March 14, 2005
(SAN DIEGO, CA) - University of San Diego head women's basketball coach Kathy Marpe, a two-time West Coast Conference Coach of the Year, has decided it is time to step down after directing the USD women's basketball program the past 25 years. She leaves USD with 294 victories, two West Coast Conference Tournament titles (1993, 2000) and two trips to the NCAA Tournament (1993, 2000). More importantly, she helped shape the lives of hundreds of student-athletes that had the privilege to play for her and Torero women's basketball. USD will begin a national search immediately to fill the vacancy.
"Kathy Marpe has been a first class representative of the University of San Diego for 25 years," said Ky Snyder, Executive Director of Athletics. "She is highly respected in her sport, her student-athletes have graduated routinely and she has taken our program to the NCAA Tournament twice during her tenure. Kathy is a role model in how she has conducted herself during her career at USD. We all have the highest regard and respect for her and wish her well."
Marpe began her coaching career in Minnesota at Spring Lake Park High School in 1971. Two years later she took over the University of New Mexico women's program for seven years where she combined for an 87-63 mark. In 1980, Marpe brought her coaching expertise to USD and over the years compiled a lengthy list of milestones. Including her time at New Mexico, Marpe leaves with 381 Division I career victories, 116 West Coast Conference wins (3rd all-time), two WCC coach of the year honors, two conference tournament championships, and two NCAA tournament teams. Additionally under Marpe's tutelage, six Toreros went on to become professional basketball players - Chris Enger, Susie Erpelding, Jessica Gray, Erin Malich, Marta Menuez, and Debbie Weinreis.
During her time at USD Marpe stressed the importance of academics and community involvement to her players. Her encouragement and support of her players are readily apparent as her Torero teams included 13 First Team All-WCC performers, and 33 players that combined to appear on the WCC All-Academic Team a total of 74 times. Paula (Mascari) Bott and Susie Erpelding were both named the WCC Female Scholar Athlete of the Year in their senior campaigns, and Erpelding was joined by Heidi Ambrose on national academic all-america teams.
In 1993, the USD women's basketball team earned its first trip to the NCAA Tournament by winning the WCC Tournament. The Toreros knocked off Pepperdine 83-67, then upset No. 1 seed Santa Clara, 64-57. The 1993 squad finished 2nd in the WCC race (8-6) and 16-12 overall. USD's second trip to the NCAA's came in 2000 when the No. 4 seed Toreros edged LMU in the first round, then downed Santa Clara in the semifinals and No. 1 seed Pepperdine in the championship, 68-51. USD finished 17-13 overall that season with the 17 wins matching Marpe's personal-best at USD. The Toreros dropped both of their first round NCAA games to Nebraska (1993) and Notre Dame (2000). Marpe leaves USD with an overall record of 294-398; her career Division I head coaching record is 381-461.
FOR TRANSACTIONS:University of San Diego: Kathy Marpe has resigned as head women's basketball coach.