Head Women's Basketball Coach
Leigh Marshall was hired as Palomar's 11th head women's basketball coach on Sept. 14, 2010, four weeks into the college's fall semester.
Marshall hit the ground running. She faced a vacuum in the Palomar women's program, accepting an appointment to resurrect a program teetering on the ink of collapse. This was after the two previous head coaches had left Palomar abruptly in the previous four months.
Marshall had no returning players and, with fall registration already closed, was forced to recruit from a limited base of gym-class students and athletes from other sports. A number of players on that first team had never played basketball, and struggled through a winless season against a daunting schedule.
But she managed to keep the program alive and, after she continued the rebuilding project last season, her 2012-13 team opened the season by winning more games in their first month than the Comets had won in the first previous two seasons combined.
Marshall came to the Comets from El Modena High School in Orange, where she had been the head girls' coach since May 2008. The former Orange Coast College assistant coach took over an El Modena program that won one game the season before she arrived and, two seasons later, led the Vanguards into the CIF-Southern Section playoffs.
She began her coaching career as an assistant to veteran Mike Thornton at her community college alma mater, Orange Coast, in the 2001-02 season.
Marshall played point guard at Orange Coast, where she helped the Pirates go 55-15 in her two seasons and helped lead them to a 30-6 record and the 2003 CCCAA state community college championship.
Marshall, an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Health and Physical Education, received her Master of Arts degree with a major in Kinesiology from Cal State University Long Beach. She received her Bachelor of Science degree, also with a major in Kinesiology, from Cal State University Fullerton. She received her AA degree from Orange Coast.
PHOTOS: Above left by Hugh Cox; Other photos by Melinda Finn
John Clark is in his first season as an assistant coach on John O'Neill's staff.
Clark is a product of Mission Bay High School, where he played basketball and volleyball. In basketball, Clark was first-team All-CIF San Diego Section, All-Western League, team captain, Mission Bay's MVP and was the Buccaneers' leading scorer each season he played. He graduated in June 1999.
Clark played on the community college level at Grossmont College in 1999-2000, red-shirted in 2000-2001 and played for the Griffins again in 2001-2002, making first-team All-Pacific Coast Conference and helping lead the Griffs to a co-championship with Palomar. It was Grossmont's first conference title since 1986.
He received a full scholarship to NCAA Division I Cal State Northridge, playing in the Big West Conference. He majored in Psychology at Northridge, starting at guard for the Matadors and averaging 10 points a game. Clark played his final season at the University of St. Mary's, an NAIA school in Leavenworth, KS. He was team captain, led the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference in scoring and was an all-conference selection. He also majored in Psychology at St. Mary's.
Clark had an extensive professional career playing overseas and participating in various pro and semi-pro workouts and camps. He played for the San Diego Wildcats in the ABA in 2008. The Wildcats made it to the league finals, placing second. He also completed in Mexico's top league (LNBP) for two seasons, played in Canada and played i the IBL. He played the 2009-2010 season with the San Diego Surf in the A BA. He was the team's captain and leading scorer and made the All-Star Team-West.
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