After a very successful career at Trumbull High School, Marnie Dacko continued her education at Southern Connecticut State College. Dacko led the Owls to a 72-27 record, four top 10 fin-ishes and four trips to the AIAW national tournament as a player. She averaged a team high of 17.2 points and 9.6 rebounds as a junior, as SCSC finished 20-6 overall and sixth at the national tournament. In her senior season, the Owls were 19-11 and finished fifth at the AIAW national tournament behind her 17 points and seven rebounds a game.
In four seasons at Southern, Dacko scored 1,306 points (14.7ppg) and grabbed 689 rebounds – third on the school’s all time rebound list. During her senior season, she was a finalist for the prestigious Margaret Wade Trophy, awarded annually to the nation’s top women’s basketball player. She was drafted by the New York Stars in 1978 to play women’s professional basketball.
Dacko was an assistant coach at the University of Wisconsin, St. John’s and Northwestern before being named Head Coach at Cornell University. During her seven year tenure with the Big Red, Dacko became the winningest women’s basketball coach in Cornell history with 80 victories. She moved to the University of Massachusetts as head coach in 2002.