When Sandra Marbut took over the women's basketball program in 2003, the team was beginning only its seventh season of collegiate play. The program had sputtered for the entirety of its existence mainly due to the well-known and extremely high academic and admission standards. As one of the toughest schools in the country to gain admission to, Caltech's reputation isn't always in the athletic arena. Upon Coach Marbut's arrival, there was only one player on the first roster who played in high school. Yet, Coach Marbut's "never say never" attitude and belief that a young woman can be a tremendous student and solid athlete has created a solid program.
Coaching at every level of the NCAA and NAIA as either a head coach or assistant coach, Marbut has rebuilt a variety of teams. Getting a program back on track has been her clutch shot throughout her career. Prior to Caltech, Marbut was an assistant at NCAA Division I Western Illinois where the Westerwinds appeared in the Mid Continent Conference tournament. Before WIU, Marbut was the Head Coach at NCAA Division II University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. While at UCCS, Marbut broke a number of recruiting records. Another program relying on her turn around expertise, she began a recruiting frenzy bringing in a record number of student athletes in her second season. Marbut moved to UCCS from NAIA Division II Mount Saint Clare College. The story read much the same. In just two years, Marbut took the program from struggling to field a team to a stable program, which included the addition of a junior varsity squad.
Being a part of a starting program as a student-athlete, Marbut learned the lessons she needed at her alma mater. As a player, Marbut was a part of the first recruited class, and one of four players to play four years and graduate from NAIA Division I Sheldon Jackson College, a small college in Sitka, Alaska. In her four years with the Seals, she saw them grow from just five wins the first season to a playoff berth when she was a senior. She left SJC to spend a season as a graduate assistant at NCAA Division I Gonzaga University before returning to Sitka as an assistant coach. A native of Redondo Beach, CA, Marbut earned all league honors while at Mira Costa High School, and was the only player her final year of school awarded a full scholarship to play in college.
Marbut's coaching expertise isn't limited to basketball. While at Mount Saint Clare, she led both the volleyball and softball programs as head coach. Currently she serves as a speaker for the LA84 Foundation, educating and mentoring youth coaches around the Los Angeles area in positive coaching techniques. She also served as National Coaching Coordinator for the AIDS Marathon Training Program, responsible for the training and supervision of coaches across the country. She is became a runner because of the marathon program, finishing 14 marathons, 10 half marathons, and two sprint triathlons.
Marbut has earned two bachelor degrees – one in business administration from Sheldon Jackson College and one in history from Cal State Northridge. She has masters degree from both Concordia University Irvine in Coaching and Athletic Administration and from the University of Phoenix in Organizational Management. She is currently at work on her terminal degree in the doctoral program at North Central University, pursuing an EdD in Education with a specialization in Intercollegiate Athletics.
All in all, Coach Marbut has seen all levels of collegiate play in both the NAIA and NCAA and has worked with countless players across the country, bringing more than fourteen years of coaching experience to the court.