4.10.13 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Walsh University Tabs Maria Marchesano to Lead Women's Basketball Program

Women's Basketball, 2013-04-10

(North Canton, OH) Walsh University Director of Athletics Dale Howard has announced the hiring of Maria Marchesano as women’s basketball coach. Marchesano replaces Laurel Wartluft, who notified the University of her Intention to leave Walsh at the conclusion of this year’s contract. Marchesano is the eighth coach in program history. Walsh started women’s basketball in 1979. Walsh is in provisional year three in the NCAA ll membership process and is a member of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

 “I am very pleased that Maria accepted our invitation to become our next women’s basketball head coach,” exclaimed Howard.  “Her passion and enthusiasm for the development of student-athletes, both on and off the court, make her the perfect candidate to build on the past success of our program as we become full members of the NCAA II.  As we learned about Maria during the search process, we became keenly aware of her reputation as a “players coach”, of her drive for success, and of her ability to make an immediate impact on a program.”

"I feel very fortunate and blessed to have the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing university and one of the most prestigious conferences in Division II athletics,” stated Marchesano. “I am so grateful to President Jusseaume and Dale Howard for this incredible opportunity to lead the women's basketball program and to be a part of the Cavalier family. I would also like to thank all of the amazing people at Urbana University, especially the student-athletes, for helping make the past two seasons very successful, special, and memorable seasons."

Marchesano was named to the Urbana post 10 games into the 2011-12 season, and began the process of turning the Blue Knights into a winner immediately. The 2-8 squad ran off eight straight wins at home, and by mid-February had climbed back to .500 and qualified as the number three seed in the six-team D-II Ohio Independent Championships.  As the number three-seed, the Blue Knights made a run to the OIC Championship game, where their season came to an end with a 10-point loss at top-seeded Cedarville.

For her efforts, Marchesano was named the D-II Independent Coach of the Year.  After that 2-8 start, the Blue Knights finished 12-7 under Marchesano, including an incredible 9-1 at home.  Four Blue Knights earned All-Independent honors as the squad turned their season around and finished 14-15.

This past season, Urbana’s first in the newly formed G-MAC, they finished 15-15 overall, 6-2 in conference play, and won the conference tournament championship, 70-63 against Trevecca Nazarene University. They finished the season at the .500 mark despite playing only nine home games.

Marchesano came to Urbana from Manchester College in North Manchester, Indiana where she served as an assistant coach for both the women’s basketball and softball teams. Marchesano joined the Spartans before the 2010-11 season. Prior to that, she spent four years playing and coaching both basketball and softball professionally in the Italian Basketball Federation and Italian Federation of Softball.

The Fort Wayne, Indiana native was a four-year letter winner in women’s basketball and a one-year letter winner in softball at Division I Butler University. She graduated from Butler with a degree in Integrated Communications in 2005.

Marchesano ended her Bulldog basketball career as the second most prolific three-point shooter in school history. Just two days later, she joined the Bulldog softball team after a four-year hiatus from the sport, starting 48 games at shortstop as a senior. A two-sport standout at Elmhurst High School, Marchesano earned All-State selections in both sports.