For years, Nick Marks served as an assistant high school football coach.
Most of that time, he had his eye on eventually becoming a head coach.
"I have been working toward being a head coach,” Marks said. “It’s something I always envisioned."
Marks waited longer than most coaches — 17 years — to take that next step.
When the 42-year-old Marks finally made the move in the offseason, it turned out to be worth the wait. You could call it the closest thing to perfect fit.
Marks knows Severna Park well. He has worked at Severna Park for seven years as an assistant coach, and he spent another 10 years at Chesapeake High in Pasadena and one year at North County High in Glen Burnie.
“I am a member and resident of the Severna Park community and I love this community,” Marks said. “I have been teaching at Severna Park since 2015. I teach special education and I am chairman for that department.”
Marks replaces Mike Wright, who held the Falcons’ head coaching position from 2019 to 2022. In his short time on the job, Wright turned Severna Park into a respectable program, going from 3-6 in 2019 to a 15-6 over the next three seasons.
The Falcons advanced to the playoffs for three straight years and hosted postseason contests the past two seasons.
“I thought that once coach Wright stepped down, it was my time to step up and do it," Marks explained. "I want to continue what Mike Wright was building and I want to make sure we stay headed in the right direction — that we continue to get better every year.”
Marks knows defense. For 16 years, he coached linebackers, the defensive line and also served as defensive coordinator. Severna Park will run the same 3-3-5 defense as in past years and continue to employ 3-4 and 4-3 fronts.
“He is a real asset to the program,” Wright said. “The defense has been solid for the past three or four years and I expect that to continue.”
Marks likes the returning nucleus of players, and says they bring excellent leadership to the Falcons. The veterans include junior quarterback Vince Nguyen, senior offensive linemen Evan Lawhorn and Price Conner, and junior wide receiver Jack Fish.
Senior middle linebacker AJ Iglesia and senior safety Kevin Bowles highlight the defense.
“He has a good rapport with the players,” Wright said of Marks. “And he is a teacher first and foremost.”