|Organization:||Stanford University (CA)|
Longtime Stanford head baseball coach Mark Marquess was the recipient of the 1996 ABCA/Wilson Lefty Gomez Award.
One of the premier coaches in college baseball history and a man whose name is synonymous with the Stanford baseball program, Marquess enters his 40th year at the helm of his alma mater in 2016.
A member of the ABCA and Standford Athletics Halls of Fame, Marquess opens the 2016 season as the third-winningest active coach in the nation with a career record of 1,554-839-7 (.649). Marquess picked up win No. 1,500 at rival California on March 4, 2014.
A three-time NCAA Coach of the Year recipient and nine-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year honoree, Marquess has guided his Stanford clubs to 29 NCAA Tournament appearances, a pair of College World Series championships (1987 and 1988), six NCAA Super Regional titles, 16 NCAA Regional crowns and 12 Pac-10 regular season championships.
Marquess owns a career 131-64 record in postseason play, including a 82-27 mark in the NCAA Regionals, a 13-10 ledger in the NCAA Super Regionals and a 36-25 (.590) record at 14 College World Series.
In a testament to the standard of winning baseball Marquess has created at Stanford, 37 of his 39 teams have finished at .500 or better. Marquess has presided over 20 teams that have won at least 40 games, including six clubs that have crested the 50-win plateau. Marquess led the Cardinal to a school-record stretch of 10 consecutive 40-win campaigns from 1995-2004.
Marquess' clubs have advanced to postseason play in 29 of a possible 39 seasons, including a school-record 13 straight campaigns from 1994-2006. Stanford has won at least one game in 27 of its trips to the NCAA Tournament under Marquess.
Long recognized as one of the toughest conferences, Marquess has led the Cardinal to a .580 winning percentage in the Pac-12 (624-452). Stanford has finished either first or second in the Pac-12 a total of 23 times (including Southern Division finishes), while capturing 12 conference championships. The Cardinal has won at least two consecutive conference titles three different times under Marquess, as Stanford captured three straight crowns in both 1983-85 and 1997-2000 before winning back-to-back championships in 2003 and 2004.
Perhaps the crowning moment of Marquess' career came when the Cardinal captured back-to-back College World Series titles in 1987 and 1988, becoming one of only four programs in the 63-year history of the CWS to have ever won at least two consecutive titles.
Another testament to his achievement is the fact that 52 of the 60 players that reached the majors under Marquess have earned their degrees.
But there was much accomplished before and much has been done since. Stanford has reached the College World Series a total of 14 times and been in the CWS final on five occasions during Marquess' tenure, including a stretch where the Cardinal finished second three times during a school-record string of five consecutive trips to Rosenblatt Stadium from 1999-2003. The trips to Omaha were just two shy of Oklahoma State's NCAA record run of seven in a row from 1981-87. Even more impressive, each of the 14 teams Marquess has skippered to the CWS has won at least one game.
Stanford's success under Marquess has paid dividends at the next level as well, as his players are normally very visible on the radar screens of professional baseball scouts. Over 200 Cardinal players have been chosen in the draft since 1977, including 25 first round or compensation picks since Jack McDowell in 1987.
The accolades have streamed Marquess' way throughout his career at Stanford, including three NCAA Coach of the Year selections (1985, 1987, 1988). Marquess was named the 2003 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, his ninth such award. He was previously chosen as the Pac-10 Southern Division Coach of the Year seven times in the final 16 seasons of the league (1983, 1985, 1987, 1990, 1994, 1997-98) and the Pacific-10 Coach of the Year during the first season of the conference's restructuring in 1999.
Marquess has also been a well-known coach on the international level. In 1988, he won International Coach of the Year honors after leading the United States Olympic team to a gold medal at the Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea. Marquess guided his club to a 4-1 record, defeating Japan, 5-3, to capture the first gold medal in baseball for the United States.
Prior to arriving in Seoul, Marquess led the national team to the silver medal at the World Amateur Baseball Championships in Italy. The Americans posted an 11-2 mark in the tournament, losing both games to gold medalist Cuba in the bottom of the ninth inning. For the summer, the USA squad posted a 42-11 overall record.
As head coach of the USA National Team, Marquess skippered the club to a silver medal at the 1987 Intercontinental Cup Tournament in Cuba. In the summer of 1984, he served as an assistant coach on the USA squad that competed at the World Amateur Championships that were also played in Cuba.
Serving as head coach of USA Baseball in 1981, Marquess guided the U.S. collegiate team to a gold medal at the World Games in Santa Clara. Following that accomplishment, he led the club to the gold medal at the Intercontinental Cup in Edmonton, Canada. His squad edged Cuba, 5-4, in the finals to mark the first time since 1970 that the United States had beaten the Cubans in international competition. In addition, Marquess became the only person ever to post victories over the Cuban team as both a player and a coach.
From 1989-98, Marquess served as president of USA Baseball.
Marquess' success as a coach can be traced to his days as a player. A three-year starter at first base for Stanford (1967-69), he earned first-team All-America honors in 1967 and garnered second-team All-America recognition in 1968. He was also named first-team All-Pac-8 and All-District-8 in both 1967 and 1968. Marquess' name is still etched in the school's record book, as his .404 batting average in 1967 is fifth all-time on the school's single-season list and his 15 career triples are tied for fifth.
Marquess is one of only 10 to have both played in and coached at the College World Series.
Marquess competed on the 1967 USA Pan American Games team that captured the gold medal. One of the greatest two-sport athletes ever on The Farm, he completed his collegiate baseball career with three seasons on the Stanford football squad as a quarterback, split end, defensive back and punt returner.
After graduation, Marquess signed with the Chicago White Sox organization in 1969 and spent four seasons as a professional baseball player before getting a taste of coaching as a player and coach with Des Moines' Triple-A team in 1973. Marquess was an assistant coach on the Boulder Collegians squad that captured the 1975 National Semi-Pro championship. The following year, his Boulder team placed third at the national tournament.
Prior to his appointment as head coach at Stanford in 1977, Marquess spent five seasons (1972-76) as an assistant under Ray Young at Stanford. Marquess now officially serves as the Clarke and Elizabeth Nelson Director of Baseball at Stanford. The Nelsons, through a large gift to the baseball program, endowed the position in 1987.
Marquess' success in the dugout and on the field has led to some other exciting and noteworthy experiences.
Marquess made his broadcasting debut for CBS during the network's coverage of the 1987 Pan American Games in Indianapolis.
After winning the College World Series and Olympic gold medal in 1988, he was asked to throw out the first pitch before Game 4 of the 1988 World Series on October 19 at the Oakland Coliseum and President Ronald Reagan later honored Marquess and the Olympic championship squad at a White House reception.
Marquess also served as a color commentator for the baseball venue during NBC's coverage at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain. In 2001, Marquess and the Cardinal played in the opening game at the College World Series in which President George W. Bush threw out the first pitch.
Named after the great Lefty Gomez, this annual award is presented to an individual who has distinguished himself among his peers and has contributed significantly to the game of baseball locally, nationally and internationally. The Lefty Gomez Award is sponsored by Wilson Sporting Goods.