Born in New York City, Marsh first learned about ceramics after he injured his rotator cuff playing baseball in his last year of high school. He had never been that good of a student and was sent by his guidance counselor to the pottery lab at his high school to receive a discipline from the strict and dedicated professor. The day he walked into the lab, he never left, from then on he knew he would be working with clay. Marsh received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1978 from California State University, Long Beach. From 1978 to 1981, Marsh studied as an apprentice under Japanese potter Shimaoka, in Mashiko, Japan. After receiving a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1989 from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, Marsh returned to CSU Long Beach to teach in the art department's ceramics program. He has been the department chair for ceramics at CSU for much of his tenure career.