HUNTINGTON – Less than two weeks after being named Conference USA’s 2020 Coach of the Year, Marshall has parted ways with Head Football Coach Doc Holliday. Marshall University announced on Monday Holliday’s contract would not be extended.
“I want to thank Doc Holliday for the leadership he has provided this program over the past 11 seasons,” said Marshall Director of Athletics Mike Hamrick in a release.
“In addition to his success on the field, he ran a clean program, graduated his student-athletes and prepared young men for life after football.”
The decision to move on from Holliday may have been out of Hamrick’s hands. Yahoo! Sports’ Pete Thamel reported on Twitter that Governor Jim Justice and Marshall’s Board of Governors orchestrated the change.
Sources: The decision to remove Doc Holliday at Marshall came from above the athletic director’s head, as it was orchestrated by the governor and board. Holliday made four-straight bowl games and eight in 10 years. https://t.co/prD4uP1tHH
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) January 4, 2021
Metronews’ Hoppy Kercheval reported in April, 2017, the governor had been involved in efforts to supplant Holliday with his longtime friend and former Herd Coach Bob Pruett.
Marshall University President Jerome Gilbert denied there was any outside influence in the decision to let Holliday walk away.
“Just to be clear, there was no outside influences in this decision,” Gilbert said in a release. “I consulted with the athletic director and made this decision.”
In 11 seasons with the Herd, Holliday posted a record of 85-54, won the Conference USA Championship in 2014 and played in the title game in 2013 and 2020. Marshall played in eight bowl games under Holliday and won six. His teams sported 43 All-C-USA first team selections, 28 second-teamers, 44 honorable mention picks and 26 All-Freshman team selections. He had 13 players selected for C-USA’s top individual player-of-the-year awards.
The search for a replacement for Holliday is already underway. Gilbert said search committee was immediately being formed to evaluate candidates for the job.
“We have already started reaching out to potential committee representatives and look forward to moving forward very quickly,” he said. “I have great confidence that this process and the input of the entire committee will help us hire the best coach for our football program.