• Last modified 868 days ago (March 9, 2022)


Centre grad was outstanding college athlete

Marsha Koster of Clay Center died recently at age 66, but she left behind a legacy of outstanding achievements at Kansas State University.

Born Marsha Poppe in 1955, she graduated from Centre High School in 1973, where she excelled in basketball and track.

At KSU, she played basketball under Hall of Fame head coach Judy Akers. She helped the Wildcats to an overall winning record of 96-36, three appearances at a national tournament, and two Big Eight conference regular season titles.

Marsha compiled 1,152 career points and 579 career rebounds. When she was forced to quit the program because of blood clots in her lungs, she ranked third in program history in career scoring. She currently ranks 30th in career scoring and 22nd in career rebounds.

In the 1975-‘76 season, she led the conference in scoring with 515 points and in rebounds at 287. She scored a career-record 34 points against Iowa State in 1976 and a single-game record of 18 rebounds against Missouri State.

Marsha also competed in track and field for three years. Although she had not competed in javelin in high school, she was a three-time All America at KSU. She finished fourth in national championships in 1974 and second in 1975 and 1976.

Her parents, the late Vernon “Bum” Poppe and Ruth Poppe, lived in Lincolnville. Ruth moved to Clay Center in the late 1990s and still lives there today.

The Poppe family had a long history in Lincolnville. The town became divided for a time. The section on the west side of the railroad was nicknamed Poppe Town because the Poppe family operated several businesses there. H.H. Poppe operated the first grain elevator, and Walter Poppe built a filling station.

Beside her mother, Marsha leaves behind her husband, Ron, and three children.

Last modified March 9, 2022