Closings & delays

Arundel's Markiewicz, county's winningest football coach, steps down

Arundel’s Chuck Markiewicz, the winningest head football coach in Anne Arundel County history, has retired as the head coach of the Wildcats.

Markiewicz informed Arundel athletic director Kevin Necessary on Tuesday and met with his players on Wednesday. He coached at four schools in the county, including the last 18 years at his alma mater. He compiled a 146-47 record at Arundel and an overall record as a head coach in the county for 31 years of 243-99 (.711).

“I can’t reiterate enough how much Chuck means to me personally and the Arundel community,” said Necessary, who was on Markiewicz’s staff as wide receivers coach from 2002-2014 before taking over as the athletic director. “What I’m most happy about is he was able to walk away on his own terms and he left this place ten times better than when he found it. He got to live his dream and he took it and ran with it.”

Though Markiewicz, who will turn 63 in February, is leaving Arundel, he’s not leaving the game. He’s been hired as the offensive line coach under Kyle Schmitt at Archbishop Spalding. Schmitt was on Markiewicz’s staff of the Maryland team at last year’s Big 33 Football Classic.

“I just thought it was time for someone else to step up and try to move Arundel to the next step on the ladder,” said Markiewicz, who led the Wildcats back to the playoffs in 2017 after a two-year absence. “I just thought it was a good time for one of those young bucks to take over.”

Markiewicz was inducted into the Anne Arundel County Sports Hall of Fame in 2014. He coached at North County for 11 years and led the Knights to the 1994 Class 4A state title. His 2007 Arundel team advanced to the Class 4A state final, while the 2008 team repeated as region champions before falling in the state semifinals. He also coached at Chesapeake and Meade.

“I’ve done this three times, leaving some guys you’re very close to,” Markiewicz said. “I made the decision and I’m moving on. My coaching career is very dear to my heart and I wanted to continue that somewhere else.”

Markiewicz was a three-sport athlete (wrestling, football, baseball) at Arundel High. The 1973 graduate played defensive end and running back in football and was a county and regional champion as 155-pound wrestler as a senior. He went on to play football and lacrosse at both Anne Arundel Community College and Salisbury State College.

“A huge part of a school’s culture is school spirit,” Arundel principal Gina Davenport said. “That school spirit comes from our collective experience on Friday nights in the fall. Coach Markiewicz has been a pillar of pride in our community for almost two decades. His influence on all of us will be missed.”

Markiewicz is already a member of the athletic halls of fame at both the Arundel High and Anne Arundel Community College.

“I feel really grateful to have had the opportunity to do what I’ve done for all these years and I’ve done it with some really good people,” he said. “I’m just not going to be the boss anymore.”

Arundel returned to the playoffs in 2017 and fell in the Class 4A East Region semifinals to North Point, the eventual region champion.

With the Wildcats back in the playoffs last year, Markiewicz left the program in good shape for the next coach.

“I just wanted to make sure the program was in good standing,” he said. “I love Arundel. It’s been my second home for a long time. I went to school there and played football there for Jerry Mears. The cupboard is not bare. I found it in good shape and left it in even better shape.”

With longtime Southern coach Russ Meyers stepping down prior to the 2016 season, Markiewicz was the last head coach in the county remaining with a head-coaching tenure of more than 20 years.

“I’m happy for Chuck. He had a great career and he got the opportunity to step away when he felt it was time,” Meyers said. “He’s a great guy and I’m proud to call the guy my friend. He was a big help to me when I started out and was always a good resource when I had questions.”

Markiewicz’s departure as the Wildcats’ head coach leaves Steve Erxleben as the longest-tenured active head coach in the county with a combined 11 years between South River, St. Mary’s and Southern. Nick Good-Malloy of Annapolis has a combined eight consecutive years between Glen Burnie and Annapolis. Rob Harris (Broadneck), Chad McCormick (Old Mill) and Rob Elliott (Chesapeake) have each coached at their schools for seven years.

“As a young coach, he’s always been very helpful and supportive, which I appreciate greatly,” said Good-Malloy, who also helped coach the Maryland team in the Big 33. “He’s always been a first class kind of guy.”

Good-Malloy recalled a game back in 2015 when he coached Annapolis to its first win over Arundel since 2005. Following the game, which marked the first time Arundel had lost two straight games in the regular season since 2001, Markiewicz made it a point to seek out and congratulate the young coach on the milestone victory.

“That’s the type of guy he is,” Good-Malloy said. “He was just as happy seeing someone else’s success.”

Broadneck’s Harris, who began coaching in 1997, said Markiewicz was the last head coach remaining from when Harris began his career.

“He’s the last of the big-name guys, one of the legendary guys left in the county,” Harris said. “He’s one of the best in the state and it was real fun to coach against him. He whooped my tail quite a few times.”

As word of Markiewicz’s retirement from Arundel spread, messages of well-wishes began to flood social media. Players, coaches and the area football fans all had nothing but good things to say for a man who roamed the sidelines as a head coach for more than 30 years.

“An honor to play for you, Coach,” wrote Kyle Kidwell via Twitter. Kidwell just completed his senior year as a wide receiver for the Wildcats.

“Great coach. Glad I got to compete against him for the years I played at Old Mill,” said Noah Fitzgerald, also on Twitter. “Definitely the end of an era.”

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