Doc Holliday (American football)

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Doc Holliday
Sport(s) Football
Current position
Title Head coach
Team Marshall
Conference C-USA
Record 40–25
Annual salary $755,000
Biographical details
Born (1957-04-21) April 21, 1957 (age 58)
Hurricane, West Virginia
Playing career
1976–1978 West Virginia
Position(s) Linebacker
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
West Virginia (GA)
West Virginia (GA)
West Virginia (WR)
West Virginia (LB)
West Virginia (WR)
West Virginia (AHC/WR)
NC State (AHC/WR)
Florida (AHC/S/RC)
West Virginia (AHC/TE/FB/RC)
Head coaching record
Overall 40–25
Bowls 3–0
Accomplishments and honors
1 C-USA (2014)
2 C-USA East Division (2013–2014)
C-USA Coach of the Year (2014)

John "Doc" Holliday (born April 21, 1957) is an American football coach and former player. He currently is the head coach at Marshall.

Early life[edit]

Holliday was born and raised in Hurricane, West Virginia. He graduated from West Virginia University with a Bachelor's Degree in Physical Education in 1979, then graduated with a Master's Degree in 1981 in Safety Management.

Holliday was also a three-year letterwinner while playing linebacker at West Virginia.

Coaching career[edit]

First stint at West Virginia[edit]

In 1979, Holliday became a graduate assistant for the West Virginia Mountaineers football team. Then in 1981, he became a part-time assistant until 1982. Holliday became wide receivers coach in 1983 and remained at that position until 1989.

In 1990, Holliday became the inside linebackers coach. He remained coaching the linebackers until 1992. In 1993, he returned to coaching the receivers. In 1995, Holliday was promoted to assistant head coach, while still maintaining receivers.

During his tenure at West Virginia University under head coach Don Nehlen, Holliday achieved a prestigious record. He coached the top three career and single-season reception leaders in school history and eight of the top ten players in both categories. He also coached the leading receivers in the Big East in 1996, 1997, and 1998 while also coaching three of the top six receivers in Big East history. He coached third-team All-American receiver Reggie Rembert, three-time all-Big East receiver Rahsaan Vanterpool, all-Big East receiver David Saunders, all-Big East receiver Shawn Foreman, and all-Big East receiver Khori Ivy during his tenure and also was responsible for seven eventual NFL draftees.

Holliday was also the main recruiting coach in the Florida-area for West Virginia University. Holliday was responsible for recruiting majors stars, such as linebacker Steve Grant, and became one of the best recruiters in the nation. He also helped the Mountaineers to 12 bowl games in his twenty years at West Virginia University.

NC State[edit]

In 2000, Holliday left West Virginia for North Carolina State. There he became the associate head coach and wide receivers coach. He remained at NC State until 2004.

During his time in North Carolina, Holliday coached three of the top eight receivers in school history: Koren Robinson, Bryan Peterson and Jerricho Cotchery. In 2001, the squad set school records for completion percentage and fewest turnovers, while the 2002 team led the ACC in scoring. That squad also finished with school records of total yards, passing yards, most points scored, and most first downs in a season. The 2003 squad then set records in pass attempts, pass completions, passing yards, passing yards per game, passing touchdowns, and pass completion percentage.


In 2005, Holliday traveled to the University of Florida and became the Gators' associate head coach, safeties coach, and recruiting coordinator under head coach Urban Meyer. In 2005, Holliday was named one of's Top 25 Recruiters, while also tutoring a secondary that only allowed 52.3% of passing to be completed which was 16th best in the nation.

He guided safety Reggie Nelson to a consensus All-American honor and to become a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award and Bronko Nagurski Trophy in 2006. Also in that season, the Gators' pass defense efficiency was fourth-ranked nationally and second in the SEC while only surrendering a nationally tenth-ranked 10 touchdowns all season and sixth in the nation in scoring defense.

Second stint at West Virginia[edit]

When West Virginia University head coach Rich Rodriguez left the team before their Fiesta Bowl game to assume the head coaching position at the University of Michigan, Doc Holliday's name surfaced as a candidate in the Mountaineers' head coach search. Holliday was named by several news outlets to be the front-runner for the job, outpacing former Auburn head coach Terry Bowden, Florida State offensive line coach Rick Trickett, and Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster.[1]

Instead, on January 12, 2008, it was announced that Holliday was to be named West Virginia's associate head coach, tight end coach, fullback coach, and recruiting coordinator for head coach Bill Stewart. Doc Holliday and Stewart helped pull in a recruiting class with 23 letters of intents on signing day. The 2008 class, led by 5-star offensive guard Josh Jenkins from Parkersburg, West Virginia, was ranked 36th by and 44th by


On December 16, 2009, sources, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Charleston Gazette that no deal has been finalized, but that Holliday is the apparent choice to succeed Mark Snyder, who chose to resign rather than be fired as the MU coach. The sources say WVU head coach Bill Stewart and athletic director Ed Pastilong have been informed of the proceedings.[2] On December 17, 2009, Marshall made it official naming Holliday as the next head coach for the Thundering Herd football team. Marshall athletic director Mike Hamrick said Holliday signed a five-year contract and would be paid $600,000 per season.[3] In July 2014, Holliday signed a two-year contract extension.[4]

After leading Marshall to its first Conference USA championship in 2014, Holliday was named C-USA Coach of the Year.[5]

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Marshall Thundering Herd (Conference USA) (2010–present)
2010 Marshall 5–7 4–4 4th (East)
2011 Marshall 7–6 5–3 2nd (East) W Beef 'O' Brady's
2012 Marshall 5–7 4–4 3rd (East)
2013 Marshall 10–4 7–1 1st (East) W Military
2014 Marshall 13–1 7–1 1st (East) W Boca Raton 22 23
2015 Marshall 0–0 0–0 (East)
Marshall: 40–25 27–13
Total: 40–25
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Sources: WVU's Doc Holliday heading to Marshall". Charleston Gazette. Retrieved 2009-12-16. 
  3. ^ "Holliday to coach Marshall". ESPN. Retrieved 2009-12-17. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Marshall's Doc Holliday Named C-USA Football Coach Of The Year April 8, 2015 HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Marshall University strengthened its stability and continuity in athletics on Wednesday, as the Thundering Herd signed Athletic Director Mike Hamrick and football Coach Doc Holliday to long-term contract extensions. Hamrick, who returned to his alma mater as AD in July 2009, hired Holliday in December of that year. Together, the two West Virginia natives -- Hamrick from Clendenin and Holliday from Hurricane -- have lifted Herd fortunes through new and enhanced facilities and record-breaking success on the football field. The contracts of both men extend until June 30, 2021. Hamrick's six-year extension is for $300,000 annually, a $30,000 raise. Holliday's six-year deal is for a total package of $755,500 -- up from $600,000 -- with additional dollars available through incentives tied to conference championships, bowls and season ticket sales. The university had announced on Dec. 30 that there were agreements in principle for six-year extensions and enhanced compensation for Hamrick and Holliday. The formal contracts were revealed April 8, 2015. "The renewal of the contracts of Mike Hamrick and Coach Holiday is a clear indication of their commitment to Marshall's success and growth in Division I athletics," MU Interim President Gary White said. "We are delighted we were able to successfully negotiate continuations that will keep Marshall moving forward.". Conference USA. Retrieved 2014-12-10. 

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