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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Seawolves newest running back takes field

Ezra Margono/The Statesman

Running back Marcus Coker’s transfer from Iowa to Stony Brook University is a major one.

Last year, Coker has 1,384 yards and 15 touchdowns, which will contribute tremendously to Stony Brook’s already equipped running game with 2011 Big South Offensive Player of the Year running back Miguel Maysonet. Coach Chuck Priore is not worried about making sure both of his star running backs get enough time on the field.

“We run the ball enough times for them, so their tongues will be out at the end of the game,”  Priore said.

Maryland native Coker is excited to be at Stony Brook and says that he enjoys New York because he’s able to be closer to home.

“It feels great,”  Coker said. “I’ve been home the past two weekends. Being able to see my mom and my family is something that I’ve missed.”

Coker was majoring in astrophysics at Iowa, but due to a heavy workload, he decided to change his major to sociology with a business minor after arriving at Stony Brook.

“It was tough and probably a little bit too tough on me time- management-wise,”  Coker said.

Stony Brook relied heavily on their running game last season, which led to them to their first NCAA tournament in school history before being knocked out in the second round by Sam Houston State. This year, Coach Priore hopes his team will continue to get better by adding talented recruits like Coker and focusing on upholding a powerful offense.

“If anything, we’ve been able to stay on course and maintain the integrity of our offense,” Priore said. “Obviously we expect him to be a lead guy in this offense and to produce on a play-by-play basis. That’s going to take hard work and dedication to success.”

Coker has been a model hard working athlete since his days in high school. Coker won the Maryland “Gentleman of the Year” award in 2009 and 2010 for completing over 1,500 hours of community service working

with the mentally challenged and assisting at homeless shelters.

“It’s part of me. I was raised doing community service,”  Coker said. “That’s one of the foundations of who I am.”

Coker sports a variety of colorful bracelets on both wrists, some from younger fans who mailed them asking him to wear them, while others have inspirational quotes on them to help him stay motivated. When asked about the bracelet that said, “Get Better, Not Bitter,” Coker acknowledged that it is an important lesson he lives by.

“I’ve had it since a couple months after arriving at Iowa, and it’s one of those things I stand by,” Coker said. “When someone knocks you down, get back up, and keep moving forward.”

Coker, before he left Iowa, was investigated but not charged in a sexual assault case after the woman involved decided not to press charges.

The allegations led to his suspension from Iowa’s participation in the Insight Bowl.

Priore is confident that the shift from Iowa to Stony Brook will not be a difficult one for the 6 foot, 230 lb. Coker.

“There will be very little transition to our offense as he’s from a similar system,” said Priore, who won his second Big South Coach of the Year Award in three years, after leading Stony Brook to its first 6-0 Big South record in league history last season.

“He’s been very well coached where he was, and he has natural skills.”

As for Coker, he just hopes to contribute to an offense that is already thriving.

“They’ve already won 3 championships. They’re on the rise, so I have to come in and continue that tradition,” Coker said.

The Seawolves have begun practicing for next season, and their first game will be against Central Connecticut in LaValle Stadium on Sept. 1.

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