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Marshall leads women’s b-ball from worst to first

Palomar College women’s basketball Head Coach Leigh Marshall on during the teams afternoon practice in the Dome on Dec. 3 • Brian O’Malley/The Telescope
Palomar College women’s basketball Head Coach Leigh Marshall on during the teams afternoon practice in the Dome on Dec. 3 • Brian O’Malley/The Telescope

She has led her team to victory, and she has brought her team back from loss. As a person and a coach, she has guided her players to understand the sport of basketball.

Leigh Marshall has been coaching Palomar women’s basketball team for five years, and during that time has brought the team from the brink of elimination to claiming its own spot as champions of the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference.

Marshall grew up in Orange County. where she enjoyed playing team sports. She has been playing sports ever since she was a small child, so when the opportunity for coaching Palomar women’s basketball team came up, she took it.

Marshall expressed her desire for her players to apply her teachings to their own lives. She said that hard work, a strong work ethic and a sense of family within her teammates is important to her.

Coach Marshall helped lead her team to win the 2012-13 PCAC championship, but this year has proven to be more of a challenge for Marshall. After the championship, the team suffered a few losses and missed the regional playoffs.

In addition to that, the team has lost a few of their sophomore members when they transferred to four-year institutions.

Even though this is a tough year for the women’s basketball team, Marshall’s players are still loyal to her and many of them have expressed their high admiration toward her as a coach and as a human being.

Basketball player Lee Lee Tomlinson, 20, said Marshall taught her everything from defensive to offensive tactics. Above everything else though, Tomlinson explained her deep admiration for Marshall’s character on and off the court.

“(She is a) great coach and a great person,” Tomlinson said. “She pushes us, she helps us build character and she’s always there for us.”

Tessa Balcom, 22, said that she holds Marshall in great reverence, especially in her ability to motivate the team. Balcom also said that Coach Marshall resurrected her passion for playing sports.

“She’s the best coach I have ever had,” Balcom said. “She’s always there to motivate me and inspire me … She inspired me to fall back in love with the sport.”

Assistant Coach Chris Kroesch also mentioned his admiration for her ability to motivate players to put out their best effort. Kroesch, who has been coaching for about 11 years, has known Marshall for four years. He said she is very caring, competitive, intense and a great mentor to her players.

When asked how Marshall has influenced him as a coach, Kroesch said that Marshall was a great coach on and off of the court, and that many of her attributes have rubbed onto him.

Kroesch said that her organizational abilities were phenomenal, and that she excelled at organizing different workouts for the on and off seasons to keep her players in shape.

Besides coaching, Marshall mentioned that she also enjoys watching sports, going to the beach and trying new foods.

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Marshall leads women’s b-ball from worst to first