COLUMN

HUNTINGTON, W.Va.—With success comes new opportunities.  That’s just how the world of college football works.  When Marshall’s offense exploded during the 2012 season, Tony Petersen was plucked away by Louisiana Tech to hopefully bring the same offensive success to Ruston.

Current offensive coordinator Bill Legg is candidate for the head coach position at Eastern Illinois, no doubt thanks to The Herd’s 42 points per game and offensive prowess the last two seasons.

Could the man who leads the entire program now be a target for a new gig?  Doc Holliday’s name been tossed out there by some as a possible successor to Charlie Strong who has moved to head up the University of Texas.  Why wouldn’t he be at least be considered as Louisville Athletics Director Tom Jurich compiles his list of potential candidates?

Holliday is 27-24 in four seasons, with a Conference USA Championship appearance and two bowl wins to his credit.  In the last two seasons, Marshall has averaged 41.6 points per game, the highest over any two-year span in school history.  It has averaged 516 yards of total offense per game.  It’s the most prolific two-year stretch on offense ever in both yardage and points for The Herd.   Marshall has gone from barely competing in C-USA to playing for the league title, due to the players and coaches that Holliday has brought in.

Holliday is a proven recruiter, with a strong pipeline in the state of Florida, and has been able to draw high level talent to Marshall (Rakeem Cato, Tommy Shuler and others), who have been key reasons why Marshall’s program is on the upswing.  He is also a great evaluator when it comes to coaches.  Holliday hired seven new assistants coming into the 2013 seasons, none more important than defensive coordinator Chuck Heater, who led the defense’s turnaround.

When he was hired, Holliday had been a career assistant and there was a stigma that there must be a reason he’d never been given the chance to be a head coach.  The results over the last four years should shed that stigma.

Louisville is a very attractive job for any coach.  It’s moving into the ACC, it has beautiful facilities and nearly unlimited pockets with big time donors such as John Schantter (Papa John’s) ready to write checks win necessary. Not to mention, Charlie Strong’s base salary was $3.7 million at Louisville.  Holliday’s base salary at Marshall is $600,000.

Director of Athletics at Louisville Tom Jurich probably already has his short list of candidates prepared and is putting out feelers to gage their interest.  If Louisville does reach out to Holliday, no one would blame him if he talks with Louisville.  Holliday’s buyout is only $1.8 million with his contract running through the 2016 season.  Whether or not he is offered the job is a totally different story.

If Marshall continues to its success next season interests from bigger schools with deeper pockets will eventually start to roll in for Holliday.

Marshall Athletics Director Mike Hamrick has said he wants to rework Holliday’s contract and increase his salary.  Those negotiations may take on more urgency if Holliday’s name comes up for the Cardinals’ job.

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Comments

  • Jdawg

    He don't wanna coach at the high school level anymore so he will leave MArshall haha

    • William

      Seriously Dave , this article shows the nuttiness of Marshall fans. He is 27-24 and you think he is a candidate for a real job? You are delusional. Universities all over the country are clamoring for a barely .500 coach in an irrelevant conference.

  • shepherd

    Doc is short lived for Huntington...I wish he would stay there I just think a bigger program will want him...I wish a bigger program would want Holgorson! Marshall wont be able to keep their coach and WVU wont be able to get rid of theirs...lol

    • wvfreys

      Are you serious - 27-24 in high school ball does not make you a great coach. Sorry, but I agree there was a reason he was a lifer at assistant. All Mountaineers fans wish he would stay - ha!

    • mauldawg

      The only way Doc leaves MU is when he gets fired. Or he drops down a level. Big time schools don't want a coach that cant win the C-USA Title.

  • Mountaineer fanatic

    I thought Marshall was his dream job??? Guess there really is no such thing these days.

  • justin

    louisville is gonna take bobby petrino

    • Gilbert Gnarley

      Petrino will be okay as long as someone takes away the keys to the athletic department's motorcycle.

    • Larry

      Looks like you're right.

  • hailey

    Is it April 1st already?.... Wilson a lot of the MU fans were ready to run Doc outta town after the OU and MTSU-AVDL loss. He did nice work in saving his job at MU but this story reeks of Bwhawwwww!

  • Bill

    Win one bowl game and he is ready to coach for Bama. Look out!

  • WVU79

    Really like Doc but Ill bet they will go after a more seasoned head coach, or at least an highly regarded OC from a BCS school. Nevewr know though. The big question is does Doc go after the job not if Louisville comes after Doc.

    • Jason

      UL loves to recruit in florida, and doc is dug in with the Florida high schools. I hope he stays at Marshall for awhile though.

      • mauldawg

        He will be at MU for as long as you want him to be. UL in no way would ever look at Doc as a HC. Doc has found his home at a level he can handle. Why was he never a HC before MU came calling? He would be in over his head at a Big time school.

  • Larry

    If he has the chance, he should definitely take it, Louisville is a stepping stone job, but it's a bigger stone than Marshall.

    • Jason

      Ohio State, Florida, Miami, Florida State, Alabama, Texas, Oregon, Auburn, Texas A&M, Norte Dame, Georgia. Any other program can be considered a stepping stone from money and resources standpoint. However, it doesn't always come down to money (usually, but not always), sometimes a coach may like the spot they are in. More money and higher profile jobs come with more pressure and stress. Look at Donnon, he won 9 games or so a year at Georgia and lost his job.

  • Greg

    Just like me, Doc and Bill bleed Old Gold and Blue. That being said, I wish them the best no matter where that may be.

    • Greg

      Obviously he bleeds yellow and blue. Who wouldn't after 4 big wins this season!? WVU is the new Iowa State!!

      • Greg

        Perhaps WVU is the new Florida since they were 4-8 this year too? But then again we've won a bunch more games than they have though. And Doc was on the list for their HC job at one time too.

  • Independent View

    @THE HUNTER: what's in the water where you live thinking Doc could be successful at WVU or any major D-1 program?
    If Doc couldn't beat WVU in his many tries, what would make you believe that he could lead Louisville or WVU?
    He had a successful season in a very weak conference and ADs will recognize that fact. Period, end of story.
    Stay at Marshall Doc, take the million/year salary that will be offered and you can still jog to work. Stay away from the Saturday Night Live cliche' "not ready for prime time."

  • Big City

    Why don't you just call Doc and sell him on it?

  • Troll

    Could the fact that Houston and UCF also have something to do with Marshall playing in the conference championship? Hang in there Doc more teams leaving you may be able to win it when all the competition leaves!

    • Brian

      About like wvu did when Miami and Virginia Tech left the Big Least

      • Troll

        No, they were actually champions of the conference once and co-champs a few times, oh, one more thing, 3 BCS bowl game wins and the icing on the cake well let's see, WVU and Marshall series well I think it's, correction I know it's WVU 12 wins and Marshall 0 wins. Once again enough of the wanna be, there's just no comparison between the two schools.

        • Brian

          Correction you were never champs when those schools were there. Maybe in your mind. And you never won any bowl games when those schools were there. Check your history loser

          • Troll

            Actually we were once, but I was referring to the fact that WVU at least win the conference when the top teams left. Learn how to follow and comprehend what's written.

          • Bondo

            1993

          • Bondo

            1993 beat Miami in Motown for the first championship. I was there.

        • EMS

          Maryland???? Is that a true comparision for you? What was the score of WVU vs Maryland?

          • Troll

            Tell you what, you use opinions and made up what ifs and I'll use facts, WVU vs Marshall all time series, WVU 12 wins and Marshall 0 wins this is not an opinion, not a fabricated fantasy but 100% fact. Now what do you have?

        • Jason

          All the Pennington and Leftwich years they played one time. Most of those games were played during WVUs golden years and Marshall's rebuilding years. Marshall finally turns the corner with rebuilding and WVU hits rock bottom and did the game happen this year, nope. So those 12 wins are becoming more of a distant memory now, just like WVUs golden years. Looks like Marshall just ended the season 27th, regardless of what the average fan thinks of their schedule, they are getting some credibility nationally in the rankings. Let's see how next year plays out. A few years ago I would have enjoyed watching the WVU fans implode in these boards, but I am kind of over it now. Focus is on the Herd.

      • GoEers

        Big Least? Is that the same Big Least that plucked UCF, Houston, SMU, and Memphis away from CUSA?

        Why didn't the Big Least (As you call it) take Marshall. I mean look how great they are now even though they lost to Ohio from the MAC and some school named Middle Tennessee State University.

        • Jason

          And UCF just beat the Big 12 champion in a bowl game. I guess that means the AAC is better than the Big 12.

          • GoEers

            they sure did and UCF was better than Baylor that day...are you going to answer my question of why the AAC (Big Least as you called it) didn't invite Marshall?

          • Troll

            And Oklahoma beat Alabama, and blah, blah, blah just answer the question did you get an invite? Did you get an invite in the next group to leave with East Carolina? I've said this before hang in there guys when all the good teams leave a conference championship could come your way.

  • shawn

    If Doc gets the call then he should go. Marshall isnt jumping to any other conference any time soon.

  • The Hunter.

    It would suck if they did. WVU is going to need a head coach soon. DH is a walking CF. WVU should just pay out his contract and get Holliday.

    • shawn

      And WVU doesnt want Doc.

      • Marcus

        He is a mountaineer why wouldnt you want him?

        • GoEers

          becuase he only won 2 games this year against teams with losing records...the best win by any coach in this state was when WVU beat 11th ranked Oklahoma St. In the 4 years at Marshall none of his teams have beat a team ranked in the top 25. This is a moot point anyway as he is not a candidate for Louisville.

      • TheFungoKnows

        Remember that Shawn was one of those know-it-alls that said WVU and Idiot Holgorsen was going to go 9-3 in 2013. Shawn's lack of any football intelligence is astounding!!!!

        • shawn

          We had every chance to go 9-3 this year. I have alot more football intelligence than you can dream of there youngin'. Instead of starting my season out bashing and going against my team, I choose to look at the what can be. They had their chances to put up a good record but couldn't put it all together.

    • Jim

      DH needs time to build this team up to complete with B12 teams. Because of location, WVU isn't going to get Texas/Oklahoma type numbers in recruits any time soon, but they're already getting better. WVU has always suceeded with 3-stars and below type recuits in the past but it's up to coaching to get them up to speed. DH accepts full responsibility for every team loss. Doesn't dodge that bullet. This spotty performance on every side of the ball needs fixed NOW! I'd put that on coaching ability. I hope DH can get us back on track otherwise Rich Rod is probably available in 2015.

  • BACKUP

    I wouldn't jump the gun yet! This article states 'if Lousville reaches out to Doc'. Well if Lousville stays on course and keeps thriving to get better I personally don't think Doc will make their list of new head coaches. Yes Doc has done a good job at Marshall but lets consider a few things.
    1. This season (his third) has been his most successful. I doubt he could do the same at Lousville in three yrs. due to the schedule and talent they will play.
    2. Much of Doc's success has been that the C-USA (especially the east division w/MU) is very weak! MU ran through their conference opponents yet couldn't win the championship.
    3. Much of Doc's success should be given to his Offensive and Defensive Coordinators. If he loses these guys then MU will be back to square one! The offense is pretty potent due to Billl Legg. The defense got better but was not challenged by most of MU's opponents.
    Last...Doc is a great recruiter! He has much talent that he has brought to MU. He could take the talent to Lousville but it would not be enough to win the ACC. The talent is not enough to win the C-USA. Assistant coaches and lack of a strong schedule have saved Doc. I doubt he is ready to take on coaching at this level. MU should crown him and pay him since he is a good fit where he is!