Markou out as head coach for men's soccer team
New leadership for the Marauders as Tristan Joyce takes over as interim head coach for the 2023-2024 season
On Feb. 7, McMaster University announced that assistant coach and former Marauders goalkeeper Tristan Joyce would be named the new interim head coach for the men’s soccer program. Chris Markou, who was the team’s interim head coach this past season, will not return to the staff next year as the team continues to search for a permanent replacement.
A former player and inductee into the McMaster Athletics Hall of Fame, Markou entered the position of interim head coach in May 2022 after previously serving in an assistant role. Replacing long-time head coach Dino Perri, Markou was originally viewed as a candidate to permanently take over the team after the 2022-2023 campaign.
"Chris is a McMaster Soccer legend who exemplifies Marauder values and has the leadership, empathy and technical knowhow to lead through this transition. . . We are excited to include him in the national search for a permanent head coach that will commence immediately after the 2022 season,” said Keenan Jeppesen, associate director of High Performance, in a statement on Markou’s hiring released on the Marauders website on May 5, 2022.
This past season, Markou helped to steer the men’s team to their first provincial championship title since 2012 following a one to nothing victory over the Toronto Metropolitan University Bold on Nov. 5, 2022. With a record of eight wins, three losses and one tie, Markou brought the Marauders to second overall in the western Ontario University Athletics conference.
Following their victory at the OUAs, the Marauders suffered a tough shootout loss to the eventual champion Thompson Rivers University Wolfpack at the U Sports quarterfinals in Kamloops, British Columbia on Nov. 10, 2022. The team’s season concluded after dropping their consolation semifinal five to nothing against the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières Patriotes.
“With a lot of the veterans graduating from previous year, new coaching staff getting shuffled in, I think [Markou] did everything he needed to do and you got to give a lot of credit to the guy for being able to come in in his first year as a U Sports coach and win [the OUAs] overall,” said Ahmed Mansour, team captain.
Since his departure in February, Markou has taken on a new position as the director of operations and community engagement for the Ancaster Legacy Football Club and their high performance program. Markou is also the owner and acting program director for Futbol Plus, a performance and developmental program in Hamilton for soccer players aged 10 to16.
When the Silhouette reached out to Markou for an interview, he declined to comment.
Filling in Markou’s vacancy, Joyce steps into the position just two years removed from his time as goalkeeper on the men’s roster. Joyce played as goalkeeper for four years with the team, being named an OUA Central Division all-star for the Marauders in 2021, where he recorded three shutouts and a save percentage of 73.5 per cent that season.
Joyce returned to the team for the 2022-2023 season as a goalkeeping coach in Markou’s staff, gaining his lone season of university coaching experience.
"The belief that last year was a one-off just can’t be instilled in people’s minds. Last year was an amazing championship and we want to do it again,” said Joyce.
Joyce will be looking to repeat this past season’s success and help the team defend their provincial title under his leadership once they return in the fall.