Sunday, December 24, 2017

Marshall Football: Seven Candidates for the Herd's Next Offensive Coordinator

After eight seasons on Doc Holliday's staff, Bill Legg resigned his position as offensive coordinator/tight ends coach with Marshall University earlier this week. We won't delve into Legg's "resignation" here, but we will explore his potential replacements.

How about that for our first blog post in over three years...

Internal Candidates

Todd Gobbel, Marshall University,Co-Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach
Gobbel orchestrated a high octane offense as Ohio Dominican University's (Division II) assistant head coach/offensive coordinator from 2011-2014. During his time with the Panthers, Ohio Dominican averaged no less than 31 points per game.

If Holliday wants to promote from within, Gobbel seems like the obvious answer, especially after coaching the Herd's quarterbacks during the recently completed season. That being said, Gobbel's play calling experience ends at the Division II level. Is that the type of pedigree Holliday is looking for?

Former Assistants Under Holliday

Thomas Brown, University of Miami, Offensive Coordinator/Running Backs Coach
Don't let the title fool you, although Brown is listed as the Hurricanes offensive coordinator, head coach Mark Ritch calls plays. That being said, Brown has an impressive resume. Since leaving Marshall in 2013, the former Thundering Herd running backs coach has worked at Wisconsin and Georgia in addition to Miami.

If Holliday isn't looking for someone with previous play calling experience, Brown could be the choice, although he might have to take a slight pay cut. A private institution, Miami isn't required to report salaries of it's football staff, but Brown made $275,000 as Georgia's running backs coach in 2015. Assuming he earns more now, Brown's current salary probably eclipses the $232,000 Marshall paid Legg this year.

Tony Petersen, East Carolina University, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach
The former Marshall quarterback has directed ECU's offense since 2015 to solid, yet unspectacular results. Under Petersen's direction, the Pirates have finished 43rd, 23rd and 55th in total offense.

Even if Holliday wants to bring Petersen back to Huntington, would the former Marshall assistant leave ECU? Although the Pirates finished with a 3-9 record and have only recorded six victories in two seasons under head coach Scottie Montgomery, Petersen's $300,000 salary probably outstrips what the Herd can offer. You could argue taking a pay-cut to serve the same role at another "group of five" school doesn't make sense.

Outside Candidates

Marcus Satterfield, Unemployed, Former Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator
After a two year stint at Tennessee Tech, Satterfield was fired as the Golden Eagles head coach in November. Prior to his time as a head coach, he was offensive coordinator at Temple, helping the Owls grow from a two win team in 2013 to a 10-4 record in 2015. Satterfield's offenses weren't prolific at Temple, never averaging over 400 yards per game, but as the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's offensive coordinator in 2010, the Mocs' finish eight nationally in total offense (FCS).

In terms of Marshall connections, Satterfield worked with current Herd assistant Adam Fuller at Chattanooga for three seasons. Satterfield checks the experience box, but he has never coached with Holliday and his offenses at Temple didn't light the world on fire.

Chris Beatty, University of Maryland, Associate Head Coach/Wide Receivers Coach
Beatty and Holliday were on Bill Stewart's West Virginia University staff from 2008 to 2009. The current Maryland assistant has made a number of stops since then, working at Vanderbilt, Illinois, Wisconsin and Virginia.

Beatty is known as an ace recruiter. He recently brought the number one prospect in the 2015 recruiting class, Auburn transfer Byron Cowart, to the Terps. Beatty also has offensive coordinator experience, serving that role with Hampton University in 2006, leading the Pirates to average 34.17 points per game, good for seventh nationally (FCS). That being said, he had a disastrously short tenure as Illinois' co-offensive coordinator in 2012, the Illini finished 119th in total offense.

Gregg Brandon, Colorado School of Mines, Head Coach
Like Holliday, Brandon is part of the Urban Meyer coaching tree. Brandon was Meyer's offensive coordinator at Bowling Green for two seasons before succeeding him as head coach from 2003-2008. Since that time, the 49 year coaching veteran has held the offensive coordinator title at Virginia, Wyoming and New Mexico State.

Brandon has been successful in Colorado, leading the Division II Orediggers to a 25-10 record over three years. Would he be willing to leave that environment and return to major college football?

Gunter Brewer, University of North Carolina, Co-Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers Coach
An assistant at Marshall during two undefeated Thundering Herd seasons (1996 & 1999), Brewer is a well traveled assistant coach with many impressive programs on his resume. He has held the offensive coordinator title at Marshall, Oklahoma State and now North Carolina, but its been awhile since Brewer called plays. Mike Gundy handled those duties with the Cowboys during Brewers tenure there and he is now part of a play calling committee at UNC.

Like a few other coaches on this list, Brewer would probably be taking a pay-cut to join the Herd. He earned $345,000 with the Tar Heels this year.

Keep in mind I have no insider knowledge. This is one persons guess over 400 miles away from Huntington, WV.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Marshall Basketball: Chris Duhon Added to Staff

Reaching back to his NBA roots, Marshall basketball coach Dan D'Antoni will reportedly add former Duke standout Chris Duhon to the Thundering Herd's coaching staff.

Over a nine year NBA career Duhon averaged 25.6 minutes, 6.5 points, and 4.4 rebounds per game with the Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, and Los Angeles Lakers. Duhon played under D'Antoni and his brother, former NBA head coach Mike D'Antoni, in New York and L.A.

A Duke alum, Duhon ended his Blue Devils career as the schools all time leader in steals and minutes played. He is also the second winningest player in program and Atlantic Coast Conference history.

Duhon has never severed as a coach, much less at the college level. His exact title and role with Marshall's coaching staff has not been announced.

WSAZ sports reporter Rich Donnelly caught up with Duhon in Huntington, watch the interview by clicking here.

Marshall Basketball: Brantley and Uwadiae Headed Elsewhere

They might not have played a game for Marshall, but Jaylen Brantley and Henry Uwadiae made a impact on the Thundering Herd's basketball program today.

Formerly one of the top 100 basketball recruits in the country, Brantley will transfer from Marshall after sitting out the 2013-2014 season as a academic non-qualifier. A 5-foot-10 point guard from Springfield, Mass., Brantley is leaving the Herd for a junior college in Texas. 

Marshall also lost the tallest member of its recruiting class as Uwadiae, 6-foot-10 center, was granted a release from his letter of intent. Uwadiae spent last season at Kirkwood Community College where he averaged 1.6 points and 1.8 rebounds per game.

Counting those players returning to Marshall and incoming recruits Shane Hall and Jay Johnson, recently hired basketball coach Dan D'Antoni is one scholarship below the NCAA limit of 13.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Marshall Football: Green & White Game Ends Spring Practice

Marshall wrapped up spring football practice yesterday with the annual green and white game. This years edition had a special twist as former Thundering Herd quarterbacks Chad Pennington and Byron Leftwich picked each team.

As with the rest of spring practice, yesterdays game was highlighted by the backup quarterback battle. Redshirt sophomore Gunnar Holcombe lead the way, completing 11 of 18 attempts for 220 yards, three touchdowns, and a interception. Holcombe's favorite target was wide receiver Justin Hunt, who finished his day with two touchdowns on three receptions and 153 yards.

Participating in his first spring game, freshman Cole Garvin tossed a touchdown and two interceptions while converting 10 of 17 passes for 109 yards. Kevin Anderson received the least amount of playing time between the three backup quarterbacks. He only attempted four passes, completing none while throwing a interception.

A former quarterback at Huntington High School, walk-on defensive back Mark Shaver had a big day for the defense. He lead the team with two interceptions and also recorded two tackles. In total, the defense allowed 224 rushing yards on 51 attempts and 431 passing yards on 24 completions.


Huntington Herald Dispatch

Hunt makes plays in front of his idol

Players of the past like present

White tops Green 30-13

Herd backup QBs in the spotlight

Charleston Daily Mail

The spring season ends

Pennington to Moss

Charleston Gazette

Cato's understudies have strong moments in Herd's spring ending workout

Mitch Vingle: Despite performance, MU is Rakeem Cato


BOGACZYK: Backup QB Battle Plays on into August

Marshall Football: Herd Adds Birdsong to QB Mix

Marshall's search to find an eventual replacement for star quarterback Rakeem Cato added another member today. While visiting campus during the annual green and white game Michael Birdsong gave a verbal commitment to the Thundering Herd.

Birdsong comes to Marshall from James Madison University. The sophomore quarterback started every game for the Dukes last year, completing 227 of 376 pass attempts for 2,278 yards, 22 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions. An occasional rushing threat, he also ran for three scores and 310 yards.

Then a assistant coach at JMU, Marshall defensive line coach J.C. Price recruited Birdsong to the Dukes. A Virginia native, Birdsong decided to leave James Madison after losing the starting quarterback job to Vlad Lee during spring practice.

Birdsong is a sizable quarterback, standing 6-foot-4, 230 pounds. Before committing to Marshall, he also had a official visit scheduled at Old Dominion. Per NCAA transfer rules, Birdsong will sit out the upcoming season. Once eligible, he will have two years left to play.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Marshall Basketball: Dan D'Antoni Introductory News Conference

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Marshall Basketball: Dan D'Antoni Named Head Coach

After an exhaustive search that lasted over 40 days, Marshall University finally has a new men’s basketball coach. Marshall athletic director Mike Hamrick announced the hire of Los Angeles Lakers assistant Dan D’Antoni earlier today.

Dan is the older brother of Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni, who Hamrick heavily pursued during Marshall’s coaching search. Since 2005 Dan has served as an assistant under his younger sibling with the Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks, and Los Angeles. Prior to his time in the NBA, D'Antoni spent 30 years as the head coach at Socastee High School in Myrtle Beach, S.C., where he won over 500 games.

A Marshall grad and Athletics Hall of Fame inductee, D'Antoni played basketball for the Thundering Herd from 1966 to 1970, leading the team in scoring (17.5 ppg) during his junior season. He was also named 1st Team All Mid-American Conference in 1969. After graduating D'Antoni was appointed head coach of the Herd’s freshman basketball team where he coached his younger brother Mike. One year later Dan was promoted to a assistant coach position with the varsity squad. Following his time on Marshall’s coaching staff, he had a brief stint with the NBA’s Baltimore Bullets before becoming the head coach at Socastee in 1975. 

Hamrick will formally introduce D'Antoni during a press conference tomorrow afternoon.