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RPS 205 to Honor Longtime Guilford Teacher & Coach with Lee Marks Memorial Track Dedication

Guilford High School will host a dedication ceremony for the Lee Marks Memorial Track at the Friday, Sept. 24, homecoming football game. The School Board voted in July to name the track for Lee Marks, a longtime teacher and coach who was also the first African American head coach in Rockford Public Schools. Coach Marks retired in 2016 and died in 2017. The Swanson Stadium sign has been updated to include Lee Marks Memorial Track.  

Event details

The Marks family and track and field alumni will gather at the stadium entrance at 6:15 p.m. The dedication will take place around 6:30 p.m., after the freshman football game and ahead of varsity kickoff. Guilford’s announcer will share some prepared remarks to celebrate Marks’ life and accomplishments and dedicate the track to honor his legacy.  

More about Coach Lee Marks:  

  • Coach Marks has been called a Rockford track legend. After graduating from Sioux Falls College, Coach Marks specifically wanted to return to his hometown of Rockford to start his career. He was hired as a physical education instructor and assistant coach for football and boys track. He took over the Guilford High School track and field program and became a role model for his students and student athletes.
  • Marks was hired as the head boys track coach in 1969 and became the first African American head coach in RPS 205. He went on to coach for 47 years and retired in 2016.
  • During his career at RPS 205, Coach Marks was named track coach of the year and a member of the Guilford sports Hall of Fame. In 2016, Coach Marks received the 2016 Rockford Register Star distinguished service award.
  • The Ethnic Heritage Museum has an exhibit in its African American gallery featuring Coach Marks, “Celebrating the Life & Legacy of Coach Lee Marks.” This exhibit is on display until the end of October.
  • Guilford High School