What Happens When You Google Marist Notable Alumni?: An Experiment and Analysis

When someone talks about the Marist bubble, they’re referring to what goes on inside the confines of our college campus, a sheltered environment in which very little else seems to exist. It’s our school, our friends, our professors; moreover, it’s the people we know. We hardly consider the outside world, nor do we consider the fact that there are so many other Marists outside of the one in Poughkeepsie. No, really! Like eight! Today, our editorial staff has elected to collaborate, each of us finding the most notable alumni from those other Marists. Some of them, appropriately, have sports backgrounds. Some… well, we tried our best.

Sean McVay, Head Coach, Los Angeles Rams (Marist School – Brookhaven, Georgia)

After Jason Meyers’ Pro Bowl Appearance, “Marist in the Pros” has become a more common phrase throughout Sunday afternoon Twitter. And, good for Jason Meyers, but let’s not forget about Sean McVay and the Rams’ 5-3 record going into week nine. 

You know Sean McVay — the one that coaches the LA Rams; the NFL one — went to Marist, right? He did! Well, Marist School that is…in Brookhaven, Georgia. He’s 2-2 in NFL Playoff appearances, including one Super Bowl loss, was named the AP NFL Coach of the Year in 2017, lead his team to a first-place NFC finish twice in his three years at the helm, and a Marist graduate… in a way.  

See, McVay never played in the NFL and had a fine college career at Miami University in Ohio. But his Marist (high school) career is one that Parady’s boys at Marist could take a few notes from. McVay racked up 1,000 passing and rushing yards in back-to-back years, being the first player in program history to accomplish such a feat. Not to mention that McVay started out at Marist School as a soccer player. But with a deep football history in his family, he started at quarterback for Marist his junior, senior, and part of sophomore years. Here is how he finished his final season at Marist, stats-wise: 1,107 passing yards, 1,128 rushing yards, and 375–wait for it–punting yards. After leading his team to a state championship during his senior year, 18-year-old Sean McVay was named Georgia 4A Offensive Player of the Year over Calvin Johnson (!!!). 

From Marist School via ESPN.com

After an injury during his freshman year at Miami, his playing career was never the caliber that it was during his high school glory days. But hey, sometimes things just work out and, after a subpar college career, you become one of the top coaches in the NFL. Maybe Marist College should put up a giant plaque next to those of Jason Meyers, Terence Fede, and Kevin McCarthy, just because, close enough, right? – Lily Caffrey-Levine

Steve Lyons, former MLB player, FOX analyst (Marist High School – Eugene, Oregon)

Former MLB player and former color analyst at Fox Sports, Steve Lyons, attended Marist High School in Eugene, Oregon. Lyons was never known for baseball at Marist, but rather basketball. Richard Lyons, his father, was a well-known athlete at Hudson High School and urged his son to play baseball. Before his senior year, Lyons transferred to Beaverton High School and began his baseball career. From there he went on a baseball scholarship at Oregon State until the Boston Red Sox picked him up in the 1981 MLB draft as the 19th overall draft pick. 

Throughout his nine years in the MLB, Lyons certainly made his way around the bases in regards to teams. After his time on the White Sox, he went back to Boston in 1991. In fact, Lyons had four stints with the Boston Red Sox. In between, he played for the Atlanta Braves, Montreal Expos, and the Chicago Cubs.

Lyons also made his way around the playing field. He was a versatile player, so much so, that he played every defensive position while with the White Sox, including pitcher, designated hitter, pinch hitter, and pinch-runner. Lyons even played all nine defensive positions in a single game, the Windy City Classic, between the White Sox and the Chicago Cubs.

Although he was not known for hitting or playing too often, Lyons was known for entertainment. He earned the nickname “Psycho” for his unpredictable play. One day he would be ungrateful and arrogant, and the next Lyons would deliver with the versatile skills that enabled him to play any position. 

There is one distinct “Psycho” moment for Lyons that has been plagued in the minds of baseball fans. In 1990, he slid headfirst into first base and came up with dirt fully covering the front of his white uniform. “Psycho” did not like the fact that that there was dirt inside his uniform. This promoted Lyons to strip off his pants to shake out the dirt. Pure entertainment at its best. This earned him another nickname: “Moon Man.”

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Marist alum “Moon Man” at work

Starting in 1996, Lyons began his career in broadcasting, becoming a color analyst for Fox Sports and later a color analyst for the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2005 to 2013. However, his time with Fox ended ten years later when Lyons was fired after being accused of making a racially insensitive remark. While broadcasting with Lou Piniella, a colleague of Spanish descent, Piniella spoke briefly in Spanish while making an analogy about finding a wallet. Afterward, Lyons made the comment, “I still can’t find my wallet. I don’t understand him, and I don’t want to sit close to him now.” The Dodgers decided to keep Lyons for away games and enlisted him in diversity training. Currently, Lysons works as a television sportscaster for the New England Sports Network (NESN). – Bridget Reilly

Michael Peña, actor (Marist High School – Chicago, Illinois)

Let’s take a look at the shortlist of roles Michael Peña — a graduate of Marist High School in Chicago — has played in his startlingly long career. (Note: “role” here is defined as “character” or “part,” not role in terms of an occupation separate from his stellar acting career. Another note: he has never really done anything except act, which is amazing. He was born in 1976 and began acting in 1994, frequently appearing in independent productions. Let’s do some math. 1994-1976= 18, the same age you are when you graduate high school. So, basically, he crossed the stage, threw his cap, and got cast in Running Free.) 

The list has parameters. Each film can receive a maximum of five Peña Points. The film comes into question, the character makeup comes into question, but the performance dominates. Let’s dig into five of Peña’s most memorable roles. 

Tower Heist (2011), as Enrique Dev’Reaux – If acting in a hilarious heist film alongside Eddie Murphy playing an ex-con, Ben Stiller playing a hotel manager, and Matthew Broderick playing someone anxious (isn’t that every movie?) isn’t enough, maybe being the best part of the movie is. 

Dev’Reaux is probably the most clueless member of the heist crew, which, in turn, makes him the most entertaining. “We haven’t done anything yet!” he whisper-yells in the above scene. Tag-teaming with Eddie Murphy on a comedy level isn’t easy, but Peña’s clueless air makes it all flow. This is an I-know-how-it’ll-end movie from, well, the beginning, but it’s full of fun-hang characters. Peña’s Dev’Reaux tops of my list of fun-hangs. I, too, would come with him to hide from the FBI lady in the closet. Score: 5 Peña Points

Crash (2004), as Daniel – Crash is a bad movie, but it won Best Picture, an unfortunate trend. He’s in it. He’s good in it. Score: 2.5 Peña Points

Ant-Man (2015), Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018), as Luis – Here’s the power of Peña: he’s probably, like, the thirteenth most popular person in the MCU. And he’s not playing a superhero! He’s playing the ex-con here (eat your heart out, Eddie) and has an indelible passion for culture and for Scott Lang’s adventures. This is the buddy-cop film that CHIPS (another Peña role, in a movie that is bad) wishes it could be. And neither of the two characters mentioned in this blurb are cops! Score: 4 Peña Points

End of Watch (2012), as Mike Zavala – This is one of the more unique cop-versus-gang films released in recent memory, embracing the found footage technique and going full-throttle with it. The film feels real, and any time Peña or Jake Gyllenhaal (his co-star) are seen operating from the P.O.V of their body-cams, it’s a thrill. Also: gold-plated assault rifles are involved. By that token alone, this is probably Peña’s best performance. Give Luis a gold-plated gun in Ant-Man, and Peña wins an Oscar. Score: 5 Peña Points

The Martian (2015), as Rick Martinez – Here’s the thing about Michael Peña: he’s a utility actor of the top-tier variety. Even when he’s given very little to work with, he crushes it. That’s the case in The Martian. If Matt Damon is Allen Gavilanes, Michael Peña is Mike Lorello. Score: 3.5 Peña Points Will Bjarnar

George R.R. Martin, author (Marist High School – Bayonne, New Jersey)

Bayonne, NJ is the home of a humble author and blogger, and Marist High School is his alma mater.

You may not know him for his New York Jets/Giants fan blog on his website, but you just might know him for a fantasy book series he wrote and a popular television program. It’s called Game of Thrones

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Marist alum George R.R. Martin now blogs… just like us! – HBO

Yes, the author of “A Song of Ice and Fire,” the books that inspired HBO’s most successful series of all time, is an alumnus of Bayonne’s own Marist High. There, Martin developed his love for comic books and drew massive inspiration from Stan Lee. The writer also served as an editor of his school paper while at Marist. 

But back to what we said before – you may know GRRM from Game of Thrones, but you probably don’t know that he has a whole section of his website dedicated to blogging about his second love(s), both of which happen to play at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. 

Venture to certain corners of the infamous writer’s blog and you’ll find a whole space for his love for New York football. Martin’s New Jersey childhood and his time at Marist High School likely cultivated his (now unfortunate) love for two very proud (and wallowing) franchises. – Dan Statile

Sonja Yelich, mother of Lorde, poet (Marist College – Auckland, New Zealand)

Marist alum Sonja Yelich, an accomplished poet, is best known for her role as a mother. The mother of grammy nominated artist Lorde that is. Lorde became a big name in popular culture with the release of her song “Royals” in 2013. Although seemingly altogether separate from the sports world, it was, in fact, the sports world that inspired the hit song.

Lorde and her mom, Marist Alum Sonja Yelich

Lorde told VH1 in an interview that the inspiration for the song came from a photograph she had seen in a 1976 issue of National Geographic. The photograph showed former Kansas City Royals player George Brett signing baseballs after a game. The word “Royals” on the front of Brett’s jersey, stuck out to the artist. “I’ll pick a word and I’ll pin an idea to it,” said Lorde during the interview. Brett and Lorde later met in person in 2017. 

Although most of the world will remember Yelich for her daughter, she is very accomplished in the poetry world, as well. Her poems have been chosen on multiple occasions for the Best New Zealand Poems series. Her first poetry book, Clung, won the 2005 Jessie Mackay Award for “Best First Book of Poetry” at the New Zealand Book Awards. – Amelia Nick

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