Division I men's lacrosse coaches are prohibited from attending opponents' games to prevent unfair advantages in scouting. But Albany coach Scott Marr is welcome at Johns Hopkins contests. Here's why.
Division I men's lacrosse coaches are prohibited from attending opponents' games to prevent unfair advantages in scouting. But Albany coach Scott Marr is welcome at Johns Hopkins contests.
That's because Marr, an alumnus who played attack and helped the Blue Jays capture the 1987 NCAA championship, is the father of freshman attackman Kyle Marr.
"He's having a lot of fun, and his teammates are great," Scott Marr said, sitting on a brick wall inside Maryland Stadium after his Great Danes dropped a 10-7 decision to Maryland on March 16. "I met a bunch of the players and parents. It's really neat, kind of being on the other side of it now and just going to games."
Kyle Marr has recorded eight goals and three assists while playing in all nine games (including one start) for No. 16 Johns Hopkins (5-4 overall and 0-1 in the Big Ten), which will attempt to rebound from a 16-9 loss at Rutgers when Ohio State (5-6, 0-1) visits Homewood Field in Baltimore on Saturday at 2 p.m.
"I've had an opportunity to play a real good amount this year and contribute to a team that I think has a lot of potential," Kyle Marr said Tuesday. "We've had a tough go this past week, but I think we're still making progress."
Kyle Marr's connection with the Blue Jays began a long time ago, when he traveled with his father and Albany to Baltimore during multiple spring breaks.
The younger Marr was introduced to head coach Dave Pietramala and associate head coach Bill Dwan, both of whom played with the elder Marr. Kyle Marr also met Blue Jay greats, such as midfielders Kyle Harrison and Paul Rabil.
Kyle Marr said he remembers memories shared by his father, his uncle Dave — who is the all-time assists leader at Johns Hopkins — and his grandparents, Fred and Dorothy Marr, who celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary Friday.
"My mom would even tell me stories about coming down and watching my uncle play and staying at [the Inn at] The Colonnade and staying for tailgates and stuff like that and how many times my grandparents would make the drive from Yorktown to here," he recalled. "For 10 years, they came to every single game, every single weekend. Those were the stories I definitely heard the most."
As Kyle Marr emerged as a talented attackman, coaches took interest. But after visiting Penn, Michigan and the Blue Jays, he decided on Johns Hopkins in the summer before his junior year at Shenendehowa High School in Clifton Park, N.Y.
During the process, Scott Marr – who also was the offensive coordinator at Maryland under Dick Edell for six years – was supportive but not pushy.
"I certainly would have loved to have him play for me," he said. "But I think he had to make his own way, and it's something that he as a kid, being down here in Maryland when he was younger and traveling with me a lot of times to our Hopkins games, he got a chance to meet Coach Pietramala when he was real young, and they kind of built this relationship over time. I think with my brother playing there as well, he really felt that was the right place for him."
The younger Marr said he appreciated that his father didn't apply a full-court press to enroll at Albany.
"If I was going to pick any school, I think this was his first choice as well," Kyle Marr said. "He never put pressure on me to make a decision."
ESPN/Big Ten Network analyst Mark Dixon, a former Blue Jays midfielder who played with Dave Marr, said he wasn't surprised by Kyle's decision.
"If you know the Marrs, those guys love Johns Hopkins," Dixon said. "That's a family that has meant a ton to the Johns Hopkins program. … So if Kyle Marr would have gone to North Carolina or Syracuse or Duke, I think you might be like, 'Wow, he's not going to play for his dad?' The fact that he's going to Hopkins and he's following in the footsteps of his father and his uncle, that's not very shocking to me."
Kyle Marr is the first attackman off the bench, but offensive coordinator Bobby Benson said he doesn't get the sense that Marr is chafing at backing up starters Ryan Brown (Calvert Hall), Wilkins Dismuke and Shack Stanwick (Boys' Latin).
"Everyone wants to play more and have the ball more and shoot more," Benson said. "I think what Kyle focuses on is his opportunities, and I know he wants to make the most of his opportunities. He's a goal scorer, and he doesn't like to miss those. Thankfully for us, he finishes most of them."
Scott and Kyle Marr communicate almost every day via FaceTime and texts, especially as their beloved New York Rangers are close to competing in the NHL playoffs. Speaking of the postseason, the NCAA tournament would be the only setting in which father and son would meet as opponents, and that scenario might make for an uncomfortable choice for Traci Marr, the matriarch of the family.
"I think my mom would be losing her mind the most," Kyle Marr said with a chuckle. "She'd be a wreck."
Until that becomes reality, Scott Marr said he, Traci and Kyle's sisters, Jordyn and Keeley, will continue rooting for Kyle.
"There is something unique about wearing a Blue Jay uniform," Scott Marr said. "It is hard to put into words what it means to have worn one, but to then see my brother David and now my son Kyle take the same pride I did in putting that jersey on, it makes me smile."