Winters Back Where it Began
Back in 2013 Mark Winters graduated from Magnolia High School. But, he always dreamed of coming back and coaching at his alma mater. After graduating in 2017 from Wheeling Jesuit University with a degree in business, four years later he was hired as an assistant coach for the Magnolia girl’s basketball team. In two years he helped take the program to a 33-19 record. Part of those wins were Sectional and Regional titles, and the girl’s first birth in the state tournament since 2008. Winters is now an assistant on the Boys side at Magnolia under head coach Dave Tallman and assistant coaches Mark Blair and Larry West.
Winters is the second leading scorer in school history with 2043 points, including scoring 39 on four separate occassions. He was a member of the Blue Eagles team that won four regional and three sectional titles and played all four years in the state tournament in Charleston. One of the questions proposed to Winters was His best High School memory. To which he responded, “Going to work every day with my best friend and being able to represent Magnolia and the greatest community ever. There was no better feeling than a sold out Magnolia gym with people lining the balcony and the student section going nuts. I always tried to really soak that in when I could.”
He also was part of a pair of OVAC titles beating St. Clairsville in 2011, 60-53 and Buckeye Trail in 2013, 75-53. Also in 2013 was one of his most memorable games he said as rival River had defeated the Blue Eagles twice already that year 79-68 and 54-52 the last game coming off a Brett Price buzzard beater over Winters out stretched arms. However, with both teams having their fair share of star players the Big Blue showed 3rd time was the charm in the OVAC class 3A semifinals as they took down River 72-45. In front of a jam packed crowd at Magnolia High School, in the game winters scored 19 points. Mark was also named to the All State All Valley and All OVAC teams his Sophomore- senior years. As well as being named 1st team captain his senior year. In his four years at Magnolia as a player the teams went 76-21.
Another question that was asked to Winters was. What are your hopes and goals for this program as an assistant coach?
” Help instill a working/toughness/togetherness culture and focus on what it takes. Trust the process, to get where we want. It’s going to take consistency, it doesn’t happen overnight. Every day is a grind and we have to get the players to buy in and love the grind. We will put a huge emphasis on fundlementals and the little details every day. If we can take this thing one day at a time, and make sure we are getting a little better as a TEAM each day, the rest will take care of itself. I also want to help the players understand. What it means to play with pride, and that playing for Magnolia is something special and a great privilege, and to cherish it every day,” said coach Winters.
After graduating and ending his four year career for the Blue Eagles in 2013. Winters then went on to continue his basketball career for Head Coach Danny Sancomb at Wheeling Jesuit University on a full scholarship. Where his favorite memory was beating West Liberty his junior year and becoming the number one team in the country. Also finishing in the sweet 16 his senior year. Winters went on to say “I can’t thank Coach Danny Sancomb enough. He gave me the opportunity to play for him and learn so much of what I know now.”
And finally when asked what made him take the position of Boys Basketball assistant coach at Magnolia Winters responded by saying.
“I have wanted to coach the Magnolia Boys since I got into coaching. It’s where my heart is, and I want to be able to give back to the boys program. As well as Coach Tallman who did so much for me as a player. It is going to be a blast to coach with him as well as Coach Blair and Coach West.” “
They trusted me from day one as a freshman and pushed me so hard during my career. I have all the respect in the world for them. We’ve already been talking everyday about how we can’t wait to start practice. I also want to wish the girl’s team the best of luck. In the future and thank the girls for working so hard every day and giving it everything they have every day. I loved coaching them the last two years, and they helped me learn so much about myself and as a coach. I will continue to support my sister and former players.”
On a personal note I think Magnolia High School has made a great choice by making Mark Winters. An assistant coach for Boys Basketball I have seen Mark grow as not only a person.
But, also as a coach the last two years in being with the girls team. And he did a terrific job with the girls.