Marck Coffin (193-PG-91, college: Idaho Coll.) is a 29 year old 190cm guard from Caldwell, Indiana that completed his third season with the WWU Baskets Muenster (Germany-ProB) playing 30 games averaging 12.7ppg, 5.2rpg, 3.1apg, 1.9spg, FGP: 54.2%, 3PT: 44.8%, FT: 85.7% after averaging 9.6ppg, 3.8rpg, 3.1apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 55.8%, 3PT: 39.4%, FT: 64.3% the season before. He played his first three professional seasons with the ECE Bulls Kapfenberg (Austria-A Bundesliga) playing 125 games. He also got experience in the States playing at Treasure Valley Community College (NJCAA) and playing 49 games for the College of Idaho (NAIA). He spoke to germanhoops.com about his basketball career.
Marck thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you and how is basketball life treating you at the moment?
I am currently in Muenster, spending my last couple of days here finishing up last minute appointments. The basketball life is treating me well, it’s a great feeling knowing I do not have to prepare physically for a season in the coming fall.
You played a full season during COVID-19. How did you experience this season with all the restrictions and drama of COVID-19 on and off the court?
I’m thankful our team didn’t have any positive cases. That speaks discipline and dedication about our organization and team. It was definitely an experience I will never forget; no fans, testing before each game, hearing every single player and coach shouting during the games.
Off the court I’m pretty laid back and don’t go to too many places, I did miss coaching my young U12 team though. Due to Covid all of the youth sports were cancelled, and that was a huge bummer for those kids.
What were the biggest challenges for you in getting through this season and trying to have as much success as possible?
Personally my biggest challenge was staying motivated, knowing possibly once we all tested negative, there could be a probable chance the opposing team would test positive and all our work and preparation from that week would feel like it was wasted in a sense.
It was a very successful season for the WWU Baskets Muenster. But how can one seriously rate a season like this where really each team had their difficulties with COVID-19?
We knew from our success from last year that it would translate to this season. Although we had some great players depart, we also had great additions. We tried to focus on us as much as we could and not have any external distractions come into our team, even when Covid influenced the schedule.
You guys lost a tough three game series to Bochum. You had the momentum going into game three, but lost 97-86. How tough was it losing that final game?
It was hard, I’m not going to lie. That whole weekend my sleep schedule spiraled; after the first game I stayed up till 2am and was already awake at 5am. I never sleep past 8:30, but that was two nights in a row. I was very excited about the series, but I also think maybe subconsciously anxious, because I knew it was coming to an end. I didn’t play up to my standard, or what the team needed in that last game, and that hurt even more. I hate to disappoint people, especially the ones I care so much about.
I guess the regular season means nothing at the end when you don’t win the title. But still how would you summarize the season of the WWU Baskets Muenster? What was your fondest moment?
I don’t like when people use that logic, because you still learn, and grow as individual players, coaches and as a team during that whole year. I would summarize our season as a fun and exciting rollercoaster ride. We had a few injuries at the most inconvenient times; I got injured briefly during the preseason after feeling great; Cosmo Gruehn after showcasing a 27 pt game injures his hand for a good chunk of the season; Adam Tourey goes down at a crucial end stretch of the season with a torn LCL but that’s a part of the game. One of my favorite memories was in our first round in the playoffs when we played away at Coburg. Guys were in the best moods, encouraging one another, having fun, sharing and moving the ball. No one played outstanding, but I felt everyone contributed in a way that made the game so easy and fun to play.
Head coach Philipp Kappenstein continues to do very good work with the club. How have you seen him develop as a head coach in the last years?
Philipp is an amazing coach, period! The way he can relate and communicate with players is like none other I’ve ever experienced before. His most noticeable growth I’ve noticed is that he was willing to adjust more willingly according to matchups and personnel on the floor. He likes his teams to play very aggressive and at times it was just not the right decision for some teams and players. He was willing to change it up and be more passive, which won us a lot more games in the end.
Let’s talk about your teammates. There are so many good big men in the Pro B and one of those is Malcolm Delpeche. What have you learned to appreciate most about his game?
Malcolm is one of the most dominant nice players I’ve ever met. He could easily average 20-15 in the Pro B, I would bet my salary on that. But he is too nice of guy, which I think holds him back. Depending on the day he’ll give you a double double, or he’ll kind of float along the game. However, that’s one of the things I’ve learned and loved to appreciate about his game the most. He’s so unselfish and kind that he’s looking for others, before he looks for his own.
One guy I enjoyed watching early in his career was Cosmo Gruehn. He made huge strides in Muenster the last two years. How is he a different player today then he was on day one in 2019?
I mean Cosmo is a special case, the guy is young, about 204cm, 110kg, can defend, can score from all three areas and has some playmaking ability. I see what he can do every day in practice so it’s no surprise for me when he has a game like 19pts, 9 rebs and 5 assists, in 25 minutes on 7-10 shooting. From the beginning what I noticed though was how he was able to bounce back from the injury and not having a shorter leash for mistakes in game. He stayed confident and delivered when we needed him most. So, his confidence and perseverance were things I noticed most.
Jasper Guenther took a step back last season from the Pro A and had a very strong Pro B season. How did you see him develop and is the younger brother of BBL legend Per ready now for the BBL?
Jasper is a dogg!!! He’ll do anything to win and I really admire that about him. That must be the Guenther genes, because if those guys were any taller, they’d be terrifying opponents. I think he’s grown his decision making a lot from what I saw. He’s also a guy who can score on all three areas and at times he’d either shoot a tough 3 pointer, or drive into traffic. I think he’s found a good balance when to do each of those and also utilize his midrange game. I don’t think he’s BBL ready now, but he definitely has the heart and work ethic to be a solid player at that level if that’s a goal of his.
The club continues to develop many young German players. Which guy do you feel improved the most this season?
I think that’s a little tough to answer, I don’t think any of our young guys developed more than the other, but they developed different aspects of their games.
Who was the toughest player that you faced in the Pro B this season?
I think Montrell Scott, he’s also a guy who can score at all 3 levels, and with his height and quickness he can be difficult to contain when he gets it going
You played professionally in Austria and Germany. Why have you decided to retire after only 5 professional seasons?
No particular reason, I just don’t want to play basketball anymore. I’ve had an amazing 5 years, I’ve established some amazing relationships and the experience I’ve gathered has no price.
Talk a little about your life after professional basketball. You will be getting into coaching. How instrumental was your dad Mike in helping you make this decision?
I plan on learning as much as I can from current, and past coaches. I know a lot back in the states, so I will be a sponge and soak up as much information as I can. I want to eventually become a head coach, but to start I plan on being an assistant at the High School or Collegiate level. I just want to help young players develop their individual skills and knowledge of the game. More importantly be a great role model and help with any mental barriers players may have. He wasn’t instrumental at all. I’ve coached in the past during the summers and I always knew I would want to do it after I was done; I just didn’t expect it to be this soon I guess.
What was the most important thing that you learned from your dad that helped you on the court as a player and also what will help you in the future as a coach?
The most important thing is that you can’t be everyone’s friend. You cannot make everyone happy and if you try you will fail. Those were some of the lessons I learned under his tutelage. I believe these aspects will help me, because I do try and please everyone.
There are many guys that would do anything to win one professional title. You won 8 in Austria. You have won more titles than Tom Brady.
I’m very blessed and thankful. I was privileged enough to join a team in Kapfenberg at the right time. I believe luck and timing play a big role in sports. For me I happened to come at the right time of Kapfenberg’s success. Hahaha I hope Tom Brady continues to win more titles so he can surpass me
Of all the 8 titles you won, if you had to pick one, which was the sweetest?
Definitely the first. That first year in Kapfenberg we had such an amazing and deep team. The personalities and characters on that team just meshed, it was so harmonious. Also, we had about 5 young guys and they were all special in their own way. To be able to celebrate that success with that entire group, and my mother and father were there to see me win; I was speechless
You played two seasons with Kareem Jamar and went through much with him. Did all those titles together give you guys a special bond for life?
Kareem and I were tight from day 1. We always drove to practice and ate lunch together. We also would always get in extra work before, or after practice together. I believe had we not won titles ou rbond would be just as strong. It does make it that much sweeter that we won together though.
Your success was surely helped by your chip on your shoulder after playing JUCO and NAIA. With all the success you had in Austria, did that lesson the burden of your chip somewhat on your shoulder?
It never burdened me, I was always overlooked, to my own fault, but it definitely prepared me for what was to come. I’m not sure, possibly but I always play to win, and I believe any team I’m apart of always has a good chance of winning. That’s always been my mentality, even when I was a kid and we would play a simple game of tag.
How did head coach Scot Garson help groom and prepare for a professional basketball career?
I think his biggest lesson was not taking plays off. He would scold me at times to push myself further when I thought I had exhausted myself, but he knew I had more in the tank to give. That definitely helped me overall, especially when working out and pushing myself further in the offseason workouts.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Emanuel Morgan?
Emmanual Morgan is one of the quickest and fastest guys I’ve ever seen. He has that ball on a string like no other. We never played outside of practice and when we would do one on one drills in practice I never got matched up with him. It would be interesting to find out though.
Please name your five best teammates of all-time?
That’s really hard.
I’ve had so many amazing teammates, who have brought different attributes and skills to the game.
In no particular order:
Please list your personal NBA Mount Rushmore from past or present NBA heads?
In no particular order:
Chris Paul recently passed Magic Johnson for fifth all-time in assists. Where do you rank him with the best point guards all-time despite never having won a ring?
Chris Paul is a winner, period. Wherever he goes wins and other players flourish. I don’t think it’s fair to rank him, and only because he’s not done yet. The way he’s playing, he could go for 3-5 more years. If he retired today though, I would rank Magic Johnson first, Isaiah Thomas second, and Chris Paul third.
What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James?
I think the debate is annoying at this point. It was fun a few years ago, but we all know that MJ ranks number 1. And also, they are each great in their own ways. For all I care people will debate till the end of time about those 2.
Have you seen the Coming to America sequel? It has had mixed reviews. Shouldn’t they just have left it alone?
I saw the mixed reviews before I saw the movie and was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it. I appreciate the direction they went for, and bringing back nearly every character after 30 years was definitely not an easy task. Everyone seemed enthused and motivated as well, so in my eyes it was the correct decision.
Thanks Marck for the chat.