The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

August 3, 2013

Holliday brings fresh faces to MU coaching staff

By Gary Fauber
Assistant Sports Editor

— Marshall players will begin reporting to campus this morning for the start of preseason camp. Fourth-year head coach Doc Holliday will, of course, be familiar with all of them, although how well some of them do on the field remains to be seen.

It will be much the same for his coaching staff. The offseason was a veritable revolving door in the Shewey Building, with assistants leaving left and right. One new hire — former Virginia Tech cornerback Anthony Midget — left days after he was hired by Holliday to take a position under Bill O’Brien at Penn State.

So when Holliday and Co. assembled for a pre-camp meeting last week, Holliday didn’t have to feel like he was boring everyone with the same old speech.

“One thing that will be extremely important this year is we have six new coaches here who have not heard any of it before,” Holliday said.

Only offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Bill Legg, tight ends coach/recruiting coordinator Todd Hartley and defensive tackles coach J.C. Price remain from last year’s staff. They have seven seasons of experience at Marshall among them.

Here’s a look at the new coaches:

n Chuck Heater (defensive coordinator). Heater’s resumé goes back 37 years. Most recently he was defensive coordinator at Temple, but he has three national championships to his credit — two as co-coordinator at Florida in 2008 and 2009 and another as secondary coach at Notre Dame in 1988.

n Thomas Brown (running backs). Brown takes over for Jajuan Seider, who returned to his alma mater at West Virginia to assume the same role. Brown, a 2007 Georgia graduate, was the running backs coach at UT-Chattanooga last season. He was a sixth-round selection of the Atlanta Falcons in 2008 and was with the Cleveland Browns in 2009.

n Sean Cronin (defensive ends). This is Cronin’s second tour of duty with the Thundering Herd, having spent the 2010 season as Holliday’s defensive line coach. He spent the last two seasons with Heater as the Owls’ defensive line coach.

n Adam Fuller (linebackers). Fuller was at UT-Chattanooga the last four seasons, serving as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. The Mocs were a top-20 defense in the Football Championship Subdivision last season.

n Mike Furrey (wide receivers). Furrey was the head coach and offensive coordinator for two seasons at Kentucky Christian, which was 25th in NAIA Division I last year. He is an eight-year veteran of the NFL and played for four teams, including the Browns and the Washington Redskins.

n Alex Mirabal (offensive line). Mirabal comes to Marshall after spending the last six years as the assistant head coach at Florida International — a newcomer to Conference USA in 2013. Mirabal also coached the offensive line and tight ends at FIU.

“I am extremely excited about our staff,” Holliday said. “It (having so many new coaches) is a plus when they are really good, and I like them. I like the six (new) guys that we have, and Todd, J.C. and Billy have all done a tremendous job. I really like our staff.”

— E-mail: gfauber