GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — Several sons (and daughters) of Marshall University gathered in green and white Monday evening to support The Herd, meet the football coaching staff and hear about the hopes for next season.
The Mason-Gallia-Meigs Big Green Chapter Signing Party was held at Courtside Grill with MGM President Jacob Hill of Point Pleasant, W.Va. giving the opening remarks and introducing the speakers. Hill, an MU alumnus, introduced MU Athletic Director Mike Hamrick to the audience.
“It seems every time we come here the crowd is great, the enthusiasm is great and I don’t know how much you people know but we really, really appreciate you,” Hamrick said. “You know, it was not a great football season, we’re not trying to hide that but you could do one of two things, you know, you could not show up and you could complain and moan and gripe, or you could do what Jacob (Hill) does…show up and complain and moan and gripe,” Hamrick joked.
“So, I’m glad at least you’re here complaining, moaning and griping to me about the football season,” Hamrick added. “We got a little spoiled but I’ve been around this coaching staff, I’ve watched them work, they work hard, the kids are working hard, these guys are out on the road all the time, working hard to recruit and bring quality players into our university. One thing I always preach when I get out here is, we’re family, we’re all family. You know, nothing was better than the movie ‘We are…Marshall.’ Because we are, all of us, Marshall. It’s easy to get on the bandwagon and be supportive when things go very good, it’s hard when things don’t go good and that’s why it’s so refreshing, so rewarding, to come up here and see so many I went to school with…it’s a tradition to come up here.”
Hamrick then introduced MU head football coach Doc Holliday by saying: “I promise you, and he’s going to promise you, we’re going to get this ship turned in the right direction.”
Holliday began his remarks much like Hamrick by thanking the crowd and remarking on the “sensational turnout.” However, pleasantries quickly turned to the elephant in the room – last year’s season.
“Mike talked about expectations and standards,” Holliday said. “There’s no question we did not live up to that this year. As your head football coach, I understand that. You all do not need to lower your expectations or your standards, that’s not what we do here at Marshall. We expect to win championships.”
Holliday said he and his staff would continue to work hard to get the program back to its winning ways and he was looking forward to his new recruiting class. Saying 15 players in that class were already on campus. A recruit which was red-shirted last year with the Herd, was Point Pleasant’s Cody Mitchell, who Holliday described as a “tremendous player” who had “toughness and competitiveness.”
“He goes to work everyday and competes,” Holliday said.
After Holliday spoke, his assistant coaches took the floor, giving a brief biography of the new recruiting class. Taking the microphone were Todd Goebbel, receivers coach, Pepe Pearson, running back coach, Dave Dunn, tightend coach, Alex Mirabel, offensive line coach, Bill Legg, quarterback coach, Adam Fuller, linebackers coach, Sean Cronin, defensive line coach, Chuck Heater, defensive backs coach.
Event sponsor was Peoples Bank. Tables were sponsored by: AB Contracting, AEP River Division, Dennis Brumfield, City Ice and Fuel, City National Bank, The Coach’s Corner/Steve Pyles, Courtside, Deal Funeral Home/Jim Wilson, Farmers Bank, Mark Groves and Lois Bosley, Jacob Hill, Holzer Health System, Holzer OB/GYN-Peds, John Sang Ford, Morgan Stanley/Mark Mitchell, Ohio Valley Bank, Mason County Magistrate Cheryl Ross, Shaynaco, Thomas Do-It Center, Don Waldie.
Reach Beth Sergent at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.