Cavalier Corner

June 2017

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6 ◆ CAVALIER CORNER CAVALIER SPORTS For many couples, the ideal weekend getaway might be an off-road hiking and kayak- ing adventure, a weekend in New York City for dinner and a Broadway show, or a quiet weekend together at a quaint bed and breakfast. But for Scott and Casey Just, the ideal weekend getaway is the ACC Basketball Tournament, a week- end Virginia baseball series at Davenport Field, or a Saturday afternoon of tailgating and football at Scott Stadium. Since 1999, the Justs have been supporting UVA athletics as donors to the Virginia Athletics Foundation. They've been Virginia fans even longer. Dr. Just, a native of LaCrosse, Va., completed his undergraduate studies at Hampden-Sydney College and came to Charlottesville for medical school in 1992. He said, "It was too beautiful to leave." "I grew up in a family of Virginia fans," Scott said. "My sister was an under- graduate at the McIntire School and I always cheered for Virginia sports. I guess I wasn't ready for the big-school environment coming out of high school." He completed his residency in emergency medicine at Virginia and re- turned in 2012 to the Darden School of Business for his MBA. Scott's passion for UVA sports took off during his medical school and residency years, 1992-99, a time where both Virginia football and basketball were excelling. Wahoo hoops secured a 1992 NIT title plus NCAA Tournament appearances in 1993, '94, '95 and '97. Football competed in six bowl games, winning two under Hall of Fame coach George Welsh. "I don't think I missed many games during that time unless I was working in the emergency room," he said. "I remember being there [at Scott Stadium] against FSU on November 2, 1995, and on a rainy September night in 1996 when Tiki Barber scored three touchdowns against Texas. "Those were great years and I loved watching those teams. That's where I got hooked for sure." Scott's wife, Casey, became a Virginia fan by marrying into it. "I was always a big college basketball fan, and as soon as Scott and I started dating in 2000 we got season tickets to basketball," she said. "I think we have only missed a handful of basketball games since 2000." Casey is a self-identified basketball geek, able to cite stats and records at ease, and warns if anyone says anything bad about the players, she becomes like a mama bear when it comes to "her boys." The Justs identify the quality and character of student-athletes and coaches as a key reason for their continued commitment to VAF. "One of my favorite things about being a baseball and basketball fan is the quality of the coaching staffs, and the young men they recruit and bring into the program," Scott said. "I think football is headed in that direction as well. Craig Littlepage has found a recipe for success which is hiring high-quality coaches and re- cruiting high-quality student- athletes, and it's fun to watch." — Greg Waters The Justs traveled to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., for the 2017 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament. PHOTO COURTESY SCOTT AND CASEY JUST The Just children, Caroline and Spen- cer. Spencer is a proud past champion of the JPJ dance cam competition. PHOTO COURTESY SCOTT AND CASEY JUST WAHOO NATION SCOTT AND CASEY JUST Chris Marinak, after pitching for the baseball team at Virginia, got involved in coaching high school baseball. He spent time as a pitching coach at Mills Goodwin High near Richmond from 2003-05 and at James Madison High in Vienna, which has produced a slew of major and minor league players for nearly 40 years. "I just loved being involved in the game," said Marinak, a team- mate of current Colorado Rockies slugger Mark Reynolds with the Cavaliers. "Those are two good programs. It was just a lot of fun." Marinak was working with Capi- tol One in Northern Virginia, while assisting with the program at James Madison High in 2006, when he made a life-changing decision. "I decided I wanted to go back to business school," he said. "To me that seemed like the per- fect fit. I went to business school with the idea of getting back into baseball." Marinak landed an internship with Major League Baseball in 2007. He then joined the Office of the Commissioner in 2008 after gradu- ating from Harvard Business School and has been there ever since. "The Virginia native, who leads MLB's League Economics and Strat- egy group, has played a pivotal role in collective bargaining ne- gotiations with the Major League Baseball Players Association and the World Umpires Association, administering significant provi- sions of the collective bargaining agreement, including the revenue sharing plan and the debt service rule," said a release from MLB. "He supports MLB's Competition and Playing Rules Committees in the development and implementation of on-field rules and pace of game initiatives, and is responsible for the Commissioner's Office's technology initiatives, including the instant replay system and the medical records system." Marinak spends a lot of time working with makeup games and is close to finalizing the 2018 schedule for all MLB teams. "It has been a dream job," said Marinak, 36, who lives in Manhattan with his wife and two young daughters. "I have a passion for coming to work every day. If you love what you do it makes it easy to be successful. "I have really loved it. I am really happy things have worked out." Marinak grew up in Virginia Beach and played travel baseball against several top players, includ- ing UVA product and current Washington Nation- als first baseman Ryan Zimmerman. He graduated from Frank Cox High and picked Virginia over Princeton and Duke. Marinak was part of a state title team at Cox in 1996. He did not play in his first season with the Cava- liers, and then posted a 4-7 mark, primarily as a relief pitcher, with a 5.27 ERA over the next three cam- paigns, making 65 appearances including two starts. Marinak was playing for Virginia in the early 2000s when a report broke that the school was planning to de-empathize the program, with talk- ing of even going the Division III route. That never happened, of course. "That moment, as tough as it was, rallied everyone together," he said. "I would argue that may have been the first of the changes that drove to that first na- tional championship [under Brian O'Connor in 2015]. "It took a fan and donor base that appreciated what the program could do. It woke up a lot of people." — David Driver BEHIND THE SCENES MLB EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF LEAGUE ECONOMICS AND STRATEGY CHRIS MARINAK Marinak was a relief pitcher for the Cavaliers from 2000- 02, appearing in 65 games with two starts. PHOTO BY ALEX TRAUTWIG

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