MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — They lead one of the most successful high school sports teams in Minnesota. They’re also brothers. And as they get ready to chase another state title next weekend, David McCoy tells us about the special bond between Steve and Marcus Onsum.
Watch the two guys on the end of the bench and it starts to make sense. Here’s something special here at Robbinsdale.
Marcus is the head coach. Steve is his right hand man. They’ve been coaching here together for 19 years now, and run one of the most successful athletic programs in the state, adapted or otherwise
“We both see the game from a different perspective, and it helps, I think, make our program as well-rounded as it is,” Marcus said.
“I have to add that, whenever I’ve had to fill in as head coach, I’m undefeated,” Steve said.
“Of course [laughs]!” Marcus said.
Marcus is two-and-a-half-years older, and actually started coaching as a volunteer assistant while Steve was still in high school. He saw it as a way to support his little brother, but it turned into a lot more than that.
“I always had an interest in it. You know, it was intriguing to me, even as a sibling of somebody with a disability, to see what it is that these sports are all about,” Marcus said.
Steve was born with a rare form of muscular dystrophy.
“I never walked. I’ve been in a power wheelchair from third grade on,” Steve said.
They’ve always been close, and Steve’s disability never stopped them from bonding over the same thing as many brothers.
“I mean we had a lot of the typical, you know, fighting as brothers, just like any other brothers would … Sports have always been the connection for us,” Marcus said. “I had friends that wanted to play baseball or whatever, and the expectation was that if I was going to be out in the front yard or out in the street playing baseball with my friends, I had to find a way to include him as much as possible, too,” Marcus said.
“I mean I was appreciative that I got the opportunity to play because a lot of the neighborhood kids would have probably not given me the chance. You know, so, I had him as my in,” Steve said.
All these years later, all these wins later, all these lives impacted later, it’s still the same now.
“It’s maybe cliché to say that it’s drawn us together, but I mean it has. We both share this common passion of helping these kids succeed,” Marcus said.
And it’s not, lest you think, that this is all just about Marcus supporting his brother. It goes both ways. It was Steve who helped Marcus find his path.
“Ultimately it molded me into the person I am today. At that point I was fresh out of high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I dropped out of college a couple of times. But I continuously coached with the Robins and stayed in connection with this program, and it ultimately shaped my decision to go back to college and become an adapted physical education teacher,” Marcus said. “Because of [Steve] being involved in this and pushing me to coach … it’s been a great experience.”