Coach Marcos Macias reflects on coaching XC Aaron Smith and Tray Madding


Marcos Macias, gym teacher and GCHS Boys Varsity Cross Country coach, is the proud head coach of 2 students on the cross country leaderboard.

Marcos Macias graduated from GCHS in 2016 and began running cross country at the University Of Tennessee at Martin. He is now coaching some of the best runners that Graves County has seen in years.

First is Aaron Smith, a senior at GCHS, who holds the fourth spot on the cross country leaderboard with a 5K time of 16:53.

Macias explains that Aaron’s consistency and discipline were what ultimately led to his success: “Aaron really turned on his last senior year…they both exceeded which is why they’re number four and five on the record board.”

Then, there is Tray Madding, a junior at GCHS, who is just milliseconds away from Aaron Smith’s time, placing him in fifth.

“I’ve been with them for a while now. Tray has really opened up as a runner and I think he’s finally realized that,” Macias says proudly.

“One thing that I really noticed inside him is that he is like a fighter, competitive, he really enjoys going out there and racing people instead of just racing the clock, so I think that really opened up for him cause he really wants it.”

Macias believes that Madding will likely be in the 15’s next season and take off some names on the leaderboard, a feat he desperately wants to witness him achieve.

“It’s been exciting, it’s been tough you know I’m so invested in them,” he says.

Coach Macias was a hard working athlete when he was at GCHS as a student and in some ways sees part of himself in his runners.

Coach Macias’s main goal as a coach is to “develop them as runners and not run them in the ground and just show them how to do it; what they are capable of.”

“It’s just been awesome you know, it’s like a second family,” he explains.

“Not just Aaron and Tray but the other guys, after school I’m always with them and been with them for two and a half years so they grow on you, like the little red-headed step child, they’re a handful and you know that,” he laughs.