New Greenwood Christian Academy boys basketball coach Jonny Marlin anticipates the inescapable questions regarding his age.
Marlin, the former Center Grove point guard who is only six years removed from his own high school commencement, is prepared.
“Age is a number, but over the last six years I’ve been able to learn from some coaches who have done really well,” said Marlin, who turns 25 in August.
“There was (Jacksonville University coach) Tony Jasick at IPFW for one year, Tom Crean at Indiana for two and the last three with Greg Tonagel, who has led Indiana Wesleyan to the NAIA (Division II) national championship two of the last four seasons.”
Marlin succeeds former Cougars coach Jamie Satre, who in 12 seasons compiled a record of 103-156. Greenwood Christian Academy’s memorable run to the championship game of the 2014 Class A sectional at Martinsville also took place under Satre.
Satre resigned his post March 23; Marlin was offered and accepted the job April 3.
“Jamie came in on the ground floor and built this program to what it is today,” Greenwood Christian athletics director Dan Carmichael said. “The kids loved Jamie as a leader. They bought into the personal and spiritual aspect.
“As we move forward, I think Jonny is going to do a phenomenal job. We went out to dinner a couple of times and he literally hit every aspect I was looking for. First is his knowledge of the game. And Jonny is very well-known and well-liked in the community.”
Marlin, the consummate coach on the floor as a player, helped lead the 2010-11 Center Grove squad to a Class 4A sectional title by averaging 16.6 points, 6.8 assists and 2.3 steals.
His one season at IPFW (2011-12) resulted in 28 starts as a true freshman. Marlin finished with averages of 4.3 points and 3.5 assists for the Mastadons.
A lifelong IU hoops supporter, Marlin decided to leave IPFW to pursue his dream of suiting up for the Hoosiers as a preferred walk-on.
Marlin per NCAA rules was ineligible to compete in games in 2012-13, but practiced with the team and sat at the end of the bench for home games. Finally eligible the following season, Marlin saw action in 18 games for the Hoosiers.
Seeking a more significant role in terms of playing time and leadership responsibilities, Marlin transferred to Indiana Wesleyan with two seasons of athletic eligibility remaining.
He made the absolute most of both.
As a junior, Marlin guided the Wildcats to the NAIA-D-II quarterfinals before being eliminated by Davenport (Michigan) 79-75. He finished the season averaging 13.1 points a game.
In 2015-16, Marlin became a national champion once Indiana Wesleyan scored a 69-66 victory against Saint Francis (Indiana) in the national championship game at Point Lookout, Missouri.
Playing a team-high 38 minutes in the finale, Marlin scored 10 points to go along with four assists, three rebounds and no turnovers. He was named the NAIA Division II Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.
Marlin spent this past season as a graduate assistant coach for the Wildcats while pursuing his master’s degree.
Marlin will be a lay coach at Greenwood Christian Academy, at least initially. In the meantime, he and former Center Grove teammate Ben Whitehead continue to operate J-Mar Handles, a basketball training business Marlin began in 2012.
On June 25, Marlin will marry his fiancé, Emily Kimes, at The Barn at Bay Horse Inn in Greenwood.
Life continues to evolve for Marlin, not that he has any complaints.
“I’m definitely excited. Where I’m going to coach is a Christian school where I can talk about my faith openly,” he said. “That’s truly what got me excited. And with so many of (GCA’s) players coming back, I know that I’m walking into a pretty good situation.”
THE MARLIN FILE
Name: Jonny Marlin
Born: Greenwood, Indiana
Family: Parents, Tony and Stacy; brother, Christopher, 27; fiancé, Emily Kimes.
High school: Center Grove H.S. – 2011
College: Indiana Wesleyan University – 2015
Major: Business Management