CoW: Laymarr Marshall

Laymarr Marshall is in his second season as head football coach at Mount Tabor High School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Marshall's coaching experience began in 2002 when he returned to his high school alma mater. Marshall was no stranger to Mount Tabor's football fields; from 1992-1993, Marshall was a two-time All-Northwest Conference and All-Conference running back and linebacker.

After Marshall graduated in 1993, his successful football career continued at Duke University, where started as a running back for the Blue Devils for three years. Success not only followed Marshall on the field, but also in the classroom. Marshall earned All-ACC academic honors and obtained his Master of Arts in education from Wake Forest University in 2005.

As an assistant at Mt. Tabor, Marshall helped the team advance to the 2003 and 2007 NCHSAA state title games as running backs coach and offensive coordinator. Marshall was named head coach in 2007.

"The most important time of the day is between 8:30-4:30, the school day, where academics come first." This is not only a familiar quote to Marshall, but one of the many keys to success. Marshall helped establish a tutoring program in the Forsyth County Schools system to help at- risk athletes that fall below a 2.0 GPA. "It is important for me, as well as others, to affect the lives of our students because the teenage years are often a crossroad," said Marshall.

Marshall has been an educator for nine years, concentrating in U.S. and world history, civics, economics and African-American studies. He also considers teaching not as much a profession as it is a life calling. "Being an educator has taught me patience and perseverance and has given me the opportunity to create life-long relationships that benefit me as well as my students," said Marshall.

Marshall helps with youth football camps and Pop Warner coaches, and spends his free time with voter registration drives in order to educate and increase voter participation in Forsyth County. Marshall considers his players his life and enjoys their journey of ups and downs that they share together. Marshall is often seen taking players to visit universities across the southeast and monitoring their academic progress throughout the season. "Coach Marshall is a positive role model in our school whom many of our students look up to. He has high expectations of himself, his coaching staff and athletes," said Assistant Principal, Brad Royal.

In recognition of Marshall, Carolina Panthers Charities will donate $1,000 to Mount Tabor High School's athletic department. All of this year's winners will be honored with an on-field presentation during the Panthers home game versus the New Orleans Saints on January 3, 2010. At that time, the 2009 Coach of the Year will be announced and the winning coach will receive an additional $2,000 grant for his school's athletic department.

The Carolina Panthers High School Coach of the Week program recognizes high school coaches who, through their hard work and dedication to young people, have made a difference in the lives of their players, school and community and provides high schools with financial assistance to help maintain and upgrade their football programs.

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