The Marshall Thundering Herd today informed head football coach Doc Holliday he would not have his contract renewed.
#WeAreMarshall pic.twitter.com/GzyzpYFpz5— John Doc Holliday (@DOCMUFB) January 4, 2021
To repeat: A coach in Huntington, West Virginia, who had multiple offers over his 11-year run to leave but chose to stay in a tiny town and Conference USA got canned. One that just won his division in the middle of COVID-19. What in the heck is going on up there?
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
It’s never good when a committee gets involved, and making this decision despite the opposition of athletic director Mike Hamrick isn’t a good sign. Hamrick is well-respected in the industry, despite his opposition to any involvement in gambling in college athletics.
Full disclosure: I had lunch with Hamrick and his wife around the Gasparilla Bowl a few years ago, and they could not have been nicer.
Holliday was 89-54 in 11 years, won the 2014 C-USA championship, and lost the 2020 conference title game 22-13 to the UAB Blazers. The Thundering Herd were 7-3 this season, ranked as high as No. 15 in the AP poll. They were 5-5 against the spread this season, but lost to the number four out of the last five games.
But Marshall just fired this guy? Seriously?? This is shades of ECU letting Ruffin McNeil go, where a coach that was outperforming the infrastructure, support, and geography of his school is getting fired for not winning enough.
But we’ll see how it works out, and if Marshall has a up-and-coming candidate in the pipeline that will win over the fan base in a hurry.