Lance Marshall was named the head coach of the Franklin College baseball program in August 1997. He also is an assistant athletic director at the college.
During his tenure at Franklin, Marshall has guided the Grizzlies to four Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference regular season championships, plus a pair of conference tournament titles and subsequent berths in the NCAA Division III Championship tournament. In 18 seasons leading the Grizzlies, he has compiled a 493-362 record.
The 2018 season was not only the best in Marshall's tenure at Franklin, but the best season in the long history of the program as Franklin went 39-5 and 17-1 in HCAC play to set a new single-season record for wins in a year. The Grizzlies secured home field advantage for the HCAC Tournament, and captured the program's first conference title since 2011, earning the league's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
Marshall picked up a pair of Coach of the Year honors in 2018, which included his fourth HCAC Coach of the Year honors and the Mid East Coach of the Year by D3Baseball.com. Franklin finished the year with the best winning percentage in the nation, and was tops among all teams in batting average (.351), home runs per game (1.52), slugging percentage (.550), on-base percentage (.460), walks (271), home runs (67) and runs per game (10.4).
Marshall collected his 400th coaching victory with a 10-1 win over Bluffton University on May 2, 2014. The Grizzlies qualified for their seventh straight Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament. Scott Windler and Jameson Brock earned All-Mideast Region honors by the American Baseball Coaches Association. Brock set single-season school record with 76 hits, 186 at bats and tied the school record with 19 doubles in 2014.
In the 2011 season, Marshall coached Franklin to a 30-14 overall record, including a perfect 17-0 mark in home contests and a 16-8 record in HCAC games. The Grizzlies captured their first HCAC championship tournament and earned the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III tournament.
In 2009, Marshall guided the Grizzlies to a 31-11 record and their third HCAC title. FC posted a 17-4 mark in HCAC contests – matching its best league record of 2002 – and earned the college’s third opportunity to host the conference tournament since the league tourney became limited to four schools in 2001.
Franklin also was ranked a best-ever 21st in the American Baseball Coaches Association/Collegiate Baseball national Top-30 poll for NCAA Division III schools and Marshall was voted the HCAC’s Coach of the Year for the third time in 2009.
The Grizzlies that season shattered several school records, including team and individual marks. FC set new team records in batting average (.349), at-bats (1,484), runs scored (442), hits (518), doubles (109), home runs (55) and runs batted in (393).
In 2005, Franklin won the HCAC title with a 15-6 mark and achieved its second best single-season victories total in finishing 29-15 overall. He was voted the HCAC’s Coach of the Year for the second time. The Grizzlies led the league in both team batting average and team earned run average and garnered their highest ever national ranking of 24th among Division III schools as rated by the American Baseball Coaches Association. Franklin also was rated a best-ever third in the NCAA III Mideast Region.
In the spring of 2002, Marshall coached FC to a school-record 32 victories and its first HCAC regular season crown with a league record 17 league triumphs. Franklin also was ranked a then best-ever fifth in the Mideast Region and was rated in the Top 30 in the nation for the first time. He was voted the HCAC’s Coach of the Year — the first time a Franklin coach was the recipient of the honor.
Marshall has coached three HCAC Most Valuable Player honorees – Craig Bland (2002), Terry Kinnett (2004) and David Verdeyen (2005), a HCAC Pitcher of the Year recipient – Nathan Ellis (2012), plus five conference Freshman of the Year selections – David Verdeyen (2003), Andy Clark (2005), Jim Swienconek (2006), Nick Stoia (2010) and Scott Windler (2011).
Moreover, during Marshall’s tenure, the Grizzlies boast two victories over NCAA Division I scholarship opponents. The Grizzlies earned a 6-2 triumph at Butler University in 2009. This followed one of the most notable victories in any sport in school history defeating the University of Notre Dame 4-3 in South Bend in 2007.
His previous college baseball coaching experience includes assistant coach positions at two NCAA Division III schools in Illinois, Elmhurst and Rockford colleges. At Elmhurst, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1993, Marshall guided the pitchers and catchers, directed the fall baseball program and was involved in recruiting and fund raising from 1995 to 1997. Moreover, Elmhurst captured the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin championship in 1997 while Marshall was coaching there.
Marshall was assistant at Rockford while working on his master’s degree in secondary education, which he received in 1995. Marshall served as an assistant football coach at Elmhurst, coaching tight ends, in ’95. Additionally, he was the manager of operations at the Chicago White Sox Training Centers after serving as instructor and regional director. He also served as an associate scout for the Houston Astros from 1995 to 1998.