Marzulli Earns State Honor

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A St. Maries man who was a teacher and coach and volunteered much of his time to his community was honored last weekend.

The late Robert “Marz” Marzulli was inducted into the Idaho State Athletic Hall of Fame at a special banquet Saturday, April 11.

The late Robert "Marz" Marzulli will be honored this weekend when he is inducted into the Idaho Hall of Fame. Mr. Marzulli was a coach, teacher and community volunteer, who gave much of his time to help others.

The late Robert “Marz” Marzulli will be honored this weekend when he is inducted into the Idaho Hall of Fame. Mr. Marzulli was a coach, teacher and community volunteer, who gave much of his time to help others.

For those who knew Mr. Marzulli the Hall of Fame honor is long overdue.

“I think it’s a great honor for him. Well deserved,” Jim Asher, a former St. Maries coach, said. “It’s too bad he can’t be a part of it. He didn’t make his name like a lot of huge coaches and players. He made his name in what he gave back to his community.”

Mr. Asher said Mr. Marzulli was one of the first people he met in 1984. He said he and Mr. Marzulli “became fast friends and fishing buddies.”

“He was a gruff, rough old guy, but all the kids, all the people loved him,” Mr. Asher recalled. “He didn’t have any kids, but all of St. Maries were his kids.”

Mr. Marzulli was the vocational education teacher at St. Maries High School from 1970 to 1990. He coached golf, basketball and football. He helped start the Little League and coached for 15 years. He started a youth football program and “Marz’s Mob,” a basketball program for elementary school children. He helped begin the Elk’s Hoop Shoot program as well as the Punt, Pass and Kick program for area children.

“Marz was really Mr. St. Maries,” Mr. Asher said.

Mr. Marzulli coached John Shepherd, a St. Maries businessman, when he played golf in high school. Mr. Shepherd said there were several qualities that made Mr. Marzulli a great coach.

“He got right to the point. There was no beating around the bush,” he said.

Mr. Shepherd said he first met Mr. Marzulli when he was four or five years old. He described Mr. Marzulli as “gruff, but with a tender heart.”

“He did so much for the kids and for the community,” Mr. Shepherd said. “He was always helping with something. Like with the Christmas baskets at the Elks. He was always there to organize and he took initiative and got things done.”

Rob Sather, a 1985 graduate of St. Maries High School who now works for Boeing, said Mr. Marzulli easily coached three generations, possibly four generations, of his own family. Mr. Sather said he knew Mr. Marzulli as long as he could remember.

“I knew him from since I was born. When I started playing basketball for him, my friends were scared to death of him, but I was used to it. It was just the way Marz was,” Mr. Sather said.

Ms. Sather said Mr. Marzulli was a “no nonsense guy.”

“He would tell you exactly what he was thinking, and he a lot of knowledge,” he said. “One thing that was cool is he always had the high school guys, the varsity players who were our heroes, come and help him. I remember when I was in high school I helped the younger kids, too,” he said. “Not all coaches can do that or even try.”

Mr. Sather and Mr. Shepherd recalled enjoying Final Four parties with Mr. Marzulli during college basketball and playing golf with him once they were out of high school.

Mr. Sather said it is “awesome” that Mr. Marzulli is being inducted in the Hall of Fame.

“It’s about time,” Mr. Shepherd said.

“The guy coached every sport at some point,” Mr. Sather said. “I would say if you think about sports from the 50s through the late 80s, early 90s, Marz was always there doing something.”

All three men indicated they planned to attend Saturday’s banquet in Mr. Marzulli’s honor.

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