As graduation from Bridgewater College approached in the spring of 1966, Yager Marks received an invitation from Harrisonburg High School Athletic Director Claude Warren to interview for a job at HHS. Coach Warren was aware of Yager’s impressive records as a baseball and football player at Bridgewater. The interview went well and Yager was hired as head baseball coach and assistant football coach.
Coach Marks spent 12 seasons as the Blue Streaks baseball coach, compiling a record of 118 wins and 86 losses. A number of his players continued after high school, including HHS Hall of Famers David Showalter and Russell Dickerson, who became star players at JMU.
Yager served as assistant football coach for 14 seasons, the last 10 under the leadership of Hall of Fame coach Brownie Cummins. These were 10 of the most successful years in the history of Blue Streak football, as the team compiled a record of 96 wins, 23 losses and 3 ties. Coach marks played a vital role in developing and shaping the players on those teams.
Yager also coached the Blue Streak golf team for two seasons. In 1980 Wayne Byrd became the only HHS golfer to win an individual state championship.
Yager graduated from Madison County High School in 1962 where he was a three sport star. He entered Bridgewater College on an academic scholarship and starred in baseball and football all four of his college years. His junior year in baseball, Yager batted .358 and earned 2nd team All-Mason-Dixon conference honors, and followed that up by batting .442 and selection to 1st team All-Conference.
In football, Yager played offense, defense and all special teams. As a senior he was voted a tri-captain and was named All-Conference as a running back and 1st team All-Virginia Small College as a defensive back. Yager was inducted into the Bridgewater College Hall of Fame in 1999.
After college, Yager played six seasons of Valley League baseball for Shenandoah and also for Madison County in the county league. Yager’s excellence in playing and coaching sports was matched by his excellence as a teacher. Yager taught physical science for 33 ½ years at Thomas Harrison Middle School and, with his teaching partner Ron Sours, achieved legendary status for their outstanding teaching and relationship with students and peers. Yager received numerous teacher awards for excellence in education and outstanding teaching. He was nominated for Educator of the Year and in 2009 was chosen as the Retired Teacher of the Year by the Retired Teachers Association of Harrisonburg. Yager continues to make his home in Harrisonburg.