Coach Markel started coaching at Hope College in January 2003, after graduating from Saginaw Valley State University with a B.S. in Biochemistry. At SVSU he was a 2-time Jack and Lila Ryder Student Athlete of the Year winner and earned 7 All-american honors. This included NCAA DII national championships in the Discus (1999) and the 35# Weight throw (2001) and runner-up finishes in Discus (2000) and Hammer throw (2001). He currently holds the SVSU school records in the 35# weight, Discus, and Hammer throws.
Post-collegiately, coach Markel qualified for and competed in the Hammer throw at the 2004 US Olympic Trials and USA Track and Field Outdoor national championships in 2002 and 2006. He also competed in the 35# weight throw at the USATF Indoor national championships in 2001 and 2002, finishing in 5th place both years. He's recently returned to competition as a Masters thrower and has enjoyed competing against a new generation of throwers.
Professionally, coach Markel is employed as a Food Safety Specialist at a Holland food manufacturer and his wife Holly is employed at Hope in the CIT department. They have one son and live in Zeeland.