Coach Markey Recharging his batteries after 20-year Tenure 

After a 20-year tenure as our head varsity basketball coach, Jim Markey announced that he is stepping away from the game to recharge his batteries.

Markey’s journey at Norfolk Collegiate began in 1996 when he started as the junior varsity basketball coach and later moved to coaching varsity. Markey helped to establish the middle school basketball program by increasing the roster from two teams to six and in assisting in the hiring process for each coach.

His mark on Collegiate has been tremendous and Markey credits his success to his team building concept, establishing co-curricular learning and molding boys into men.

“It’s a ‘we’ thing and not an ‘I’ thing,” said Markey. “There have been a number of assistant coaches who have helped along the way. One thing to keep in mind is who you work for and to understand the mission statement of the school. If you paraphrase that in my own words [it means] sound body, sound mind,” he continued. “This institution in its mission statement does mention a sound body as part of the educational process and it goes hand-and-hand with a sound mind.”

He believes teaching student-athletes the game of basketball is a part of the educational process and not an extra-curricular activity. As a former educator, Markey thinks of himself as a teacher in many aspects, using his skills to enhance our basketball program.

“In his 20 years at Norfolk Collegiate, Coach Jim Markey has exemplified being a teacher. He understands that a private school education would have a significant impact on the lives of the young men under his charge,” said Mary Peccie, director of admissions and former athletic director.  “In addition to knowledge and understanding of the game of basketball, Coach Markey preached the essential element of teamwork, and he made sure that his players followed through with their academic responsibilities. He helped ensure that a passion for basketball could in fact be united with a desire for an education and a willingness to work hard to achieve goals,” Peccie continued. “He established a competitive basketball culture at Norfolk Collegiate that has been integrated into the life of the school, not separate from it.”

Under his leadership, Collegiate earned 325 wins, three TCIS championships and averaged 20 wins per season for the past 16 years.

“[Basketball] is a co-curricular thing. While it’s certainly fun, it’s not all fun and games. It’s about the education,” said Markey. “If you want to know what I’m most proud of, it’s the amount of learning that has gone on in the past 20 years that I’ve been involved in this program.”

Markey has coached some of Collegiate’s most memorable basketball players including Donte’ Hill ’09, a 2009 Clemson University commit who later went on the play for Old Dominion University, and Keith Wright ’08, a NBA D-League player who committed to Harvard University and earned Ivy League Player of the Year honors in 2010-11.  

“It’s hard for me to imagine Norfolk Collegiate basketball without Coach Markey at the helm leading the way,” said Wright. “By the time I got to Collegiate, I had only played basketball for a couple of years. I remember a lot of early morning workouts and open gyms on the weekends that helped build my confidence.  Thank you, Coach Key, for encouraging me to be as great on the court as I was off of it. Thank you for believing in my dream and helping me take the proper steps for my future. Thank you for your time. You will truly be missed.”

A major component of our basketball program’s success is Markey’s teaching method of compete by three, which he defines as “60 percent of the time we spend competing with ourselves, 30 percent of the time we spend learning the skills of this game and 10 percent of the time we spend competing against the opponent.”

Markey concluded his 20-year run at Collegiate on a very high note as he has helped groom our trio of Bash Townes, Adam Grant and Kyonze’ Chavis, and coached our team to winning the 2016 Tidewater Conference of Independent School (TCIS) championship, which led them to enter into the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association (VISAA) state tournament.

“One of the biggest things that he taught us when we first got here was to not rely on someone else to get the work done for you and what you put in is what you’re going to get out,” said Adam Grant ’16 who has committed to playing Division I basketball at Bryant University in the fall. “You have to better yourself so that you can help the team progress. This past season he told us to leave no doubt and that was a big quote from him to us.”

Markey’s influence goes behind the game of basketball and spans into the athletic department and school as a whole.

“I have worked with Jim for the past 20 years,” said Headmaster Scott Kennedy. “I have seen Jim win games and lose games, but I have never seen him have a bad season. Regardless of the team’s record, each team grew as individuals and as teammates,” Kennedy continued. “Jim is not only a great coach, he is a great teacher.” 

Coach Markey will be missed but his influence will continue to live on through our student-athletes and athletic program.

Collegiate will highlight Markey’s 20-year tenure with a celebration on Saturday, May 14, at Azalea Inn & Time Out Sports Bar in Norfolk at 6 p.m. Please RSVP to Jodi Dobrinsky at

A full tribute to Coach Markey will be in The Collegiate: Year in Review, which will be mailed to Oak households over the summer.