Marist High School Athletic Director Eric Simpson announced that Mark Bandzi is the new director of the hockey program effective immediately. He will serve as both head coach and administrator of the program.
Bandzi, a 1986 Marist graduate, brings a wealth of coaching experience and success to Marist’s growing program. He spent 18 years in the Chicago Catholic League, including 15 championship series appearances and 13 championship titles. He has been a part of five state championship teams at the junior varsity level. He has coached at the high school level for Mt. Carmel, Providence Catholic, Lyons Township, and Stagg. He has also been a part of well-known club programs, including St. Jude, Vikings, Cobras, Marxmen, and Chicago Hawks.
On returning to his alma mater, Bandzi said it is great to be back. “Everyone from the administration, the parents, and the players has really made us feel welcome here,” he said. “I know it is a great responsibility and I am honored that the school has put their faith in my coaches and myself to rebuild the program.”
Bandzi said his staff’s immediate attention will be focused on creating an environment for players to develop and grow as a person and a hockey player. “We will have to earn their trust and let them know that we are here for them.” Bandzi also said he hopes to attract youth players to the great academic advantages that are available to them at Marist. “I can’t believe how much the school has changed and grown and with the addition of the new science labs it is only getter better. Marist’s commitment to academic excellence is second to none,” Bandzi said.
“Coach Bandzi impressed the interview committee and Marist school leadership as a man of great integrity and strong character,” Simpson said. “He will implement a disciplined but positive coaching approach that has served him well during his highly successful 18 year tenure as a Chicago Catholic League coach. We are extremely excited to welcome Mark and members of his staff to the Marist family.”