Ideally most college football head coaches want administrative support, great facilities, and a great recruiting footprint. Coaching at a school that is steeped in tradition with a passionate fan base are bonuses. Most of the schools in CUSA checks out on some of those boxes but only one schools checks all of them.
Ladies and gentlemen, Marshall is the best job in Conference USA. After dominating the Mid American Conference to the tune of five conference championships in an eight year span, Marshall joined CUSA in 2005 and for the most part have been underachievers. But Doc Holliday has re-established the winning tradition Marshall fans are accustomed to seeing, capturing their first CUSA Championship in 2014 and are now annually one of the best teams in CUSA.
Although Marshall has more potential threats to deal with in CUSA East as Old Dominion, FAU, FIU and their most dangerous adversary WKU, Marshall has established a winning tradition and a model of consistency these schools have yet to reach.
Right now, Marshall is the flagship school of CUSA football making them the best job in CUSA.
- Marshall football's tradition is matched by no one in the conference. 13 conference championships, two national championships at the FCS (I-AA) level and 13 bowl appearances with a 10-3 record.
- The administration certainly supports the football program as the facilities are the best in the conference. Joan C. Edwards is the toughest venue to play in as Marshall boasts a .850 winning percentage in the facility.
- Marshall fans can be spotted all over the Appalachian region. The fan base is rabid and is the best in the conference as they routinely show up in road venues.
- Marshall as been able to break into the Sunshine State and pull some great players recently but they have always done well in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
- Marshall has a great reputation of sending players to the NFL. Their most famous football alum is Randy Moss but Chad Pennington, Byron Leftwich, Doug Chapman and Ahmad Bradshaw have donned the green and white before getting to the NFL.
- West Virginia only has two FBS schools; Marshall and West Virginia. Despite West Virginia being the premier program in the state Marshall gets its fair share of attention and isn't an afterthought like the majority of schools in CUSA in comparison to their P5 schools in their state.
- As is the case with most schools with great tradition, there won't be a a ton of patience. Mark Snyder lasted just four season as Marshall's head coach and even Doc Holliday was hearing it from the fan base before he won the CUSA Championship.
Making the case why Marshall is the best job in CUSA: James Collier, Marshall Beat Writer
Gone are the days of being the whipping post of Conference USA for Marshall football. Instead, the Herd has been doing most of the whipping. A big part of the Herd’s success is the man in charge, Doc Holliday. Since arriving in Huntington in 2010, Holliday has amassed 50 wins, including four bowl championships and a CUSA title. Needless to say, Holliday has the pulse of the green and white, and the supporters of the program sing his praise.
So what makes Marshall such a lucrative job? In a word it’s the community and Huntington bleeds green and white every day of the year. But there’s one day above all others that Huntington comes together to remember the 75 who were lost in the 1970 plane crash.
But several other reasons add to the value of why Marshall is the best job in CUSA, including an indoor practice facility, a coaching staff that has largely remained in tact during Holliday’s tenure and an administration that fully supports the program. Holliday often credits the success of this program due to the ability to move inside during inclement weather, allowing his team to train regardless of the weather outside.
Meanwhile, Holliday has maintained his offensive and defensive coordinators throughout his tenure, even with offers from bigger programs looming in the wings. The administration recognizes a keeper when they see one and Holliday is locked in until 2021.
Put all of the above mentioned together and a recruiting hotbed has been created. The more wins and rings Holliday’s program collects, the more three and four-star athletes are going to flock to the Herd.
Holliday has it all. Recruiting, an indoor facility, support of the administration and is an icon in the community. What more could a college coach ask for?
Throughout the series there was a ton of debating from the writers who covers CUSA teams on this site regarding which jobs should be ranked where but there was a consensus as to where Marshall should be: number one.
This job offers everything you would expect from a P5 job: great fan support that can be impatient at times, great tradition and great facilities. Even amidst the annual conference alignment talk Marshall will always be an attractive job no matter what conference they play in.
If your trying to find any negatives for this job Marshall lacks any precedent of being a stepping stone as the last coach to parlay this position to a P5 job was Jim Donnan, as he accepted the head coaching position at Georgia in 1985.
Doc Holliday could be the next one but he appears to be a Marshall lifer like Bob Pruett (or he's holding out for the West Virginia job) and if that is the case, Marshall will annually be one of the favorites in CUSA.