Culture Shock My Bag

A Coach’s Bag | Tyler Crandall

Name: Donyell Marshall

Age: 43

Occupation: Head Basketball Coach, Central Connecticut State University

Location: New Britain, CT

“Tebow hit a homer!” Coach Donyell Marshall shouts, glancing up from the notification regarding former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow, who is attempting a second career in baseball. A self-proclaimed “simple guy”, Coach Marshall’s passion for sports is evident when walking into his office. Around  you’ll find team photographs from past years and pictures signed by Pete Rose. His eighteen year NBA career saw him playing for eight different teams; like Tebow, he too finds himself in unfamiliar waters, as he took his first head coaching position back in the spring. It is clear there is something to prove. A tweet by a basketball blog on the wall projects CCSU to finish last in their conference, but in talking to Coach Marshall you would think the Blue Devils were perennial winners. Earlier that morning, he participated in the basketball team’s annual three mile run around campus to kick off the 2016-2017 campaign and this year, he decided to extend the invitation to all faculty and students. He hoists his blue Nike bag off the floor and into his lap. “I’m a simple guy, I pack my bag for work the night before.” He says. You get the sense that he’ll be packing his bag for many more seasons to come.


“Whether they’re a hoax or not, I like Fitbits because you have to set a goal. If you don’t work out, you don’t set the goal. So it makes me work out almost every day because if my goal is not reached, I get pissed off and go workout. Right now I’m in the kick where I’ve pretty much worked out every day.”

Bluetooth Speaker:

“I listen to everything. It’s funny because depending on who I’m with, they’re surprised at what song would come on my iPod. I probably have at least three thousand songs on my iPod. A song will pop up, from John Mayer or Evanescence, and depending on who you are you’ll come over and be like ‘Really? You listen to that stuff?’”

Swedish Fish:

“I definitely have a sweet tooth. When I go on diets, that’s what kills me. You know, we take a lot of bus trips. So the problem is I gotta have them Twizzlers, gotta have them Swedish Fish, gotta have them for the bus trip. There’s not a lot of stopping, and if you’re starving you gotta have something.”

Coach’s Organization Book:

“The book is where I do a lot of my play drawing, write down notes when I’m watching film and things like that. There’s times when I’ll be watching an NBA game or a college game and I’ll see a play, so I’ll have this around to just jot stuff down. I use it every day.”

Blue Muse Magazine is a general interest literary magazine published by the students of the English Department at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Connecticut. We publish poetry, fiction, and a gamut of creative nonfiction on anything and everything the blue muse inspires us to write.

2 comments on “A Coach’s Bag | Tyler Crandall

  1. Norman Dawkins

    WOW! I remember seeing Donyell Marshall as a deadly 3-point shooter for the Cleveland Cavaliers! I can vouch for his love for sports and basketball in particular because I remember hearing him in interviews as a young teen. His commitment to staying in shape and true to himself is what stuck out to me the most. Constantly drawing up plays with his book, the fitbit, and the Swedish Fish (lol) the man is a inspiration and the CCSU Men’s Basketball Team is lucky to have him as their coach.

  2. Mary Collins

    Tyler–I was in the Underground Deli, contemplating ordering the Blue Muse Sandwich, when the B-ball coach walked in, a full foot taller than anyone in the room! I really enjoyed this playful piece.

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