Marinelli is a 2010 graduate of the University of West Georgia were he earned his education degree and is a math teacher at MZHS. He will now step into the head coach role after Lee announced his retirement following last season. Following an interview with athletic director Bill Bailey and principal Tracey Barrow, Marinelli was selected for the job.
"After [Lee announced his retirement] they held the interviews and everything like that. I interviewed with coach Bailey and Mrs. Barrow and after that they thumbed over what they needed to and told me a week later that I was getting the job. I'm really grateful to those two for giving me the opportunity," Marinelli said.
The new coach didn't waste any time as the summer schedule was set at the Eagles basketball team went into summer workouts. There was a relatively smooth transition because Marinelli has been an assistant for the past two seasons and knows most of the kids.
Along with becoming the head basketball coach Marinelli will continue to be an assistant football and baseball coach. But the busy schedule isn't a problem.
"From I guess about now until next May it will be sports, but that's fine with me. I get done with school and I go and play with kids for a few hours after school, it's not really like it's work. Coaching is what I knew I was going to do the whole time growing up and going through high school and everything. It was a good goal for me to set and I think I'm almost there now," Marinelli said.
As far as basketball is concerned the biggest transition might just be from moving from assistant to head coach and the adjustment in attitude and style.
"They see me as an assistant coach and I can cut up with them or joke around with them a little bit and let the head coach be a disciplinarian, pull them to the side and let them know what they did wrong. As the head coach now I have to be more stern and pull the reins back a little bit. Let them know that this is the way it's going to be. I think they picked up on it pretty quickly," Marinelli said.
Marinelli added that the style won't change from what Lee instilled over the past two seasons because of the results they got. The Eagles went from 2-16 to 9-14 over the past two years.
"We're doing pretty much all the same stuff he did because we improved a lot from the first year to the next so it seems to be working. We might do a few things a little bit different on defense because of personnel, but it's been a real easy transition. I've been around the last two years and he's mentored me up through that," Marinelli said.
The group coming back will be senior and experience heavy with several players getting playing time — and some starting — since their sophomore years. Now as seniors they have moved up in the program along with Marinelli.
"They know my coaching style and they know what I expect from them. Since they've been starting their sophomore year I've been there to work with them through it. The two in particular, Corey [Loftin] and [Nathan] Bernhardt, they know what I expect of them and they understand. They should be good leaders on the court for us this year," Marinelli said.
The final step in the process is hiring a new assistant boys basketball coach. Marinelli said there is a name in mind, but those talks will take place following the GHSA mandated dead week.