Bringing nearly 40 years of collegiate experience, veteran Donnie Marsh has been named the FGCU men’s basketball program’s associate head coach. A former head coach at FIU and Alabama A&M, Marsh begins his duties with the Eagles today, May 21.
Beyond his head-coaching stints, Marsh’s 35+ years of college coaching experience includes stops at Florida State, Virginia Tech, Indiana, UAB, Texas Southern and USF, in addition to more than a decade in Division III to begin his career.
“Coach Marsh brings a wealth of experience to our staff as a former head coach at multiple institutions and a long-time assistant at the highest levels of Division-I basketball,” FGCU men’s basketball head coach Michael Fly said. “He is extremely well-respected nationally for his character and integrity, and I am excited about the guidance and wisdom he will provide for our players as a mentor.
“Coach Marsh has recruited at a high level at each stop of his career and his basketball expertise and experience will be extremely valuable as we guide this program. I look forward to our FGCU family and the Southwest Florida community getting to know Coach Marsh and his wife LaRoyce in the coming years.”
Prior to his most recent tenure as the head coach at Alabama A&M, Marsh served as the associate head coach from 2014-17 at Texas Southern, helping the Tigers to NCAA Tournament appearances in 2015 and 2017, and an NIT berth in 2016 following a Southwestern Athletic Conference Regular Season Championship. TSU also won regular-season titles in 2015 and 2017, in addition to a 2013 crown when Marsh spent the 2012-13 season as an associate head coach with the program.
During his one year away from Texas Southern in 2013-14, Marsh was an assistant coach at USF. That year, FGCU and USF’s matchup ended controversially in double overtime, when Chase Fieler’s full-court tip-in with .3 of a second showing was waved off.
“I am grateful for this opportunity to join Coach Fly and the FGCU program,” Marsh said. “I am excited about the staff that he is putting together and the vision he has to keep the Eagles soaring towards the top of the college basketball world.”
Marsh spent 2006-12 as the associate head coach at UAB, helping guide the Blazers to four-straight postseason appearances (3 NITs and 1 NCAA) from 2007-11. During that span, UAB compiled an impressive record of 95-41 (.698), including the program’s first outright Conference USA Regular Season Championship in 2011.
Marsh, who is known as one of the top recruiters in the nation, made an immediate impact on UAB during his first season in 2006-07. He was responsible for bringing several newcomers who made up the nation’s 9th-ranked class in 2007, according to CollegeHoopsUpdate.com. Additionally, the 2007 class was ranked among the nation’s top 25 of incoming classes by almost every major recruiting service.
Prior to his time at UAB, Marsh was an assistant coach at Indiana from 2004-06. Before his arrival, Indiana ranked 8th in the Big 10 in points allowed (67.6) and 5th in field-goal percentage defense (.433). Under Marsh’s tutelage, the Hoosier defense improved considerably, rising to 5th in scoring defense (63.6) and tied for 3rd in field-goal percentage defense (.420). While with IU, Marsh helped guide the Hoosiers to the 2005 NIT and 2006 NCAA Tournament.
Marsh arrived in Bloomington after spending the previous four seasons as the head coach at FIU. During his tenure in Miami from 2000-04, the Panthers ranked among the Sun Belt Conference leaders in total defense and offensive rebounding. Marsh also played a key role in the development of guard Carlos Arroyo.
After his stellar FIU career ended in 2001, Arroyo became – at the time – just the fifth Puerto Rico native in history to play in the NBA when he debuted for the Toronto Raptors. Arroyo has also played with the Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic, Miami Heat and Boston Celtics. Arroyo was a member of the Puerto Rico National Team that participated in the 2004 Athens Summer Olympic Games.
Prior to FIU, Marsh served as an assistant (1997-99) and associate head coach (1999-00) at Virginia Tech. Marsh had gone to Virginia Tech after serving as an assistant coach at Florida State from 1995-97, helping the Seminoles to the 1997 NIT Final.
As the head coach at Trenton State (N.J.) College, now named College of New Jersey, from 1989-93, Marsh compiled a four-year record of 64-41. That was highlighted by a 22-6 record and NCAA Tournament berth in 1990.
A 1979 graduate of Franklin & Marshall (Pa.) College with a bachelor’s degree in history and education, Marsh earned All-American honors and helped the Diplomats to a 27-5 record and Division III Final Four. He averaged 15.4 points per game during his career, including 18.9 as a senior, which helped him become the 3rd-round pick of the Atlanta Hawks in the 1979 NBA Draft.
After a brief professional playing stint, Marsh spent six years as assistant basketball coach, head baseball coach and associate director of admissions at Franklin & Marshall from 1980-86. Marsh was inducted into the Franklin & Marshall Hall of Fame in 1984. In 1987-88, Marsh served as the president of Players in Action, Inc., a firm that represented professional athletes.
Marsh, who earned a master’s degree in health and human performance from Texas Southern in May 2017, made his head-coaching debut at Division III Elizabethtown (Pa.) College in 1988-89 before moving on to the College of New Jersey.
A graduate of Atlantic City (N.J.) High School, Marsh and his wife, LaRoyce, have a son, Tyler, and a daughter, Sydnee.