Sign up FAST! Login

Born That Way: The Legend of Coach Marvin Jarman

Stashed in: Football, Stories, Extraordinary People, The South

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

Tender and beautiful account of Marvin Jarman, a special citizen of Greenville NC, and the community that he nurtures and nurtures him.

He truly is a legend.

“There’s a reason,” RV says, “we call him The Legend.”

One of the many reasons Marvin is called The Legend and has a street named after him is that he has been to every single Rose football game since 1972, and he only missed one in 1972 because he got his schedule mixed up and was late to the team bus. That broke his heart. Now he gets to the school an hour early, minimum, just in case. The closest he’s ever cut it? Ten minutes. Before the Conley game, he was at Rose by 2 p.m. even though the bus didn’t leave until 5:20.

Then there’s basketball: He hasn’t missed a game since 1966, home or away. Now he has missed a few baseball games, but that’s only because basketball playoffs get in the way and even legends cannot be two places at the same time, though he would if he could.

Marvin’s life follows the Rose’s seasonal sports schedule. He is all football until football’s last game, then all basketball until basketball’s done, then all baseball through the spring, first with Rose and then, in the summer, with RV and the Greenville Recreation and Parks Department, until the first week of August. Then football practice starts again. He has his own wardrobe for each team and each season and he also works every morning till noon with Rec and Parks, picking up trash at Elm Street Park, home of Greenville’s pristine Little League field, and the playgrounds around it.

When they’re finally in the car and on the road, RV asks, “So, what’d you think, Coach Jarman?”

“Ahhhhh.” Marvin shakes his head and holds up his hands, his tongue sticking out just a bit. “Best just fuhget that game. Sometimes, you lose.”

Nice to see something that shows the good side of small-town Southern life.

He really does show the good side of small town South. Makes me miss that area. 

You May Also Like: