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Goran Miladinovic

Marshall’s Goran Miladinovic was in Cary, North Carolina for the Herd’s run to the soccer national championship.

It is doubtful Goran Miladinovic ever watched the movie “Bang The Drum Slowly.”

That’s a pretty safe bet.

Any Marshall University fan who watched the NCAA men’s soccer tournament on television or in person in Cary, North Carolina certainly can attest to that.

Who didn’t hear the steady “boom, boom, boom” of Miladinovic pounding a big bass drum?

I mean, all game and every game.

Sure, the 7-foot, 245-pound junior center is a member of the Thundering Herd men’s basketball program. But guess where Miladinovic is from?


Soccer is king in that part of the world.

That’s why Miladinovic and 6-7 junior forward Marko Sarenac, who hails from Serbia, became two of the soccer team’s biggest fans.

Without question, Miladinovic, Sarenac and Marshall hoops star Taevion Kinsey traveled to North Carolina for the national championship game last Monday.

And of course Miladinovic — broken foot and all — and the bass drum were present and boom, boom, booming away during the Marshall men’s soccer team’s welcome home celebration Tuesday evening at the Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex.

Congratulations to Miladinovic.

For what?

Drumming up support.

Several important people stepped up behind the scenes to help the Marshall men’s soccer team during its drive to the NCAA championship.

Before Marshall’s 1-0 win over Georgetown in the quarterfinals, MU benefactor Brad D. Smith talked to the Herd players via a Zoom meeting.

Next, prior to the Herd’s 1-0 win against North Carolina in the semifinals, former Marshall quarterback great Chad Pennington spoke to the players on a Zoom call.

Finally, before Marshall’s 1-0 win over Indiana for the national championship, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice delivered a pep talk to the players via a Zoom call.

Justice also attended the national championship game on Monday night at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina.

Many Marshall fans expressed curiosity about how much revenue MU might receive from winning the NCAA men’s soccer championship.

They aren’t going to like the answer.

A Marshall athletic department official explained that in Olympic sports such as soccer, baseball, softball, tennis, track and field, etc., the NCAA reimburses the winning school for its expenses, but that’s all.

It certainly doesn’t seem fair or equitable, but that’s the case.

QUOTABLE QUOTE: Marshall soccer star Jamil Roberts on the unseeded Herd’s drive to the national championship:

“Not bad for a little school from West Virginia with a bunch of internationals, eh?” quipped Roberts.

Well played, sir.