Track

High school boys track and field: Marcus Robinson steps down at Marian Central before first season

Former Bears receiver looking at NFL coaching opportunities

Marcus Robinson had eagerly awaited the upcoming track and field season and stepping into the role of varsity boys coach for Marian Central.

But Robinson felt the pull of NFL opportunities, possibly with the Chicago Bears, and stepped down as coach just before the season started. Marian athletic director Curtis Price said former coach Adam Zanck will be back in Robinson’s place.

Robinson, a wide receiver with the Bears from 1997-2002, is pursuing a position as a coach’s assistant, which would be unpaid, but would allow him to work with NFL coaches and players. It would serve as a period in which he could learn and network with NFL coaches, which hopefully would lead to a future assistant coaching job.

“It gives you experience,” Robinson said. “You can follow around a position coach and learn how to be a coach. It allows coaches to see how you interact with players. They saw me as a player, now they can see me as a coach.”

Robinson, who lives in West Dundee, had been an assistant in Marian’s track program for a few years. He has given his résumé to the Bears, Denver Broncos, former coach Mike Tice (Robinson’s head coach with the Minnesota Vikings) and Minnesota offensive assistant Todd Downing. Robinson also is applying for the NFL Minority Coaches Internship, which was started by the late Bill Walsh.

If a team calls, Robinson could be in OTAs this spring with an NFL team and possibly through summer and training camp. He said some coaches’ assistants even stick with teams through the regular season.

“I saw that I couldn’t put in the work or the time with the (Marian) kids,” Robinson said. “There’s nothing definite (with the Bears), but it possibly could happen.”

Robinson also went through broadcasting boot camp last year, where he attended sessions on learning broadcasting and how to be a color analyst for football games.

Price understood Robinson’s urge to follow opportunities in the NFL.

“I like Marcus, he does a great job and we wish we could have made it work,” Price said. “Hopefully we can revisit it in the future.”

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