In the days and weeks leading up to National Signing Day, Marshall Doc Holliday was not only searching for top recruits, but coaches as well.
Since Marshall’s final game of 2012, seven coaches have left the program, leaving the coaching staff depleted and many wondering just how many recruits Marshall could hold on to. The latest departure came just this week when it was announced wide receivers coach Gerad Parker left the program for a position at Purdue.
That question was answered when head coach Doc Holliday announced the signings of 29 newcomers for the Thundering Herd. Marshall did not lose a single verbally committed player, and actually received National Letters of Intent from two unexpected players.
“To be honest, I was a little nervous at one point, but this isn’t the only year we’ve had turnover,” Holliday said.
Throughout all the coaching turnover, Doc Holliday continued to work on building and maintaining relationships with recruits, their families and their coachers.
Holliday said relationships is what brings in recruits, and in the midst of the coaching departures, Holliday got to know every recruit that is now a member of the Thundering Herd.
“Its all about relationships. That’s why I think it’s so important that the head coach is involved with every kid, and not just two weeks prior to signing day. You better have a relationship with that kid from day one,” Holliday said.
Holliday not only sat down with each recruit, but also made sure each player got a chance to sit down with Marshall Athletic Director Mike Hamrick.
While Marshall did lose a number of coaches, many of the departed coaches played a key role in recruiting, along with some new members of the coaching staff.
“JaJuan (Seider), Gerad Parker, J.C. Price, Bill Legg and Todd Hartley all did a tremendous job with those kids,” Holliday said. “I can’t give those guys enough credit.”
One coach that remains on Holliday’s staff is JaJuan Seider, who serves as recruiting coordinator for the Herd and is one of the key reasons Marshall’s roster is littered with Florida natives.
“He has done a tremendous job down there. I mean I have contacts down there, but JaJuan is right in the middle of it all. Those guys trust him, and he’s the reason we’ve been so successful down there,” Holliday said.
In all, Marshall lost Chris Rippon, Tony Peterson, Fred Tate, Geep Wade, Joe Miday, Lytrel Pollard and most recently Gerad Parker from its coaching staff.
Not only did Holliday maintain the best recruiting class in Conference USA, but also had a quick turnaround with the hiring of new coaches. Holliday has already officially added three coaches to his staff, Chuck Heater, Alex Mirabal and Scott Sinclair.
Holliday still has some holes in his coaching staff, but if his recruiting class is any indication, the holes will quickly be filled.
– Jarrod Clay