MOUNDSVILLE – For the first time since 2012, Mark Cisar is a head football coach.
Cisar was officially approved as the latest coach at John Marshall during Tuesday’s regular meeting of the Marshall County Board of Education.
Currently the Monarchs’ baseball coach, Cisar, 46, takes over the football duties after spending last season on the staff of Justin Kropka, who resigned last month to accept the head coaching job at Martins Ferry. All told, Cisar becomes the Monarchs’ seventh coach since 2005.
“It’s definitely going to be a challenge doing two sports, but I am excited about the opportunity,” Cisar said. “Coach Kropka got me back involved last year and it was nice to be back around the kids in that environment again. The kids are the major reason I decided to pursue this. “
Obviously, Cisar will be the Monarchs’ baseball coach for the season, which begins in less than a week. He indicated he has plans to continue to coach both sports for the foreseeable future, too.
“It’s going to be a challenge doing both sports,” Cisar said. “But, I am 100% invested in baseball. Obviously, it takes up some time, but (high school) baseball is such a short season that in pretty much a month-and-a-half, it’s winding down. “
As for the Monarchs football team, Cisar is inheriting a program that seems to be on the cusp of breaking through. The Monarchs finished 6-4 in 2021 with a club that was dominated by underclassmen in key positions.
“Coach Kropka did a fabulous job of getting those kids in shape and getting them to the point where they believed in themselves,” Cisar said.
When he was the head coach at Union Local, where he posted a 27-36 record and led the Jets to a pair of playoff appearances and the school’s first postseason victory, Cisar employed a pass-happy offense. Monarch fans can still expect to see the ball in the air, but the Magnolia graduate admits that he has more offensive options at his disposal at JM.
“I think we’ll be able to do multiple things offensively,” Cisar admitted. “We won’t have to depend on throwing it every down. We have good numbers and we have some good-sized kids who will allow us to be able to run the ball effectively. The biggest challenge for me may be not allowing myself to throw it every play. “
When Kropka was hired for the Monarchs’ position just over a year ago, he had to introduce himself to and form relationships with every kid. Cisar believes that his prior knowledge of the kids both in the classroom setting as well as in athletics can certainly help the transition process.
“It’s tough being a coach and not being in the school every day and Justin did a fabulous job managing that part of it,” Cisar said. “Now, I am able to see them in the hallway, talk to them when needed and just be there every day if and when something comes up.”
As he continues to prepare his baseball team, Cisar plans to begin to build a coaching staff. He expects there to be some holdovers from the previous staff, but he also knows there are definitely three or four positions to fill.
“We want to get the best people we can to coach,” Cisar said. “In the next couple of weeks, I’ll buckle down and see what we can put together. We’re looking for people who we can trust and who the kids can trust. “
Along with his coaching exploits, Cisar was a standout athlete for the Blue Eagles. A member of the OVAC Hall of Fame, Cisar won the Kennedy Award, which is given to the premier prep player in the state of West Virginia, twice.
Mark and his wife, Angie, are the parents of four children – Maddie (17), Jacob (13) and twin sons Isaiah and Jonah (6).