D’Antoni and Pennington to serve As Co-Chairs For Capital Campaign

Marshall University Director of Athletics Mike Hamrick has announced that former Thundering Herd athletes Mike D’Antoni and Chad Pennington will serve as co-chairs for a Capital Campaign to raise private money for Marshall’s new proposed athletic facilities.

The campaign, which is the first major capital campaign for Marshall Athletics, will benefit the athletics facilities plan announced in April.  Included in those plans are a state-of-the-art indoor practice facility for all sports and a soccer complex. 

Marshall’s indoor practice facility will benefit all 16 of the Thundering Herd’s athletic programs.  Aside from the indoor field, a 6-8 lane track, Hall of Fame, academic support center and sports medicine translational center will be housed in the facility.  The total cost for the facilities will be $30 million. 

“I am so pleased that Chad and Mike, two of the greatest to ever wear a Marshall jersey, will be involved and lead this campaign,” Hamrick said.  “They both love and greatly care for this university and its athletic program.”

“We are currently in the silent phase of this campaign and it is going very well,” Hamrick continued.  “We anticipate taking this to the Herd Nation in August.”

Former Marshall basketball player Mike D’Antoni and former Herd quarterback Chad Pennington will act as co-chairs for the campaign.

D’Antoni, a native of Mullens W.Va., played for the Herd from 1970-73.  He continues to hold Marshall’s all-time single season record for assists with 241 and is second in program history with 659 for his career.

“When Mike Hamrick asked me to be involved with the Capital Campaign, I was very excited,” D’Antoni said.  “Marshall will always be a special place to me and my family and I want to be a part of taking our athletic program to the next level.  Building these facilities will benefit all of our athletes, academically and athletically.  It is an opportunity we cannot afford to miss.”

Following his professional playing career, which included stints in the NBA with the Kansas City-Omaha Kings and the San Antonio Spurs, D’Antoni began coaching in 1990.  The 2004-05 NBA Coach of the Year is currently the head coach of the New York Knicks.  Prior to that, he spent time as the head coach of the Denver Nuggets and the Phoenix Suns, whom he led to the Western Conference Finals on two occasions.

Former quarterback and first round draft pick Chad Pennington will join D’Antoni in promoting the campaign.  He played for the Herd from 1995-99, helping the team to a perfect 13-0 mark in 1999, which resulted in a top ten final ranking for the team.

“The Capital Campaign is the most ambitious campaign that Marshall University athletics has ever undertaken,” Pennington commented.  “It will take the support of everyone to make this a reality.  Some of the greatest years of my life were when I was a student-athlete at Marshall University.”

“I am proud to join forces with Mike D’Antoni as together we reach out to everyone in the Herd Nation to help us construct the facilities that are required today to play for championships tomorrow.”

Pennington, a two-time NFL Comeback Player of the Year, was drafted by the New York Jets in 2000.  He spent eight seasons with the Jets, leading them to three playoff appearances before joining the Miami Dolphins in 2008.  That season saw him lead one of the greatest turnarounds in NFL history.  After going 1-15 in 2007, Pennington led the Dolphins to an 11-5 record and an AFC East crown.  He recently announced that he will spend the 2011 NFL season as an analyst for Fox.


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