Mike Hamrick wasn’t the best athletic director in Marshall University history.
Nor was he the worst.
Instead, like most Division I athletic directors, Hamrick ranked somewhere in the middle. He made good decisions and bad ones. He made beneficial moves and harmful ones. He had fans of his leadership and detractors.
That is the way of the world for college athletic directors.
Hamrick had his strong points. For example, he excelled at getting facilities built. It was by far his greatest attribute.
The veteran athletic director spearheaded the construction of the Chris Cline Athletic Complex. Besides housing a 120-yard artificial turf football field, it also includes an eight-lane indoor track allowing Marshall to host meets.
The Chris Cline Athletic Complex also is home to the Chad Pennington Hall of Fame, Marshall University Sports Medicine Institute and Buck Harless Student-Athlete Center.
It is an impressive building.
Next, there is the Hoops Family Field in the Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex. It features an artificial turf field and is home for the Thundering Herd men’s and women’s soccer teams.
But to be fair, Hamrick had to build a soccer complex of some sort. Since the old soccer field was positioned on ground that was needed for the Chris Cline Athletic Complex, Title IX dictated that a new soccer field had to be built to replace the old one.
Also to be fair, the Hoops Family Field is impressive.
Those are highlights on Hamrick’s resume. But there also were some lowlights.
The first one that comes to mind is the notorious reseating plan at Joan C. Edwards Stadium that was implemented in 2014 much to the dismay of longtime Marshall fans. Many people lost seats they had occupied since the stadium opened in 1991.
As expected, they were very unhappy with the situation. One fan that had two season tickets was so upset she canceled a $1 million pledge that she was going to donate to the athletic department at her death.
There were many like her that never returned. That obviously has impacted attendance over the years. Although there still will be big crowds for big games, the overall attendance never has seemed to recover from the reseating.