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Marshall Thundering Herd football
AmericanFootball current event.svg.png Current season
100px
First season 1895
Athletic director Mike Hamrick
Head coach Doc Holliday
Home stadium Joan C. Edwards Stadium
Field James F. Edwards Field
Stadium capacity 38,019
Stadium surface Field Turf
Location Huntington, West Virginia
Conference C-USA
Division East
All-time record 537–513–47
Postseason bowl record 7–3
Claimed national titles 2 (NCAA Division I-AA/FCS)[1]
Conference titles 13
Consensus All-Americans 44
Colors Kelly Green and White            
Fight song Sons of Marshall
Mascot Marco the Buffalo
Marching band Marching Thunder
Outfitter Nike
Rivals West Virginia Mountaineers
East Carolina Pirates
Ohio Bobcats
UCF Knights
Website HerdZone.com

The Marshall Thundering Herd football team is an intercollegiate varsity sports program of Marshall University. The team represents the university as a member of the Conference USA Eastern division of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, playing at the Division I Bowl Subdivision level.


PLAYERS COACHES SCORES IMAGES SEASONS

Marshall plays at Joan C. Edwards Stadium, which seats 38,019 and is expandable to 55,000. Marshall has an impressive 118-19 overall record at Joan C. Edwards stadium for a winning percentage of .866. The University of Alabama ranks second with an .825 winning percentage at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The stadium opened in 1991 as Marshall University Stadium with a crowd of 33,116 for a 24-23 win over New Hampshire. On September 10, 2010, the Thundering Herd played the in-state rival West Virginia Mountaineers in Huntington in front of a record crowd of 41,382. Edwards Stadium is the only Division I stadium named solely for a woman, and Mrs. Edwards husband, James F. Edwards, has his name on the actual playing field. South Carolina's Williams-Brice Stadium is named in part for a woman.

HistoryEdit

Marshall is a football school with a rich tradition, winning conference titles in 1925, 1928, 1931, 1937, 1988, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2002, as well as I-AA National Championships in 1992 and 1996 and I-AA finalists in 1987, 1991, 1993 and 1995.

Marshall is also known for being victims of a tragic plane crash on November 14, 1970, where all 75 passengers, including 37 members of the Marshall football team were killed. In the wake of the crash, Marshall was given special permission by the NCAA to play incoming freshmen at the varsity level for the 1971 season. Marshall spent a full decade recovering from the crash, and was the nation's worst football program in the 1970s, and did not have another winning season until 1984. Including the year of the crash, Marshall was 23-83 from 1970–79, changing head coaches four times during that period.

Marshall had a winless streak of 0-26-1 from 1965–1969, and began Southern Conference play in 1977 with the exact record through 1981, 0-26-1. Marshall tied Western Carolina on a 59-yard field goal by freshman Barry Childers in 1980, still a NCAA freshman record, and finally broke through with a 17-10 win at Appalachian State in November 1981. Marshall's first winning season since 1964 came in 1984 under first-year head coach Stan Parrish, clinched with a 31-28 win over East Tennessee State in the Bucs' "Mini Dome".

90s DynastyEdit

The Thundering Herd began a resurgence in the late 1980s, winning its first conference title in 51 years in 1988. The Herd later went on to become the nation's winningest NCAA Division I program in the 1990s, winning 114 games against 25 losses. Marshall won Division I-AA national championships in 1992 over Youngstown State (31-28) and in 1996 over Montana (49-29), as well as being national runner-up in 1987, 1991, 1993 and 1995. Marshall had 6 regular season conference championships (3 MAC and 3 SOCON), 9 consecutive ten win season, 3 bowl appearances, and 1 top 10 finish all in the 1990s. Marshall set a I-AA record with five straight seasons making at least the semi-finals of the I-AA Playoffs from 1991-96. The 1996 team, with Moss, Wade, Hanson, Eric Kresser, Doug Chapman and many other players who played professional football, was 15-0, had no game closer than a two touchdown win and was ranked No. 1 all-season.

Bob Pruett EraEdit

Bob Pruett is best known as the former head football coach of the Marshall University Thundering Herd for nine seasons from 1996 to 2004. During his tenure at Marshall, the Thundering Herd compiled a record of 94-23 (.803 winning percentage), featured two undefeated seasons, won six conference championships, won 5 of 7 bowl games, and captured the I-AA National Championship in 1996. MU moved to Division I-A and the Mid-American Conference in 1997. Marshall won the MAC title five of its eight seasons (1997-98-99-2000-2002) and were runners up in 2001 in the conference before moving to Conference USA in 2005. Since moving to Division I-A, Marshall has finished in the Top 25 three times: 1999 (10th AP/10th coaches' poll), 2001 (21st coaches poll), 2002 (24th AP/19th coaches poll). Marshall fell to Ole Miss in the 1997 Motor City Bowl, 34-31, but won the next three games in Michigan's Pontiac Silverdome, beating Louisville 48-29 in 1998, beating No. 25 BYU 21-3 in 1999 to finish 13-0 and beating Cincinnati in 2000, 25-14. Marshall and East Carolina matched-up in one of college football's greatest bowl games in 2001 at the GMAC Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, a 64-61 double overtime win by the Herd over the Pirates of Conference USA. It is the highest scoring bowl game of all-time, and MU rallied from an 38-8 halftime hole behind Byron Leftwich's five touchdown passes. Marshall would fall to the Bearcats in the 2004 Plains Capital Fort Worth Bowl at TCU's Amon G. Carter Stadium, 32-14, in Bob Pruett's final game as head coach.

Mark Snyder EraEdit

File:Marshall Cincy.jpg

Former Thundering Herd defensive back and Ohio State defensive coordinator Mark Snyder resigned as head coach at the end of the 2009 regular season. He was 22-37 through his five seasons, failing to rebuild the program after NCAA sanctions limited scholarships. Marshall has been at the full 85 scholarships since 2008 for the first time in five seasons. In Snyder's final season, he led the Thundering Herd to the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. Assistant coach Rick Minter was named interim coach for the bowl game in which they defeated the Ohio Bobcats 21-17.

On Saturday November 28, 2009 the Herd suffered an embarrassing 52-21 loss to UTEP at the Sun Bowl Stadium in El Paso, Texas, thus finishing the season 6-6. On Sunday November 29, 2009 it was announced that Snyder had resigned as head football coach.

Doc Holliday EraEdit

On December 17, 2009, Marshall officially named Holliday as the next head coach for the Thundering Herd football team. Marshall athletic director Mike Hamrick said Holliday had signed a five-year contract and would be paid $600,000 per season.

ChampionshipsEdit

National ChampionshipsEdit

Year Coach Selector Record Opponent Result
1992 Jim Donnan NCAA Division I-AA National Champions 12-3 Youngstown State Marshall 31, Youngstown State 28
1996 Bob Pruett NCAA Division I-AA National Champions 15-0 Montana Marshall 49, Montana 29
Total national championships: 2

Conference ChampionshipsEdit

Year Coach Conference Conference Record Overall Record
1925 Charles Tallman West Virginia 3-0-2 4-1-4
1928 Charles Tallman West Virginia 5-0 8-1-1
1931 Tom Dandelet West Virginia 4-1 6-3
1937 Cam Henderson Buckeye 4-0-1 9-0-1
1988† George Chaump Southern 6-1 11-2
1994 Jim Donnan Southern 7-1 12-2
1996 Bob Pruett Southern 7-0 15-0
1997 Bob Pruett Mid-American 8-1 10-3
1998 Bob Pruett Mid-American 8-1 12-1
1999 Bob Pruett Mid-American 9-0 13-0
2000 Bob Pruett Mid-American 6-3 8-5
2002 Bob Pruett Mid-American 8-1 11-2
Conference Championships 12
† Denotes co-champions

Home venues Edit

Conference affiliations Edit

CoachesEdit

Years Coach Wins Losses Ties Pct.
1903-1904George Ford444.500
1905Alfred McCray620.750
1906Pearl Rardin410.900
1908W.G. Vinal060.000
1909-1916Boyd Chambers32274.539
1917Carl Shipley171.167
1919Archer Reilly8001.000
1920Herbert Cramer080.000
1921-1922Kemper Shelton1161.639
1923Harrison Briggs170.125
1924Russell Meredith440.500
1925-1928Charles Tallman2297.671
1929-1930John Maulbetsch882.500
1931-1934Tom Dandelet18162.528
1935-1949Cam Henderson68465.592
1950-1952Pete Penderson9193.339
1953-1958Herb Royer21312.407
1959-1967Charlie Snyder28583.331
1968Perry Moss091.050
1969-1970Rick Tolley6130.316
1971-1974Jack Lengyel9330.272
1975-1978Frank Ellwood10340.227
1979-1983Sonny Randle12421.227
1984-1985Stan Parrish1381.614
1986-1989George Chaump33161.670
1990-1995Jim Donnan64210.753
1996-2004Bob Pruett94230.803
2005-2009Mark Snyder22370.379
2009Rick Minter1001.000
2010-presentDoc Holliday12130.480

Herd football traditionsEdit

Marshall football is rich in traditions. Some Marshall football traditions include:

  • Marco the Buffalo - The school mascot, a water buffalo that always sports a Marshall jersey.
  • Marching Thunder - The Marshall University Marching Band known as the "Marching Thunder"
  • "Sons of Marshall" - Marshall's fight song.
  • "We Are Marshall" Chant - Marshall's cheer.
  • Thunder Clap - Marshall fans clap their hands over their heads in unison following some Marshall scores. One clap per point scored in the game for the Herd.
  • Marshall Cheerleaders - One cheerleading tradition occurs after every Marshall touchdown. A female cheerleader presses a male cheerleader over her head once for each point scored in the game by Marshall(as the fans do the Thunder Clap).
  • Marshall Maniacs - The student cheering section at most Marshall football games.
  • Thunder Walk - Marshall players and coaches make their way to the locker room through a small gathering of Thundering Herd fans prior to every home game.

Important games Edit

MAC Championship games Edit

Date Location W/L Opponent PF PA
December 5, 1997 Joan C. Edwards Stadium W Toledo 34 14
December 4, 1998 Joan C. Edwards Stadium W Toledo 23 17
December 3, 1999 Joan C. Edwards Stadium W Western Michigan 34 30
December 2, 2000 Joan C. Edwards Stadium W Western Michigan 19 14
November 30, 2001 Glass Bowl L Toledo 36 41
December 7, 2002 Joan C. Edwards Stadium W Toledo 49 45
Total 6 Championship games 5-1 195 161

Bowl games Edit

Marshall has been invited to play in 10 bowl games in its history, compiling a record of 7-3 in those games.

Date Bowl W/L Opponent PF PA
January 1, 1948 Tangerine Bowl L Catawba 0 7
December 26, 1997 Motor City Bowl L Ole Miss 31 34
December 23, 1998 Motor City Bowl W Louisville 48 29
December 27, 1999 Motor City Bowl W BYU 21 3
December 27, 2000 Motor City Bowl W Cincinnati 25 14
December 19, 2001 GMAC Bowl W ECU 64 61
December 18, 2002 GMAC Bowl W Louisville 38 15
December 23, 2004 Fort Worth Bowl L Cincinnati 14 32
December 26, 2009 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl W Ohio 21 17
December 20, 2011 Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl W Florida International 20 10
Total 10 bowl games 7-3 282 222

Rivalry games Edit

West VirginiaEdit

Marshall plays West Virginia in the annual Friends of Coal Bowl . Marshall and WVU first played in 1911, but it wasn't until 2006 before the two schools from the "Mountain State" faced off annually for the Governor's Cup. Marshall has never won against the Mountaineers in 11 meetings all-time.

In the 2009 game, the Herd lost the match-up with the Mountaineers 24-7, after leading at half time. The defense paved the way in the first half by injuring QB Jarrett Brown and keeping pure speed running back Noel Devine under 40 yards. However, the offense could not put together any consistency and all star running back Darius Marshall was held under 85 yards.

In 2010, WVU and Marshall faced off in Huntington. Facing a 21-6 fourth-quarter deficit, WVU outscored Marshall 15-0 on drives of 96 and 98 yards in the final 8:28 of the game. In overtime WVU took the lead with a field goal and won 24-21 when Marshall's kicker Tyler Warner missed a 39-yard field goal attempt.

OhioEdit

Marshall competes against Ohio in the Battle for the Bell, with a traveling bell trophy as the prize for the victor. Marshall last played the Bobcats in 2004, when The Herd was in the MAC. With Marshall's move to Conference USA in 2005 this rivalry game has been on hiatus. The regularly scheduled series will resume between the two schools in 2010. The rivalry was renewed in 2009 when the Herd and Bobcats faced off in the 2009 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, which the Herd won 21-17. Ohio leads the all-time series over Marshall, however the Thundering Herd have dominated recent history winning 11 of the last 13 meetings.

East CarolinaEdit

Marshall and East Carolina have a "friendly" rivalry with one another. They are emotionally bonded by the tragic plane crash on November 14, 1970. The Thundering Herd were coming back from Greenville, North Carolina after a 17-14 loss to the Pirates when their plane crashed near Ceredo, West Virginia. The teams have been bonded ever since.

One of Marshall and ECU's most memorable games was the 2001 GMAC Bowl as they combined for a bowl record, 125 points, as Marshall overcame a 30 point deficit to beat East Carolina 64-61 in double overtime. ECU leads the all-time record over Marshall 9-4. ECU is 5-2 against the Herd since Marshall joined Conference USA in 2005.

Series Results

Year Winning team Losing team Location
1967 East Carolina 29 Marshall 13 Huntington, WV
1968 East Carolina 49 Marshall 20 Greenville, NC
1969 Marshall 38 East Carolina 7 Huntington, WV
1970 East Carolina 17 Marshall 14 Greenville, NC
1978 East Carolina 45 Marshall 0 Greenville, NC
2001 Marshall 64 East Carolina 61 Mobile, AL
2005 East Carolina 34 Marshall 29 Huntington, WV

Year Winning team Losing team Location
2006 East Carolina 33 Marshall 20 Greenville, NC
2007 Marshall 26 East Carolina 7 Huntington, WV
2008 East Carolina 19 Marshall 16 Greenville, NC
2009 East Carolina 21 Marshall 17 Huntington, WV
2010 East Carolina 37 Marshall 10 Greenville, NC
2011 Marshall 34 East Carolina 27 Huntington, WV

Top 25 FinishesEdit

1-AA PollsEdit

Year NCAA Rank Sports Network Rank
1987#14
1988#7
1991#8
1992 #10
1993 #9
1994 #2
1995 #6
1996 #1

Sources:[2]

1-A/FBS PollsEdit

Year AP Rank Coaches Rank
1999#10#10
2001 #21
2002#24#19

Sources:[3]

Individual award winnersEdit

Michael Payton - 1992[4]
Randy Moss-1997[5]
Chad Pennington - 1999[6]
Chad Pennington - 1999[7]

All-Americans[8]Edit

  • Mike Barber (1987, 1988)
  • Mike Bartrum (1992)
  • Rogers Beckett (1999)
  • Troy Brown (1991, 1992)
  • B.J. Cohen (1995, 1996)
  • Travis Colquitt (1994)
  • Melvin Cunningham (1995, 1996)
  • Josh Davis (2001)
  • Chris Deaton (1993)
  • Sean Doctor (1987, 1988)
  • John “Fuzzy” Filliez (1975)
  • Aaron Ferguson (1996)
  • Johnathan Goddard (2004)
  • Chris Hanson (1996)
  • Jackie Hunt (1940, 1941)
  • Eric Ihnat (1990)
  • Roger Johnson (1993, 1994)
  • William King (1993)
  • Eric Kresser (1996)
  • Byron Leftwich (2001, 2002)
  • Billy Lyon (1994, 1995, 1996)
  • Sam Manos (1987)
  • Albert McClellan (2005, 2006)
  • Larry McCloud (1996)
  • Nick McKnight (1988)
  • David Merrick (1993)
  • Shannon Morrison (1994)
  • Randy Moss (1996, 1997)
  • Tim Openlander (1994, 1996)
  • William Pannell (1994, 1995)
  • Chris Parker (1993, 1994, 1995)
  • Jimmy Parker (2000)
  • Michael Payton (1991, 1992)
  • Chad Pennington (1998, 1999)
  • Phil Ratliff (1991, 1992)
  • Jim Roberts (1940)
  • Herb Royer (1937)
  • Steve Sciullo (2002)
  • Cody Slate (2006)
  • Billy Smith (2002)
  • Mark Snyder (1987)
  • Jermaine Swaff ord (1997)
  • Wayne Underwood (1937)
  • Darius Watts (2001, 2002)
  • Marvin Wetzel (1947)
  • Jamie Wilson (1996)
  • Chris Martin (1993,1994,1995,1996)

Hall of FameEdit

College football[9]Edit

  • Marshall has four players and one coach in the College Football Hall of Fame, starting with Mike Barber (1985–88) who was a record-setting receiver for Marshall who helped lead the Herd to its first I-AA title game in 1987 and its first Southern Conference title in 1988. He still holds the receiving yardage record at MU with over 4,200 yards and was a two-time All-American before he was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth round in 1989. Barber also played for the Arizona Cardinals and Cincinnati Bengals.
  • Harry "Cy" Young, who starred in football and baseball at Marshall College (University status in 1961) from 1910-1912. Young then left Marshall, and was a two-sport All-American at Washington & Lee. He is a member of the W&L HOF, MU HOF, WV Sportswriters HOF and Virginia Sports HOF besides the College FB HOF.
  • Jackie Hunt (1939–41) set a national scoring record in 1940 with 27 touchdowns in a ten-game season. He rushed for nearly 4,000 yards for Thundering Herd, a hometown star for the Huntington High Pony Express before joining Marshall. He was drafted by the Chicago Bears and was a two-time All-American, playing in the Blue-Gray Game following his career.
  • Troy Brown (1991–92) considered the single-most dangerous scoring threat in all of Division I-AA during his two seasons in Huntington, few can match the heralded career of Marshall's record-breaking wide receiver. A dual threat on the playing field, Brown's elusive nature as a receiver and kick returner led the Thundering Herd to back-to-back trips to the Division I- AA (now FCS) National Championship game, garnering the NCAA title in 1992. He caught 139 receptions for 2,746 yards and 24 touchdowns in his career en route to earning First Team All-America honors his senior year. Brown went on to play 14 years in the NFL with the New England Patriots, where he became the franchise's all-time leading receiver and won three Super Bowls with the team.[10]
  • Jim Donnan (1990–1995) the only coach representing Marshall in the College Football Hall of Fame. Donnan spent six seasons with Marshall and posted a 64-21 record. He led the Thundering Herd to four Division I-AA National Championship games, winning the 1992 national title. In 1994, the Thundering Herd won the Southern Conference Championship. His 15-4 playoff record ranks second best in NCAA FCS history. He was named Division I- AA Coach of the Year in 1992 and 1995.[11]

Pro football[12]Edit

  • Frank Gatski, C, 1985. Gatski is the only Marshall player to have his jersey number retired and is Marshall's only player in the Professional Football Hall of Fame. The university retired Gatski's No. 72 during a halftime ceremony at Joan C. Edwards Stadium on October 15, 2005. Gatski died a month later, at age 86, and during his career with the Cleveland Browns (1946–56) and the Detroit Lions (1957) he won eight championships in 11 title game appearances. Cleveland won the All-American Football Conference four straight years, going 14-0 in 1948, before joining the NFL. The Browns won NFL titles in 1950, 1954 and 1955 and were runners-up in 1951, 1952 and 1953. Gatski's Lions beat the Browns for his final title in 1957. The 31st Street Bridge, connecting Huntington to Proctorville, Ohio, is also named in Gatki's honor, joining U.S. Senator Robert Byrd (formerly the Sixth St. Bridge) and Congressman Nick Rahall (the former 17th St. Bridge) among three structures stretching across the Ohio River from West Virginia to Ohio.

Marshall University Hall of Fame Edit

Established in 1984, members from the football team are listed below.

  • 1970 Crash Victims 1990 Honored
  • Bob Adkins, '39 1984
  • Mike Barber, '88 1994
  • Mike Bartrum, '92 2007
  • Troy Brown, '92 2002
  • Boyd Chambers, '01 2003
  • Sam Clagg, '42 1985
  • Danny Clark, '49 1990
  • B.J. Cohen, '97 2005
  • Larry Coyer, '64 1987
  • Red Crist, '26 1985
  • Jim Cure, '64 1984
  • Andy D'Antoni, '41 1987
  • Sean Doctor, '88 2000
  • Everette Elkins, '39 1991
  • Aaron Ferguson, '96 2007
  • Chuck Fieldson, '49 1988
  • John "Fuzzy" Filliez, '76 1985
  • Millard Fleming, '61 1997
  • Carl Fodor, '85 1991
  • Frank Gatski, '42 1985
  • Don Gibson, '49 1985
  • Reggie Giles, '88 2002
  • Tommy Good, '65 1984
  • John Gregory, '90 1995
  • Bob Hartley, '49 1998
  • Len Hellyer, '56 1988
  • Cam Henderson, '33-55 1984
  • Chuck Henry, '74 2006
  • Frank Huffman, '38 2007
  • Jackie Hunt, '41 1984
  • Ramey Hunter, '32 1985
  • Mickey Jackson, '66 1985
  • Buck Jamison, '37 1985
  • Roger Jefferson, '63 2003
  • Roger Johnson, '94 2004
  • Mike Kaufman, '75 2007
  • Hunter Kincaid, '35 1988
  • Wilson Latham, '60 1990
  • Carl Lee, '82 1995
  • Byron Leftwich, '02 2007
  • Billy Lyon, '96 2007
  • Jack Mahone, '64 1994
  • Albie Maier, '54 1985
  • Ralph May, '62 1999
  • Ray McCoy, '32 1986
  • Claude Miller, '49 1997
  • Howie Miller, '65 1987
  • Jack Morlock, '39 1985
  • Reggie Oliver, '73 1984
  • Chris Parker, '95 2000
  • Michael Payton, '92 1999
  • Jim Pearcy, '41 1984
  • Chad Pennington, '99 1999
  • Tony Petersen, '88 1994
  • Bob Pruett, '65 1999
  • George Queen, '25 1990
  • Jim Roberts, '40 2002
  • Herb Royer, '37 1985
  • Ted Shoebridge, '70 1990
  • Charlie Slack, '56 1985
  • Bill Smith, '37 1985
  • Charlie Snyder, '47 1986
  • Tom Stark, '27 1984
  • John Stephens, '37 1989
  • Jim Swierezek, '54 1987
  • Ed Ulinski, '41 1986
  • Wayne Underwood, '37 1987
  • Earl Wellman, '35 1993
  • Marv Wetzel, '49 1986
  • Rucker Wickline, '61 1989
  • Norm Willey, '49 2003
  • William "Bill" Richard Winter, '64 1990
  • Brad Workman, '19 2004
  • Harry "Cy" Young, '12 2002
  • John Zontini, '33 1984

Current NFL playersEdit

Herd in the NFL
NFL Draft selections
Total selected: 35[13]
First picks in draft: 0
1st Round: 3

[14]

We Are MarshallEdit

File:MUcrash1970MemSpringHill.jpg

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. It was also depicted in the 2000 documentary Ashes to Glory. Marshall University was given special permission by the NCAA to play incoming freshmen at the varsity level for the 1971 season. This team was dubbed the Young Thundering Herd and led by the few upperclassmen who didn't make the trip. Several players from other Marshall sports programs rounded out the team's roster. There is a plaque at the College Football Hall of Fame in honor of those lost in the 1970 crash and on a facade on the stadium's west side is a bronze memorial dedicated to the plane-crash victims.

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit



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