HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Marshall may need to add a few more seats to the end of the bench next season with new head coach Dan D’Antoni taking the reins of the program.

“You have to understand when one D’Antoni fills the seat, we’ll all fill the seat,” he said. “Our family has always been that way.”

Appearing on MetroNews “Talkline” Friday morning. D’Antoni said there was no inner-family resentment after Marshall athletics director Mike Hamrick spent a month targeting his younger brother and Lakers’ coach Mike D’Antoni for the job.

“That’s not our family and we never have been (that way),” said Dan D’Antoni. “We all celebrate each other and when one of us gets a job, so do all the others.”

During meetings in Los Angeles, Hamrick met several times with both brothers and was able to gauge each individual’s interest and availability in coming back to Marshall.

“You have to understand when Mike (Hamrick) was talking to Mike (D’Antoni), I was sitting right there with him,” explained Dan D’Antoni. “Almost every time they talked, I was right there.”

And when it became clear the Lakers were not going to fire Mike D’Antoni after the season, his older brother Dan was presented with the chance of a lifetime.

“I’ve always wanted to be back here and this has been a dream of mine come true,” Dan said. “This was my dream job. I’m here and I’m ready and willing and ready to work to make this program succeed.”

Success has eluded Marshall for the better part of the last quarter century. The Herd’s last appearance in the NCAA tournament was in 1987, 10 years before most of the current recruiting class was born. The program bottomed out over the last two seasons, losing 41 games following a berth in the NIT in the 2011-12 season.

D’Antoni has not been on the sidelines as a college coach since his days as an assistant at Marshall in 1971. But he said he’s confident he can relate to today’s college basketball players and bring out their best.

“It comes down to selling yourself and selling the program and the direction it’s going. I’ve developed a lot of players in the NBA and have a lot of resources they can check,” D’Antoni said. “They can call David Lee, Leandro Barbosa, or Boris Diaw or Raja Bell and they can tell them how I helped them in their careers.”

Asked about the potential for re-recruiting Kareem Canty, the point guard who plans to transfer but has yet to sign with another program, D’Antoni waxed vague.

“We’re going to have a good team and we’re going to have players that want to be here and want to play very hard for the school.”

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Comments

  • Dwpap

    I am sorry to see the bitter and disgusting reaction from WVU fans on the hiring of Dan D'Antoni as the new "Thundering Herd" basketball coach. I have been a WVU fan all my life (grew up down the road in Buckhannon) but I never realized how much resentment the WVU fans harbor for Marshall. I am embarrassed by this. Marshall has made amazing strides in fielding competitive athletic teams almost totally without the help of the WV legislature which doles out money to WVU for virtually anything wanted or needed. Meanwhile Marshall has to beg for every penny. There have been several years when MU has fielded football teams superior to our Mountaineers including last year.(look at results of Maryland vs. MU and Maryland vs. WVU) Come on Mountaineers, Get off your high horse and root for your sister University. Go Herd!

  • GO WVU

    I know you aren't talking about our football team. Let's talk about your schedule! Talk about a laughter!! Bluefield High has a tougher one than you guys!! LOL Prop U will be rocking at The Groan this year!! All 1,000 fans!!

    Date Opponent Result
    Aug. 30 at Miami-OH TBA
    Sep. 6 Rhode Island TBA
    Sep. 13 Ohio TBA
    Sep. 20 at Akron TBA
    Oct. 4 at Old Dominion TBA
    Oct. 11 Middle Tenn. TBA
    Oct. 18 at Florida Int'l TBA
    Oct. 25 Florida Atlantic TBA
    Nov. 8 at Southern Miss. TBA
    Nov. 15 Rice TBA
    Nov. 22 at UAB TBA
    Nov. 28 Western Kentucky TBA
    Oh yeah, no matter how bad we ever are, we can always say 12-0. = ) Can you??

    • Rob

      No we cant say 12-0, however its hard to get a win versus a program that never wants to play a series back and forth home and away. You can talk 12-0 all you want but until you play us every two years in Huntington, you cant really talk about wins and losses. What program in the country plays an opponent 5 home 2 away. If WVU is the national power house you claim it to be, then playing in Huntington should be an easy task, shouldn't it ? The fact your program always finds reasons not to play a home and away series is evidence that you all are very concerned over eventually losing. It's not a question of if, but when. That's how college football is. If your in somebody's back yard long enough, you will lose. By the way, I always hear 12-0 regarding the series, I am sure if Marshall had one just one of those games back when the Titanic was sinking, you would only include the record from 97 to present.

      • Rob

        Type-o correction from last comment, last sentence, "won".

    • Steve

      Is that really their football schedule?

    • Mike

      Of all FBS schools,to include mid- majors. The 2014 MU football OOC schedule was ranked #1 as in weakest of all schools. Now tell us how great MU is.
      As for Marshall being a dream job,what would you expect him to say. "Well let me tell you" this is slightly better them being unemployed",but not by much.

      • Rob

        That's simply not true, your source(s) are incorrect concerning the strength of schedule. I 'll tell you how great MU is, Marshall will play in a bowl while WVU watches Capital One bowl week from home.

  • GO HERD

    Mister G & GO WVU are cousins, they like to share long walks in the mountains, conversations about how bad their football team was last year, and they have deep undying love for each other. It's not very often you see a love like this, thank you both for sharing your thoughts with us. I hope the two of you have enjoy your 4 win football team & your drunk basketball coach. All the best, HerdNation.

    • Mike

      First of all Dan is blowing smoke. You don't coach in Pro Basketball for all these years and say coaching MU is your "dream" job. What a bunch of BS.
      Then to GO HERD,you sound like you have been following Mister and GO WVU around to much. You must be upset that they are such friends. Hang in there one day you might have a friend. Being a MU fan is hard,being with out friends is harder.

  • GO WVU

    Marshall a dream job??? BAHAHAHAHA!! This guy should take over late night.

  • Mister G!

    Who knew that instead of getting Matthew McConaughey to star in "We Are Marshall," the Herd faithful would have gleefully settled for his older brother Rooster?

  • Mason County Contrarian

    Welcome home, Dan.

  • Mister Man

    Good luck, coach.

  • `

    I think Dan will do well and make Marshall proud.

    • .

      I don't know about that, it'll be tough to get any good players to come to Huntington.

  • Charlie

    Good luck coach

  • Tommy Damron

    Good Hire.Cant wait..

  • Wildcat

    They waited because they wanted Mike. Lakers didn't fire Mike. MU still wants Mike and he has only one more year with the Lakers. So, you hire his brother Dan and he keeps the seat warm for 1 year until Mike is able to come back home.

  • Derek

    Dan said this was a dream job of his...

    I can't wait to see him on the sidelines.

  • Brett

    Great news. Very excited to get him as a coach. Even more exciting that he appears to want the job. At his age, he probably isn't trying to use it to find another job.

  • bill

    Should have hired him a month ago, wouldn't be so far behind in recruiting now. Needs to keep Cline on board, he would be loyal and knows the guys that are presently on the team. Hire couple guys from Hp who could go to work immediately on recruiting. Every one seems to think Fulford can recruit on the college level(and Fulford is a long time friend of the family) and Neale has a couple of NCAA rings on his resume. An all WV staff, wouldn't that be unique. Hell we could become West Virginia's team.

    • wvufan25428

      Marshall will never be West Virginia's team ever.
      Really outside Huntington no one cares

    • Mike

      There isn't much recruiting to be done. Marshall only has 1 spot open.

    • James

      Bill most of the signings take place in the early signing period in November not the spring. As of now I think MU is one scholarship over the limit anyway depending on who remains with the team. I'm not certain one month would've had much impact on next season.
      Some have mentioned Dan has pretty strong ties to some AAU coaches from his days in SC. He'll get his staff hired then hit the road scouting.

  • bamausfdad

    A Great Hire...Good Luck Coach