Shiloh graduate Marcus Spivey was hired in April as the new head coach of boys basketball at Central Gwinnett.
Spivey was a freshman head coach at Therrell in 2021-22, guiding his team to a 14-10 record and a state playoff berth – a big improvement after going 6-17 the season before. His arrival. Prior to being hired at Therrell, he served as an assistant coach at Duluth for six seasons and at Central for one season. He played college basketball at Life University.
In the latest episode of “Getting to Know…,” Spivey talks about his new job, returning to his home county of Gwinnett and more.
MF: Welcome to Gwinnett County Sports. How does it feel to come back and be in charge?
MS: It’s very exciting. Returning to Georgia’s highest ranking. You know it’s going to be tough, but I’m up for the challenge. Just ready to come in and start working. I am very happy to be back in Gwinnett and closer to my family.
MF: Being surrounded by great programs, what things have you learned during the coaching experience?
MS: Adapt, listen and learn. I don’t know everything. Take everything for what it’s worth and enjoy the process.
MF: As Gwinnett County grows and becomes more competitive, what are the fundamentals and habits you will develop with the players to be successful?
MS: Getting to know them. Once I get to know the type of person they are and their families, basketball will take care of itself. I really want to get to know them and get out in the Lawrenceville area and make sure my kids stay in the district. And don’t lose the kids, the community is going to be the big chunk. Keeping those kids home and getting them excited to play for Central Gwinnett.
MF: The season is over, how did you start preparing the team?
MS: We have to start thinking like winners. It’s no surprise if you look at history, they’ve been the doormat of the region, so it has to start with the mentality, that’s why summer is going to be very important for us. We will spend about two days and start working. We know that children want to work and we believe in it. That’s what I’ve been saying to some of the returning seniors, it starts here, let’s get double digit wins this year and compete. And changing the culture at Central Gwinnett.
MF: Where did your sporting career begin?
MS: It started in Lithonia. I was at Lithonia my freshman year and transferred to Shiloh and played there my last three years. From there I went to a junior college in Illinois named Shawnee Community College and completed Life University.
MF: Tell us about your family?
MS: My mom and dad stay in Loganville. I have a big brother and a little sister.
MF: What made you want to start coaching?
MS: I’ve always been into basketball. When I was six or seven years old, my father would come with me to the garden and we would watch basketball games all the time. I kind of reached this stage at the end of college, what am I going to do? I think it was God’s timing because around that time Coach (Eddie) Hood got the Duluth job. I had a month left in school and he said I’m about to get the Duluth job, you can do it, let’s get in and rebuild. And it’s like the same situation here. I’ve seen him take this team and knock it down and that’s what I envision. Being around gaming my whole life makes me want to dedicate myself to it and give back to the kids.
MF: What surprised you the most in basketball?
MS: It’s the child work ethic. I was decent but never had such a work ethic. Kids want to go to the gym every day all day. Their work ethic is better than mine, their preparation and willingness to keep improving.
MF: Do you have an all-time and/or team favorite basketball player?
MS: It’s a tie, but I would say Michael Jordan. I don’t really have a team. I’m a huge Coach Cal (John Calipari of Kentucky) fan.
MF: Michael Jordan or LeBron James?
MS: I’m a huge LeBron fan, but I’ll go with MJ, win count.