HUNTINGTON, W.Va.— Each year a team from a non-power conference captures the attention of the nation by knocking of a heavy favorite in the NCAA Basketball Tournament and making a memorable run. Schools such as Wichita State, Butler, George Mason and others are consistently factors in the tournament and have even reached the Final Four.

So Marshall Athletics Director Mike Hamrick wonders why can’t Marshall join that list?

“What’s the difference? If they can get in the NCAA Tournament, why can’t Marshall University?” questioned Hamrick during Friday’s press conference announcing the resignation of basketball coach Tom Herrion.

The difference is those schools were able to build on success and advance their programs. Marshall’s was never able to build on Herrion’s first two seasons. The Herd appeared to be poised to make its first legitimate shot at the tournament in the 2012-14 season. The year prior, The Herd played in the Conference USA title game and received an bid to the postseason NIT. But that never materialized. Instead the program tumbled out of control over the last two years.

“Marshall fans love good, exciting basketball. And those who have been around here have seen, whether you watched the games in the Field House or you watched the games in the Henderson but until we went to the NIT two years ago it was a long, long drought,” said Hamrick.

In fact, Marshall’s appearance in the NIT in 2012 was the first time it played in the postseason tournament in 24 years. Hamrick is not going to settle for .500 seasons and reaching a postseason tournament once every quarter century. The next Marshall basketball coach will have time to rebuild the program but Hamrick wants the program to relevant on a national level.

“I’m not interested in going to the NIT. I’m interested in winning the conference and going to the NCAA,” emphasized Hamrick.

Marshall basketball crumbled under the expectations of taking the next step two years ago. Now, will Tom Herrion’s replacement be able to restore the program to respectability and take it to where Herd fans want to go? Hamrick believes Marshall can reach that level, and it has to.

“Basketball is critical to the success of our athletics program,” insisted Hamrick. “We have to be successful in basketball and I believe we can.”

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  • Otto

    Get ready Marshall nation, Mike Hamrick doesn't like mediocrity.

  • whatamoroon

    Marshall does have a small advantage over most major conference teams in that they are allowed to admit non-qualifiers I believe. Surely there are real good players out there without the test scores that are stupid enough to come to Huntington.

  • Pruntytown

    Marshall is no different than Wichita State or George Mason or Virginia Commonwealth. All of which have not just been in the NCAA but the FINAL FOUR. Hamrick is right that there is no reason why they can't. Doing something about it is the hard part and I don't know if AD Mike is the right man for that job.

    • Patrick

      No different than Wichita St or George Mason..don't be delusional

  • bamadad

    AD Mike Hamrick, please interview former Wake Forest Head Coach Dino Gaudio, he won over 26 games per year and presently, ESPN analyst; he has WV ties in that he used to be Wheeling Central HS coach and he knows how to recruit. He recruited Chris Paul, Farooq Aminu, Jeff Teague, currently all NBA players. If he can recruit at Wake Forest with their academic standard, he can recruit at Marshall: He's a great recruiter...

    • Mike

      It doesn't take much to recruit for MU. You just wait and take the kids that don't met academic standards at other schools. Pretty simple. One day MU will wake up and see that this style of recruiting does not work. Look at all the problems it has caused the past teams.

    • justathought

      How about bringing in Dino and maybe he'll bring Jeff Battle, former Marshall player and longtime Wake assistant with him? Justathought

  • Johnny

    Get WV man and winner, Jim Crutchfield out of West Liberty. Soon it will be too late, someone's gonna call soon.

    • J

      Not sure if he would ever leave the Wheeling area...lots of ties

  • Hi R Stander

    Though I've never been in a position to hire a coach, I would recommend that the primary prerequisite for employment NOT be that he was struck in the cheek by piece of ice at your nemesis' arena.

    • Reading Comprehension

      Didn't work out at Marshall but Herrion won at College of Charleston and was on the coaching staff at a stellar Pitt program. Funny how only WVUfans think that MU makes every decision based on them. Why do you guys care so much about us?

      • Charleston

        FYI: There are WVU Mountaineer fans that do take pride in both teams and want both programs to do well. Those fans do exist, I being one of them.

    • Mister Man

      Primary prerequisite? LOL!!!!

  • Reason

    If you are a Marshall fan, what is reasonable to expect? They don't really think Marshall could ever win a national championship do they? I don't think WVU will ever win in the only 2 sports anyone cares about, mens basketball and football, and I know without a doubt Marshall won't.

    • Reading Comprehension

      Regular NIT bids with occasional NCAA. CUSA championship ever so often. Yes I would dream of NCAA championship but you are right... just a dream.

      • Reason

        Right, the state is just too small with no players, and WVU and Marshall will never have the draw of all the big name schools, who have won championships, to convince kids to come hundreds of miles to play here, when they can stay closer to home and play for teams who have won multiple national titles.

  • Mister Man

    Set your goal high and go for it. Good on ya.

  • jj


  • Mitch

    "Why can't Marshall University?"

    What are you asking us for Mike? You're the A.D. Aren't you supposed to know the answer?

    • Patrick

      Do you really expect the AD of Marshall to be a good one?

  • Mitch

    The 2012-14 season? Well NO WONDER they got worn down!

  • Mike

    Reading Comprehension, You are correct MU
    will never be any good,you will never win the C-USA title. Like that would be something great. MU will have to settle for an coach form some school trash heap. No coach in his right mind would come to MU. MU is the elephant grave yard of college basketball.

    • pc

      Graveyard? Where coaches and their careers go to die? About the most ignorant statement to date- - -just ask former MU head coaches Donovan at Florida and Altman, at Oregon, and former assistant Marshall, now head man at Wichita St.

    • Interesting123

      You do realize that just two years ago MU was one game away from winning a C-USA title dont you?

      • Mike

        One win away is that same as 100 wins away. No title. Besides winning the C-USA title is like winning the AAA WV HS title.

        • Interesting123

          Thats like saying WVU was as close to a national championship in football as Auburn last year because neither won it. That makes no sense.

  • Shawn

    Spoken like somebody who needs replaced. He needs to understand that any postseason tourney helps with recruiting. He's blowing smoke saying he wouldn't go to the NIT. If they called his office and said the b-ball team was selected he would be jumping for joy. If he was smart, he would go get Bob Bolen. But....i dont think he's too smart.

    • Reading Comprehension?

      Where does he say he wouldn't go to the NIT? I guess what you would rather have him say is that we will never be any good and should never pursue winning our conference and thereby going to the NCAA. Hamrick haters make about as much sense as Huggins haters.

      • FNP

        “I’m not interested in going to the NIT. "

        • huggiebear

          FNP, Nobody cares what you're interested in.

          • Shawn

            It's a statement made by the AD jackleg!

        • huggiebear

          Nobody cares what you're interested in.

        • Reading Comprehension

          Again, that statement doesn't say wouldn't go. It simply is saying he wants to be in the big tournament. You guys would be bustin on him if he said all I want to do is go to the NIT.

        • Interesting123

          Could it be that maybe he sets his goals higher than the second best tournament?

          • FNP

            Marshall needs to set their goals higher and pick up a new AD. He can redeem himself by going after Bob Bolen.