Molly Marrin wasn’t supposed to be a basketball player. Then after she became a good basketball player, she wasn’t supposed to be a coach.
But as she accepted her first head coaching job this spring at Regis University in Denver, the former Ursuline standout couldn’t be happier.
“This is my dream job,” Marrin said. “It’s definitely something I was ready for. It’s been crazy and it’s been a blast. I’m super-excited about the future.”
Marrin will begin her first season at her alma mater in the fall when she takes over for the retiring Linda Raunig, who coached Marrin at Regis more than 10 years ago, when the pair was part of the school’s first conference championship team.
It’s true that she didn’t originally plan to be a coach, but that changed after the journalism major spent a summer internship at a Denver television station.
“I wasn’t sure if I wanted to work 2 to 11 in a basement,” she said. “That kind of hit me.”
About the same time, she ran into a coach at the University of Northern Colorado who was leaving the program and suggested she apply for the job because the head coach was familiar with her.
“He said if you work half as hard as a coach as you did as a player, than you’ll be great,” Marrin said. “That was the start. I had a couple players younger than me.”
The next decade took Marrin to assistant coaching jobs in Ohio and North Dakota before she spent six seasons at the University of San Francisco. From there, she was hired at the University of Denver for one season before taking the Regis job.
Growing up in Preston Hollow, basketball was low on the list of priorities for Marrin. She grew up as an athlete in an Irish Catholic family with four brothers, and gave almost every sport a try — soccer, tennis, swimming, volleyball, and even baseball.
In fact, she gained some notoriety at age 11 when she signed up for a baseball league at YMCA, even after she was told that it was only for boys. Then she hit a double and a triple in her first game.
“To me, it didn’t seem like a big deal. It didn’t seem like I was doing anything different until I got on the team and realized I was the only girl in the league,” Marrin said. “I was the shortstop with a ponytail. A couple of the boys quit, and that really didn’t faze me.”
It wasn’t until Marrin grew five inches in middle school — bringing her to 5-foot-11 — that she became serious about basketball.
“She was constantly playing basketball,” said Preston Hollow resident Ed Malouf, who lived next door to the Marrins at the time. “There was always a thump, thump, thump from their backyard.”
At Ursuline, she was a three-year varsity starter and helped to lead the Bears on a miraculous run to the TAPPS state championship game during her senior season after an 0-11 start.
As a coach, she’s paid her dues and racked up plenty of travel miles as an assistant, but now hopes to settle down at the small Jesuit school where she got her start.
“I know the craziness of the coaching world,” Marrin said. “The best part is the people I meet through coaching and the people I bond with through this sport. It’s what I’m made of. It’s definitely something I was called to do.”