'Coach' Marra set for new role on Senior Day

University of Louisville senior Mike Marra has been injured much of the past two seasons but is still a big part of the Cardinals' program. Marra, who plays the role of student assistant this season, will be one of three players honored during Senior Day ceremonies before today's 4 p.m. game against Notre Dame.

University of Louisville senior guard Mike Marra is uncertain where he will be next season, but today he's going to be in Rick Pitino's seat on the bench.

Marra, who missed all but two games in the past two seasons because of knee injuries, will participate in the Cardinals' senior day activities before today's 4 p.m. game against Notre Dame, and according to coach Rick Pitino will be the "honoree coach." He'll sit in Pitino's seat on the bench and even call a few timeouts.

"I really hope not," Marra said with a smile. "I can't really do my job from that spot. I have to keep the stats. It's going to be tough."

Pitino said on Thursday that he would let Marra sit in his seat and be more part of the game against the Fighting Irish. Marra keeps deflections and several other statistics this season on the end of the bench for Pitino.

"I've never given, on senior night, my seat up for the game," Pitino said. "But he's going to be the head coach honoree for that game because he wants to go into coaching. It's something I want him to do.

But it will come with some pressure with Pitino noting, "If we don't win, it's his fault."

The 6-foot-5 native of Rhode Island wants to get into coaching at some point. He has a year of eligibility remaining but said he wasn't sure if his health would allow him to play anywhere next season, noting it "won't be at Louisville."

Marra said he wants to coach at the "highest level."

"I love the game so much, I love to be around it and something I think I will be best at," Marra said. "I enjoy it and if I can het paid to do it, why not."

Marra has had tough luck at U of L.

Marra played in 27 games as a freshman and as a sophomore averaged 6.2 points a game, hitting 45 three-point field goals. He scored in double figures 11 times as a sophomore but only played in two games last season.

Marra tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the Nov. 7 game against Lamar and went through rehabilitation for the rest of the season and throughout the offseason. He went down again on Sept. 28 – less than 10 minutes into his first practice after being cleared.

"It's been pretty tough," Marra said. "After the first injury an going through it, working so hard to get back out there and then not be able to do it. It's really tough but you can't look at it in a negative way.

"I look at it like it gave me an opportunity to get some experience to do what I want to do down the road, later in life. I'm getting good experience."

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