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Letter to Editor: Praise for fmr. basketball coach

May 22, 2013 - I have been a resident of Oxford for the last 23 years. I coached baseball in town for 15 of those years and have had two sons graduate from Oxford High School after participating in both baseball and basketball at the JV and varsity levels.

Last night I attended Oxford High School's Varsity Athletes Awards Presentation at the High School and had the opportunity to speak with Coach Marfia, now former Varsity Basketball Coach for Oxford HS. I had just learned last night that Coach Marfia was asked to step down from his Varsity Coaching position. We were under the impression that Coach Marfia left coaching to spend more time with his family. I am okay with that if that in fact was the reason for him leaving. I am appalled that a man of this caliber and coaching abilty was dismissed from his head coaching position for not performing up to Oxford High School Administrations standards. If I remember correctly Oxford High School was one game short of winning our conference last year with 14 wins. This year, the Varsity basketball team fell a little short of .500 on the season with 10 wins and 11 losses.

That said, Coach Marfia brought a tremendous understanding of the game to his players and was in the process of establishing a new culture "WE WORK" to this team and to Oxford High School basketball at all levels. He did this by example. He has to be the hardest working coach I have ever seen. He literally spent more time with his players than he did with his own family. Last summer, I sent my son to play tournament after tournament with Coach Marfia and I have to say my son's knowledge and ability improved exponentially under Coach Marfia's tutelage. My son and all of the Varsity players worked the Saturday morning basketball clinics set up by Coach Marfia for Oxford's youth basketball players. My son Michael learned more than just ball handling, passing and shooting skills from Coach Marfia. My son learned how to be a leader, a team mate, a compassionate person and good sportsman.

It is my opinion and the opinion of most of the parents and Varsity players that Oxford High School Basketball has taken a giant step backwards with the loss of Coach Marfia. I do not believe Oxford HS will find a new basketball coach with the understanding, love of the game, ability to impart basketball knowledge to young men nor the commitment to his players as Marfia had.

In closing, I wish Coach Marfia and his wonderful family all blessings and the best of luck. I hope he finds another Varsity Coaching position very soon so his talent for coaching and motivating young men won't go to waste. Coach Paul Marfia will always be my son Michael's Oxford Wildcats Varsity Basketball Coach.

Fred Censullo, Oxford

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