Title: Head Coach
Experience: 4th Year
Alma Mater: Nevada, '84
Bio: Marshall Sperbeck is entering his fourth 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.
No coach in school history has won more games overall or in conference in their first three seasons than Sperbeck. His overall and conference winning percentages also rank him second in program history through three seasons, trailing only legendary head coach Ray Clemons.
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.
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 categories. 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.
In 2009, Sperbeck had 10 members of his team earn all-Big Sky honors, raising his total of 35 during his career. Among those honored were defensive tackle Christian Clark who was named second team All-America by The Sports Network. Safety Zach Schrader was also picked as the Big Sky Newcomer of the Year, becoming the first Hornet to earn the award.
Sacramento State closed its season strongly, winning three of its final four games. During that span, the Hornets averaged 30.8 points per game and also earned victories over No. 21 Northern Arizona and UC Davis. The 31-28 victory over the Aggies gave the team its second consecutive Causeway Classic title.
Off the field, Sacramento State has also had great success. In the 2009-10 school year, the football program posted its highest team grade point average in school history. Sperbeck has also seen numerous players earn their bachelor’s degree in his tenure. That graduation rate has been key to seeing the team continually raise its annual Academic Progress Rate (APR) score.
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.
The respect for Sperbeck by his assistant coaches was evidenced when three of his assistants from Foothill came to Sacramento State as members of the coaching staff, including two who worked side-by-side with Sperbeck coaching the offense.
Overall, his team had winning seasons in his final 13 seasons and went on to win the last eight bowl games which they appeared.
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 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 (17), Thomas (15), and Ally (13).
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