11/09/2020 10:20 AM -
Whiting, Ind. – Nov. 9, 2020 – The Northwest Indiana Oilmen have bolstered their coaching staff with the addition of TJ Marik, who will coordinate the team’s recruiting efforts while also serving as an assistant coach under manager Chris Cunningham.
Marik is an assistant coach at Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Mo., where he works under head coach Adam Enright, who was on the Oilmen coaching staff for seven seasons including four years as manager and is the winningest manager in franchise history.
“We’re thrilled with the opportunity to add TJ to our coaching staff,” Oilmen President Don Popravak said. “His high-energy, motivating personality will serve him well in this role. His relatability to players and connections in the industry will make him an effective leader in assembling our roster for the 2021 Midwest Collegiate League season.”
Marik’s college coaching career also includes stops at Saint Leo University and Roosevelt University. He was the head coach of Top Tier Baseball LLC from May 2018 to June 2019 and has prior summer baseball experience as an assistant coach for the Rockford Rivets of the Northwoods League during the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
“I really enjoy coaching summer ball, so when this opportunity came about, I wanted to make sure I took advantage of it,” Marik said. “The coaches I’ve worked with so far in my career have taught me the importance of doing things the right way. I’m very energetic and easy going. I care more about how our student-athletes are as people than how they are as players. My first goal is always to make sure they’re doing well personally, and my second goal is to aid their development and help them get better every day.”
Marik graduated from Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights, Ky. in December 2018 with a degree in organizational leadership after being named to the Johnny Bench Award Watch List in 2018. Before joining the Norse, the former Division-I catcher started his collegiate career at Austin Peay State University in Tennessee.
“As I assemble our roster for this summer, I hope to bring in some older players who have been around college baseball to mix with the younger players we bring in and show them the ropes,” Marik said. “I love players who like to get dirty, bring energy and have fun. I’m going to look for players who play hard and walk away every day with their jerseys dirty. If our players have grit, do things the right way on and off the field and are good listeners, I’m going to be very happy with where we’re at.”
Marik coached a pair of all-conference second team honorees while serving as the top assistant coach at Roosevelt in 2019. He spent the COVID-shortened 2020 season as the first base coach at Saint Leo. Marik joined the Rockford Rivets in 2019 as the hitting and catching coach and led the team to a 33-win season, the second highest victory total in franchise history. He returned for a second season in 2020 and helped the Rivets shatter the Northwoods League record for runs scored in a game (28). The team was ranked as the fifth-best summer collegiate team by D1Baseball.com. He instructed four top 150 college draft prospects during the 2020 summer.
“My approach to summer ball is the same as my approach during the spring,” he said. “I’m very relaxed during games, and I only get on players if they take reps off. I never took one rep off when I was behind the plate or hitting, so that’s one thing I took away from my career. I can look back knowing that I worked as hard as I could every day. If our athletes come out and work hard every day, they’re going to be happy with where their careers end up.”
Marik joins an Oilmen franchise that has finished with a winning record and qualified for the MCL playoffs in all nine years of its existence. The Oilmen are coming off their sixth MCL Championship Series appearance in 2020 and have won three league championships.
“I’ve known about the MCL since I was in high school and became familiar with the Oilmen and other teams in the league when I was in college,” Marik said. “The Oilmen have been an extremely successful organization and I’m excited to be a part of that. I’ve had great discussions with Coach Enright and Don about the Oilmen and I look forward to contributing to the team’s success.”