Marixthen went to work with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes before being accepted to massage therapy school where he became a licensed sports massage therapist.

Marix had an individual practice in Baton Rouge for three years before being hired by the LSU athletic department where he worked for the past year. In addition to serving as football team’s therapist, Marix also headedthe bible studies group at LSU.

Ron Aguillard, the founder of Reserve Christian Church and high school, approached Marix and asked if he was interested in coaching and teaching at the school. Marix accepted the job and has been learning how to be ahead coach, from talking to the coaches at LSU to spending time in the library. He met with his players seven weeks ago and met with the seniorswho were leaving to find out what the teams were going to be like.

Marix takes over a program that had tremendous success in the LCSAA. Thevolleyball team has won four straight state titles, the basketball squad has finished in the top three in the past three years and the softball team has consistently been in the hunt.

But Marix said his focus is on the future rather than on the past, saying that the school is moving into the LHSAA not for the exposure but to continue its vision of improving in everything, from spirituality to academics and athletics.

“I see it more of a challenge of moving into the next level rather than building on the past,” Marix said.

Marix said he would like to be known as the Tom Landry of girls sports at Reserve Christian, taking the same reserved role that Landry took as coach of the Cowboys.

“I want to pattern myself after him,” Marix said. “There was a personaabout him. You don’t want to put athletes on an emotional roller coaster.”Marix said it may be a challenge coaching all three sports. He said anumber of factors will help him – the support that he has gotten from the school and the closeness of the players. Many of the same girls play allthree sports, helping ease the transition from sport to sport.

Marix said he is learning as he is going on and wants to learn as much as possible to help the team.

“I want to be an advantage to these athletes,” Marix said. “I want them tofeel comfortable following me and know I am capable of doing this.”

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