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Expectatons High At Marshall

When Doc Holliday and his 2012 Thundering Herd squad step on to the field turf of Joan C. Edwards Stadium in August, expectations are going to be high. Thundering Herd fans got a taste of success again last year with a bowl victory and now this season fans are expecting The Herd to contend for a Conference USA Championship. That is exactly what Athletic Director Mike Hamrick wants to see, but for Hamrick, it is not just the players and coaches he is expecting more from this year.
“We’ve got high expectations for our fans,” Hamrick insists. “I expect our fans to support us and I have high expectations for them. That’s why I’m going forward with this Vision campaign.”
Artist’s rendering of the future indoor practice facility at Marshall.

The Vision Campaign is the ongoing effort to raise $30 million for construction of much needed athletic facilities, including a new soccer stadium, academic center, and indoor practice facility. To get back to that championship status, Hamrick insists the facility upgrades are a must. 

“It is impossible to be successful in college athletics in this day and age if you don’t have great facilities,” emphasizes Hamrick, and that is where his lofty expectations for fans lie. 
Marshall may have made the move to Conference USA in 2005, but Hamrick says the athletic program never really made the transition. C-USA is on an entirely different level that the Mid-American Conference when it comes to funding and facilities and Marshall, while playing in C-USA, remained a MAC school in many aspects. More than two years into his tenure, Hamrick is beginning to change that.
 “Fans want to see you win. Fans want to see you be successful. Fans want to see you win championships and we have won championships at Marshall,” understands Hamrick. “We haven’t lately but that’s what we want to get back to.”
However, Hamrick knows projects like these can’t get off the ground without the fans support, both at the games and financially. The public portion of the Vision Campaign is set to begin August when all fans and Thundering Herd supporters can give back to the program. If The Herd continues to make strides on the field and on the court and fan support continues to increase, Hamrick sees nothing but a bright future ahead.
“If it works both ways then you’re going to have a very successful program.” 
Follow Dave on Twitter @wvmetro_dwilson. E-mail comments to

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