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Notebook: Football works through roster change, adds Baker to coaching staff; trio of women’s basketball players to stay with Herd

— By Bill Cornwell

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The end of the school year at Marshall University hasn’t slowed the pace of coaching and player movement throughout the football and men and women’s basketball programs.

Since football team wrapped up spring football April 20, numerous players have entered the NCAA Transfer Portal, including some who had transferred to Marshall only prior to the spring semester.

The latest Herd players jumping into the Portal include offensive tackles Barrett Maddox (played at Vanderbilt last fall) and Lloyd Willis and edge Jason Harris (transferred from Arizona in January).

Two former Marshall players who already found new homes include former linebacker Stephen Dix Jr., who has moved on to Arkansas, and cornerback Dyoni Hill, who is at Miami (Fla.).

Head Coach Charles Huff said at the end of spring practices that he and his staff would be looking for additions through the portal heading into summer workouts and they’ve found at least one new player in former Colorado Buffaloes defensive lineman JJ Hawkins.

Huff also announced the appointment of a new coach this week — co-defensive coordinator/cornerbacks coach Henry Baker.

Baker comes to Marshall from Maryland, where he coached the Terrapins’ cornerbacks for the past four seasons.

In 2023, the Terrapins were No. 3 nationally in interceptions — a category they also led the Big Ten in — while also ranking No. 12 in FBS in pass efficiency defense.

“We are excited to add the experience, knowledge and character of Henry Baker,” Huff said. “Henry has coached at all different levels and brings a wealth of knowledge and a track record of developing players. We are lucky to have an elite coach and person like Henry.”

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Three key members of the Sun Belt Conference champion Marshall women’s basketball team from last season have pledged to remain with the Herd.

Twins Aislyn and Alasia Hayes and Meredith Maier entered their names in the NCAA Transfer Portal following the departure of former MU coach Kim Caldwell to Tennessee after one season.

This week, the trio announced their return to Marshall to play for new Marshall head coach Juli Fulks.

Marshall’s Aislynn Hayes. Photo by Greg Carey

Aislynn Hayes averaged 14.8 points last season and nearly five rebounds.

Maier, who played at Grafton and Fairmont Senior in high school, averaged more than seven points, but her scoring and playing time increased late in the season largely through her ability to make three-pointers. Meier worked her way on to the Sun Belt Conference All Tournament team, with her play for three games in the event helping the Herd secure the program’s second NCAA Tournament berth.

Alasia Hayes averaged approximately two points and three rebounds last season.

Fulks also signed her first new recruit this week – 5-foot-11 guard Kassie Ingram from Kings High School in Kings Mill, Ohio, located just north of Cincinnati.

Ingram averaged nearly 21 points and seven rebounds last season on the way to being named an Ohio Division 1 Third Team All-State pick.

Fulks also hired three assistant coaches this week — former Lander University head coach Stephanie Gehlhausen, former Army assistant Sacha Santimano and ex-Louisville player and student assistant Mykasa Robinson.

Robinson grew up in Ashland, Kentucky, just 15 miles from the Marshall campus.

“One of the most important tasks a head coach has is putting together a group of coaches who are committed to the wholistic growth of our student-athletes,” Fulks said. “This group is a collection of professionals who value success both on and off the court, and we are excited to represent the future of Herd women’s basketball.”

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