She explained that the school’s recruiting committee didn’t think it had enough data to determine the utility of esports programs for colleges, he said. As such, it cannot justify offering Marquer a full-time coaching position or any form of increased compensation. His $15,000-a-year contract will automatically renew in early June, and they will try to have another conversation about his future in the spring of 2023. The process is over and the decision is final.
Marquer was confused, especially since he noticed what he had driven into campus that day. A huge electronic sign outside the main entrance reads: “Congratulations to the esports team. NJCAAE Call of Duty: Warzone National Championship.”
In the months I’ve spoken to Maguire, he has repeatedly assured me that he has the confidence to coach the Golden Eagles for years to come. He wanted to stick with it because of his connection to Wyoming, a place he loved so much that he got the state flower — the Indian paintbrush — tattooed on his left shin. “I know there’s a massive exodus of young people from this state,” Marquer told me over coffee in February. “I want more young people to stay here. I’m very proud of the people here, and I know the gamers are good, especially because it’s so cold. So I just know I can build it from here.” But The school’s devotion and financial desperation for him eventually became unbearable. As much as he wanted to be a rocker for Wyoming players, he couldn’t do it any more.
When Maguire told his athletes he was leaving, they were baffled that the school had so little respect for a coach who changed the trajectory of their lives. “I’m a little shocked that they didn’t try to give him some kind of recognition,” Travis Jones said. “But I’m happy for him because it means he’s going to get what he deserves. He deserves to be paid.” The academy hasn’t told the team anything about its plans, and it’s unclear whether it will hire a new coach in time for the fall recruiting new talent.In the absence of the above guidance, Jones assumes sole responsibility for the following pioneer Squad: He has a busy summer schedule full of practices and tournaments that he’ll fit into while working as a DoorDash driver and assembling his sixth homebrew PC.
The last time I talked to Marquer about his plans, he was driving his girlfriend’s band to a Casper show. Marquer also started playing music by himself, holding down guitar and drums in two bands, Dirt Sucker and Stay Awhile, respectively. (The latter is named after the catchphrase of a prominent character in early 2000s video games Demon II.)
On the way, Marquer told me that, after much deliberation, he was inclined to look for another job in high school or college esports outside of Wyoming. “It’s a rare opportunity to be on the front lines of something I’m lucky enough to know,” he said. He and his girlfriend are willing to leave the state, and they’ve been talking about starting a family in the not-too-distant future. So he plans to look for coaching positions where they might one day be able to afford a house. Based on his initial knowledge of the job board, there are plenty of job openings for those willing to move to remote areas: For example, he said he found a job opening in rural Wisconsin for a starting salary of 10 per month. $5,000. With so many possible paths ahead of him, Maguire’s future looks more than it seems for the first time in a long time.
This article appeared in the July/August 2022 issue. Subscribe now.
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