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Marshall basketball: Group effort helps team during coaching search

HUNTINGTON — Marshall University is employing a team concept to oversee the men’s basketball program in the absence of a head coach.

Several people are playing a part in the space between former coach Tom Herrion’s resignation and the hiring of a new coach, said Jeff O’Malley, Marshall’s associate athletic director, chief of staff and the Thundering Herd administrator who manages the basketball program.

“In terms of responsibility, we’ve kind of divvied it up,” O’Malley said. “It’s a collective effort, so to speak, keeping track of everybody.”

Marshall athletic director Mike Hamrick announced Herrion’s resignation on March 14. The search continues for a new head coach, and Hamrick has not commented publicly on the search since that day’s press conference. Since Herrion’s departure, O’Malley said assistant Mark Cline is still around and director of operations John Janovsky is handling the day-to-day matters. The Marshall assistants’ contracts run through the end of June.

The program’s graduate assistants are still making sure the players are attending class, and the players will being offseason workouts with Marshall’s strength coaches sometime next week, O’Malley said. The players aren’t getting coaching search updates, but athletic administrators have met with them periodically.

“Mike met with them right at the beginning,” O’Malley said. “I met with them a little bit the next week. We just kind of told them to stay on track and stay with it, academically.

“It’s been going well,” he added. “They’re in good shape academically to this point.”

In terms of transfers, no player has yet departed the program. Those who do and transfer to another NCAA Division I school would have to sit out a season, including those who already sat out a season as an academic partial or non-qualifier, O’Malley said.

Herrion’s departure threw even more turmoil into what has been a tough last two seasons for the Herd. Marshall lost 41 games in the last two seasons, a program worst, finishing 11-22 overall and 4-12 in Conference USA this past season. O’Malley said the players have taken all those issues in stride, considering the circumstances.

“It’s a difficult time,” he said. “Anytime you have a transition and change, it’s kind of a fluid thing. I would say as a whole, they’re all handling it pretty well.”

Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at or 304-348-1712. His blog is at Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.

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