Marquess Moving Toward 1,300 Victories And Top 10 In Career Wins For Division I

March 27, 2008

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -Mark Marquess' desk is covered in paperwork and lineups. It's no wonder Stanford's baseball coach had no idea he's about to join some elite company in his 32nd year on the job.

Soon, Marquess will win his 1,300th game and move into the top 10 for career victories among Division I coaches. He's already in the top 10 for active coaches.

'Really, I don't think about it,' the coach said smiling, doing some last-minute preparation a few hours before a recent home game against Pacific. 'It's just a matter of you get busy and as a coach you worry about the next one. You worry about the ones you lost, too much. ... When I think about it, it just means I've been coaching a long time.'

Marquess - or '9' as they call him on The Farm for his No. 9 jersey - is known to arrive on campus in the early hours when most are still in bed, then go to sleep when many are still eating dinner.

Whatever works. Even his players sometimes can't believe that their coach has been at the same school for more than three decades.

Marquess was at 1,295 wins heading into an eight-game homestand and a weekend series with Washington State to open Pac-10 play at Sunken Diamond. He could reach the 1,300-win milestone before his team visits Bay Area rival California in Berkeley on April 7.

'That's a lot (of wins),' senior starting pitcher Erik Davis said. 'Coaching for 32 years is one thing. I was actually talking about this a couple weeks ago when we were playing Texas and they were announcing their coach in his whatever season and he was up there in the wins and he's only coached there 10 years. I was on the bench and said, 'Do you realize our coach has been coaching here for 32 years?' When you think about that, it's just unbelievable, and I don't see him stopping any time soon.

'He's one in a million, that's for sure.'

The 61-year-old Marquess, a three-time NCAA Coach of the Year and nine-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year, has established such a tradition at his alma mater that the school regularly lures a talented player to campus for a few years even if he's already been drafted. The promise of a top-notch education certainly helps, too.

John Mayberry Jr. was one of those.

'That doesn't happen very often, but it happens here more than a lot of other places,' Marquess said.

The Seattle Mariners selected Mayberry with the 28th overall pick in the first round of the 2002 draft, but he decided to go to Stanford - taking a different baseball path than his famous father, who signed out of high school. Mayberry figured a few years of college baseball could only boost his chances of getting selected just as high or higher in the draft the next time around.

The Texas Rangers wound up taking him 19th overall in the 2005 draft and moved Mayberry from first base to the outfield.

'One of the things, at the professional level a manager can say, 'Well, I'm just not getting the players, it's the general manager.' You can put blame elsewhere,' Marquess said. 'In our game, I recruit them, I do everything, so it all falls to me. You can't blame it on somebody else. The nice thing about Stanford is it kind of sells itself academically, the campus. I mean, what's not to like?'

The coaching stability is a major plus.

Marquess started at Stanford as an assistant in 1972 at age 24, became head coach at 29 and has watched several of his former players go on to coach against him - Ed Sprague at Pacific, Dave Esquer at Cal and Mark Machtolf at Gonzaga. They were teammates in 1987 when the Cardinal won the College World Series title.

'Certainly the thing that he's brought since I've known him is that his energy level really hasn't varied much,' Sprague said of Marquess. 'He's probably slowed down a little bit since I played for him, but for the most part he's maintained that energy level and that passion to win. That certainly shows with the program he's built.'

Marquess, who played in the Chicago White Sox organization from 1969-73 and reached Triple-A, coached USA Baseball to an Olympic gold medal in 1988 when the sport was a demonstration event in Seoul, South Korea. Sprague was on that team, and is the only player to win a College World Series, Olympic gold medal and World Series, which he did with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1992 and '93.

Marquess has led Stanford to a pair of College World Series titles and five championship appearances. And that's just the start of his long, accomplished resume.

He played football for Stanford during the days of the Pac-8 and was the Cardinal's first baseman from 1967-69.

'It's been a good experience for me,' Marquess said. 'The amateur baseball is so different, especially at Stanford, and having gone to Stanford it's special for me. It's very unique. I'm very proud of the longevity part of it because for the most part in the years I've been here we've been competitive. It surprised me a little bit to be as competitive as consistently as we have been.'

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