By Mike Pilosof
Garden City, KS-No one will argue that Garden City track and cross country had arguably the best assistant coach in the conference.
On Thursday, Doug Marshall went from second in command to the lead man, and there were plenty of smiles to go around.
Marshall, who has been an assistant at Garden City since 2014, was named the new Men's and Women's Track and Cross Country Coach, replacing Ray Putnam, who resigned to take a similar job closer to home.
"I want to thank John Green, Kevin Schlegel, and President Dr. Herbert Swender for the opportunity," Marshall said. "This is an amazing time for me, and this is an amazing time for the school."
Marshall's rise to Head Coach was fueled by hard work and desire. He started as a volunteer assistant in 2014 before being promoted to a full-time assistant the following year. Then, in January, the former Emporia State star was named the Associate Head Coach.
"We are still looking to turn the corner," Marshall said. "We've got a really good team, and I want to get these kids in the national spotlight."
Marshall was instrumental in landing NJCAA All-American Sandra Szpott this past offseason. His connections on the recruiting landscape are well documented.
"I think we are in a really good spot," Marshall said. "We will continue to work and continue to grind. I want to thank my wife, because through all of this, she's been very patient and supportive."
Marshall began his coaching career at Harford High School in Kansas, where he guided them to back-to-back state runner-up finishes. From there, he took a position with Garden City High School where he coached six state placers, a school-record holder as well as the 2013 6A long-jump state champion.
Marshall earned his bachelor's degree from Emporia State in 2011, where he was a national qualifier in the triple jump. He holds the third-best triple jump in program history and earned seven, All-Mid America Intercollegiate Athletic awards in both the long and triple jumps.
"Working with Coach Marshall, I learned so much," Putnam said. "I learned about recruiting and coaching at the Junior College level. I'm really going to miss everyone there, and I want to thank the athletic department and Dr. Swender for the opportunity."
Putnam will be the new track and cross country coach at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, N.Y.