Former University of Maine Black Bear guard Chris Markwood is finally returning home after a successful journey across the northeast. Markwood began his career as an assistant coach at the University of Maine following his graduation in 2005. He held this position until accepting a job at the University of Vermont. Markwood then moved to Northeastern in 2014, joining legendary head coach Bill Coen’s staff, where he eventually became the assistant head coach for his final three years with the Huskies. In 2020, Markwood agreed to join Boston College, where he served as an assistant coach until his hiring in Orono this year.
Every team Markwood joined saw immediate improvement, with his latest triumph culminating in nine more wins for the Boston College Eagles in the 2021-22 season compared to the previous year. To add to his already impressive resume, Markwood has amassed a collection of star recruits, with 25 all-conference selections, a player of the year, a rookie of the year and three defensive player of the year award winners tracing their mentorship back to the former Black Bear.
“Wow, this is overwhelming. It feels amazing to be back,” Markwood said at the beginning of his introductory press conference. “This is a full-circle moment, for me and my family. This place means the world to me. This state means the world to me, and to be able to represent the state of Maine here, in this basketball program, is truly a dream come true.”
The emotion and intensity of the new head coach were well on display during his press appearance. He thanked each and every one of his former coaches and mentors before graciously thanking Northeastern head coach Bill Coen.
“Bill Coen, that’s my guy. Bill Coen has been a father figure for me,” Markwood continued his praise. “It was under his tutelage, for those seven years, where I feel like I really developed the most as a basketball coach, and under his guidance is where I knew I was ready for this opportunity.”
Following the overwhelming amount of thankfulness coach Markwood put out into the world for those that guided him, he was able to give thanks to his two daughters, as well as his wife.
“We’re gonna play the right way. Be disciplined, highly detailed, and we’re gonna be selfless,” Markwood said. He was eager to describe the style of play he expected of his new team, with plans to run a motion-based, fluid offensive package to combat opposing teams, as well as running a switch-heavy, hard-pressing, man-defense package, similar to that of the NBA’s Boston Celtics. Markwood’s willingness to take on the challenge of guiding UMaine’s basketball team through an incredibly transformative period for the team was noticeable during the press conference.
Before Markwood joined UMaine as a player in 2003, he was a well-respected guard recruited to the University of Notre Dame. Though he did not start a single game with the Fighting Irish, the South Portland native returned to Maine to attend the University of Maine for his final two years of eligibility. He instantly was named a starter, having made the starting five in all but one of the team’s games in the 2003-04 season. In his final year with the Black Bears, his scoring numbers increased from 5.9 points per game to 7.7, and his three-point percentage jumped by over 13 percent to 37.1%.
It will be interesting to see how Markwood handles developing and recruiting new talent this offseason.