Marshall Thundering Herd

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Marshall Thundering Herd
Logo
University Marshall University
Conference Conference USA
NCAA Division I
Athletic director Mike Hamrick
Location Huntington, West Virginia
Varsity teams 15
Football stadium Joan C. Edwards Stadium
Basketball arena Cam Henderson Center
Baseball stadium Appalachian Power Park
Soccer stadium Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex
Mascot Marco
Nickname Thundering Herd
Fight song Sons of Marshall
Colors Kelly Green and White[1]
         
Website www.herdzone.com

The Marshall Thundering Herd is the intercollegiate athletic collection of teams that collectively represent the Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. Thundering Herd athletic teams compete in Conference USA, which are members of the NCAA Division I. Sports at the school include women's softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, and volleyball; men's baseball and football; and teams for both genders in basketball, cross country, golf, and soccer. Marco (short for MARshall COllege, the name of the school 1867-1961, when Marshall became a university) is the mascot of the Thundering Herd teams.

Teams[edit]

A member of Conference USA, Marshall sponsors teams in six men's and ten women's NCAA sanctioned sports:[2]

Football[edit]

The Thundering Herd football team is led by head coach Doc Holliday.

Crash[edit]

The November 14, 1970, plane crash that killed all 75 passengers on board, including 37 members of the Thundering Herd football team, is well documented. The event and its aftermath were depicted in the 2006 Warner Brothers motion picture, We Are Marshall, starring Matthew McConaughey and Matthew Fox.

Basketball[edit]

Marshall Thundering Herd men's basketball team is led by head coach Dan D'Antoni. The Marshall women's team has a new head coach for 2017-18, long-time Marshall and Central Arkansas assistant Tony Kemper, who replaces his boss of the last decade, Matt Daniel, at the helm of the program when Daniel and his family headed back to Arkansas for a business opportunity for his wife, Dr. Jennifer Daniel, a dentist.

Baseball[edit]

Baseball at Marshall has long been handicapped by a lack of facilities, being the only sport at the university without a proper facility on or near campus. Coach Jeff Waggoner, however, now uses the George Smailes Field at the YMCA Kennedy Center for non-conference home games in Huntington, Appalachian Power Park in Charleston, W.Va. (home of the Class A South Atlantic League West Virginia Power, a Pittsburgh Pirates affiliate) and plays 1-2 series a year at Linda K. Epling Stadium at Beckley, W.Va., hosting FIU of Conference USA there in April 21-23, 2017. Epling Stadium is the summer home of the W.Va. Miners, a summer college wooden bat Prospect League, where one of the assistants is former Marshall and San Diego Padres catcher Joe Goddard, recently inducted into the Marshall Athletic Hall of Fame. In the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft, Thundering Herd pitcher Aaron Blair, a 6' 5", 230 right-hander, became the highest player ever drafted out of Marshall when the Arizona Diamondbacks selected Blair with the 36th pick of the 1st round on June 6, 2013. .[3] The Thundering Herd team of 2016 won a school record 34 games against just 21 losses, and advanced to the semifinals of the C-USA Tournament, falling to eventual champion Southern Miss.

Club sports[edit]

Marshall also fields club teams, not affiliated with the Athletic Department, in rugby union for both women and men, men's ice hockey, and a men's lacrosse team.

Rivalries[edit]

Marshall's biggest rivalries are out of conference with Ohio University, Miami University, East Carolina University, and Morehead State University. In Conference USA, Marshall has a budding rivalry with the Western Kentucky University, Middle Tennessee State University, Old Dominion University, and University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and ten-year rivalries with University of Southern Mississippi and University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Facilities[edit]

Joan C. Edwards Stadium[edit]

Marshall plays football at Joan C. Edwards Stadium, which seats 38,019. The stadium, which opened for the 1991 season as Marshall University Stadium with a then-record crowd of 33,116 for a 24–23 win over New Hampshire, hosted a record crowd of 41,382 on September 10, 2010, when the Thundering Herd played the in-state rival West Virginia Mountaineers. On a facade on the stadium's west side is a bronze memorial dedicated to the 1970 plane-crash victims.

In 2003, Marshall renamed its stadium, honoring a major donor, Joan C. Edwards to the university and its athletic program. The facility became the first football stadium in Division I-A to be named after a woman; Mrs. Edwards husband, James F. Edwards, has his name on the actual playing field.

Also in 2003, Marshall University, under much scrutiny, disbanded its men's track & field program, expressing financial concerns with the school's 2005 move from MAC to Conference USA. Since that time it has been demonstrated that men's track paid for itself due to the students paying for the majority of their schooling. In May 2007, the track on campus was closed to make way for the new recreation center, and since that time the women's track and field team has trained and competed without a track of its own until the new indoor track was opened in the Chris Cline Athletic Center in 2014.[4]

Cam Henderson Center[edit]

Both men's and women's basketball are played at the 9,048-seat Cam Henderson Center, named for the innovative coach who guided the school's basketball team from 1935 to 1955 and football from 1935–49. Henderson won 358 games against just 158 losses as a basketball coach. Henderson's 1946-47 team finished that season with a school-record 32-5 mark and captured the 1947 NAIB (today's NAIA) National Championship in Kansas City, Kansas. In football, he coached the Herd to the Buckeye Conference title in 1937 and then to the second-ever Tangerine Bowl on Jan. 1, 1948, falling to Catawba College 7–0. Henderson won 68 games as a football coach. Current Marshall coach, and former Herd point guard, Danny D'Antoni, led the current Marshall men's team to a 20-15 mark in his third season and a runner-up finish in the Conference USA Basketball Championships in Birmingham, Ala. in March, after finishing 17-16 during the 2015-16 season and making the semifinals of the tournament. The women's team, which advanced to the WBI two years ago (upsetting No. 1 seeded Northern Kentucky) and to the WNIT last year, has a new coach. Matt Daniel's long-time assistant Tony Kemper, at both Marshall for five years and prior to that for five years at Central Arkansas, will be the new head coach for 2017-18, as Daniel and his family moved back to Arkansas thanks to a new dental practice opportunity for Daniel's wife, Dr. Jennifer Daniel.

2012 expansion project[edit]

In 2012 MU announced a multi-step expansion project, contingent on fundraising. MU accepted ownership of the Veterans Memorial Fieldhouse located five blocks from campus. The facility was demolished and replaced by the Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex, a soccer specific stadium which opened in August 2013. MU's former soccer facility next to Joan C. Edwards Stadium, Sam Hood Field, was replaced by the Chris Cline Athletic Complex, a $25 million indoor football practice facility, indoor track, and physical therapy research center, Marshall Sports Medicine Institute, a facility for both student-athletes and anyone from inside or outside of MU who needs help with sports medicine or work related rehab or training. It opened in September 2014 and is the new home for the Marshall University Athletic Hall of Fame. MU legends Chad Pennington, a former NFL quarterback with the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins, and the current head coach of the Houston Rockets of the NBA, Mike D'Antoni headed up fund raising for the effort for Marshall Director of Athletics Mike Hamrick.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Marshall University Brand Guidelines" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-02-12. 
  2. ^ "M The Herd". CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 27, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Blair Selected with 36th pick by Diamondbacks". Herdzone.com. June 6, 2013. Retrieved January 30, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Marshall University Board of Governors votes unanimously to approve construction of student recreation center and two new residence halls", 2007, accessed February 02, 2011.

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