Title: Head Coach
Experience: 3rd Year
Alma Mater: Nevada, '84
Bio: Marshall Sperbeck is entering his third year as the Sacramento State head coach. Sperbeck was hired to lead the Hornets on Jan. 13, 2007 and became the ninth head coach in school history.
Sperbeck’s transformation of the program began to show in 2008 when the team posted the second most victories in the school’s Div. I-AA/FCS era. Sacramento State also set team records on both sides of the ball and had three players named first team all-Big Sky.
The Hornet offense was sparked by wide receiver Tony Washington who set a school record with 83 receptions and was named third team All-America. In all, 12 Sacramento State players earned all-conference accolades, raising the total to 25 during Sperbeck’s tenure.
Despite having to start three different quarterbacks during the season due to injury, the Hornets ended the year ranked in the top half of several Big Sky offensive catagories. On the defensive side of the ball, the team was ranked 14th nationally against the run and set the school record by allowing just 97.25 yards per game.
Prior to coming to Sacramento State, Sperbeck was the head football coach at Foothill College in Los Altos, Calif., for 15 years. During that time, he produced a 109-53 overall record and led the Owls to 11 bowl games.
In his final season, Foothill was 10-1 overall and tied for the Northern California Football Association title. The team played in the Silicon Valley Bowl and downed Sierra JC, 24-0.
In 2006, Foothill was one of the top offensive teams in the state with Sperbeck calling the plays. The Owls led all California Junior Colleges with 478.8 yards per game. Foothill also ranked at the top of the list with 590.2 all-purpose yards per game, 7.2 yards per play and 9.6 yards per pass attempt. The Owls were also second in the state with 58 touchdowns and 42.8 points per game.
Foothill ended the season as the top-ranked team in Northern California and scored at least 40 points in seven of its 10 regular season games.
The respect for Sperbeck by his assistant coaches was evidenced last season when three of his assistants from Foothill came to Sacramento State as members of the coaching staff. Running backs coach Aaron Ingram and offensive line coach Jeff Remington work side-by-side with Sperbeck in coaching the offense.
The 2006 success was just the latest in a long run by Sperbeck’s teams. In his 15 years at the helm, Foothill had only two losing seasons (both 4-6). In fact, the Owls averaged 7.3 wins per season and won at least eight games in eight of the last nine years.
The team also had great success in the postseason, winning its last eight bowl games — including three by shutout. Those numbers resulted in Foothill being nationally ranked seven times in the last eight years.
Sperbeck’s players also left Foothill ready to continue their collegiate careers regardless of their football ability as 86 percent of the sophomore football players transferred to four-year institutions. That said, Foothill also produced numerous players that earned football scholarships, averaging 11 per year since 1998.
A few of his transfers to have success are running back Johnnie Gray (Weber State), quarterback Josh Riddel (Mississippi State), wide receiver Schneider Julien (Western Michigan) and linebacker Mike Hickman (Sacramento State).
A native of Sacramento, Sperbeck graduated from Valley High School. He later played at the University of Nevada from 1981-82 and led the team to a pair of winning seasons while throwing for 3,425 yards.
Following college, he had two stints in NFL training camps before joining the Foothill JC staff as an assistant coach in 1985. He coached the quarterbacks and receivers and was later elevated to offensive coordinator before becoming head coach in 1992.
Sperbeck earned a bachelor’s of science degree in physical education from Nevada in 1984 and later added a master’s of education from United States International in 1989.
Marshall and his wife, Kelle, have three children: Brooke (16), Thomas (15), and Ally (13).
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