Meet Coach Byington

Marqus Williams

Most people know about the star players on a team, the underrated player that just always seems to get the job done or the player they just like the most, but not many people know about the coaches that put it all together. Mark Byington is Georgia Southern University’s men’s basketball coach and has coached the Eagles since 2013. His career record at Georgia Southern is 48-41 and has made it to the SoCon semifinals in 2014 and the Sun Belt Championship in 2015.

His accomplishments are respected but he’s more than the guy with the whiteboard. From Salem, Virginia, there’s much to know about the Eagles basketball coach.

Favorite team growing up???

“The Chicago Bulls. There used to be a WGN channel where most of the Bulls game would play on tv and me and my Mom would sit around and watch Bulls games every night. Also grew up cheering for the Dallas Cowboys.”

Favorite Player??

“Michael Jordan was definatly my favorite athlete growing up”.

Where played basketball in college??

“Played at UNC Wilmington. Started for three years and played in two conference championship games and won two regular season championships.”

Byington played multiple sports growing up but had football and basketball special in his heart up until the time he had to choose between the two to play for in college He decided to play basketball and became an all-conference player his senior year. He also won two conference titles as a player as well as being on the academic team for two years. After his basketball career in college was over he went through some travel and semi-pro teams before his playing career ended.

Even though his playing career ended, he realized he still wanted basketball to be in his daily life, which enticed him to the career of coaching. “I never thought I was going to be a basketball coach until basketball was taken away from me. I wasn’t one of those people saying I wanted to be a basketball coach,” Byington said. “I felt empty inside and I missed the competitiveness, I missed being around teams and then the light kind of clicked on.”

He returned to graduate school and became a graduate assistant at the University of Virginia from 2004-2005.

Byington is the cool, calm and collected kind of coach that can get intense in the heat of the game and truly knows his guys better than most. He knows the value of the lessons and teachings learned from his past coaching experiences as well as the tough and busy schedule of a student athlete and how to bond with his players.

“I always keep a book, a knowledge book of different things I’ve seen and I like and the books keeps getting bigger and bigger. But it’s something I’ve kept along the way,” Byington said about keeping track of old and new coaching ideas he likes.

Byington is a player’s coach and his players have shown the respect and trust in him to make them into better players and people by always believing in what he says and playing as hard as they can.