Despite making it to the state playoffs, the Yuba College men’s basketball team, once again, struggled through a disappointing season, capped-off by the resignation of the six-year head coach, Mike Marcoulis.
According to Rod Beilby, Athletic Director for Yuba College, Marcoulis submitted his resignation two weeks before the end of the season.
Marcoulis declined to offer reasons for his resignation, but a disappointing season this year, along with the past seasons’ poor records, might have influenced his decision.
When asked what may have contributed to this season’s loosing record, Marcoulis stated: “We’ve played some real quality teams, and we’ve lost several close games.”
The quality of the opposing teams is definitely a contributing factor with any sports team’s record, but a winning team has competence throughout its entire organization, and that’s a factor that seems to be missing. This may have also been a factor in Marcoulis’ decision to resign.
The top of the organization begins with Rod Beilby. When asked for last year’s record to compare the two seasons, Beilby said that he finds it hard to remember the score of the team’s last game, let alone last year’s record.
As for coach Marcoulis, players say that they have had their ups and downs with him throughout the season, but seemed to get them ironed out.
“We had a couple of disagreeing times, but we got over it,” said freshman point guard Joe Davis. “We tried very hard.”
This season, the No. 31 seeded 49ers played San Jose City College, the No. 2 seed, in the first round of the Northern California Regional playoffs. Despite a strong effort by the entire team, led by Joe Davis with 19 points and Sean Mays with 17 points, Yuba lost a very difficult game, 100-76.
The 49ers finished the season with a 9-21 overall record, 3-11 in the Bay Valley Conference, which is a slight improvement from last season’s 5-24 overall record.
Marcoulis did help improve the team’s overall record, but the players must also do their part if any team is going to have success.
According to Marcoulis, the biggest problem is players staying eligible, keeping their G.P.A. above the required level.
“The team played well, but not as well as they could have,” said Marcoulis. “There have been some guys that didn’t play as well as I hoped they would . . . sophomores Scott Berry and Satino Howerton.”
When asked about his opinion of his play this season, Berry stated: “My play’s a little down from last year.”
Berry also said that he feels the team did pretty well this year, improving from last year.Satino Howerton said, “We’ve had some trouble with some of the things as far as coaching wise, timeouts and things. We could have done better.”
Howerton feels that better players on the team contributed the most to this season’s improved record.
Marcoulis and the players seem to agree that the great play of freshman Pac Ferguson helped the team this season.
“I was very pleased with Pac’s play. He played very well,” said Marcoulis.
Unfortunately, Ferguson hyper-extended his knee during the last practice before the final regular season game and was unable to finish the season.
Marcoulis said that he was also pleased with the play of sophomore Sean Mays and freshman Brian Scott.
As for any expectations for next year’s team, coach Marcoulis explained that it is difficult to plan ahead at the community college level. “You never know what’s going to happen.”
Marcoulis’ resignation is perhaps one of those things the players couldn’t anticipate. But now that leaves the 49ers with a new problem. The hiring freeze being administered at Yuba College might make it difficult for the school to find a replacement for Marcoulis.
The new head coach will be a part- time employee, severely reducing the coach’s salary and benefits and thus limiting the recruiting prospects for a replacement.
Hopefully, even with this restriction, Yuba College will find a replacement that will improve the teams overall record, despite the quality of the opposing teams.