Countdown to Conference USA: Get To Know Marshall

July 1 will be an important day for the Charlotte 49ers as it will be their first back in Conference USA. So running until the 30th, we’re taking a look at all the C-USA teams going in alphabetical order-from ECU to UTSA. We’ll also profile the affiliate members (Kentucky, New Mexico and South Carolina-men’s soccer; Colorado College-women’s soccer).

Get caught up: ECU | FAU | FIU | Louisiana Tech

Marshall University
Nickname: Thundering Herd
Location: Huntington, WV–pop. 21,859
Enrollment: 14,196 (fall 2010)

Marshall is the first school we’ve profiled so far that isn’t planning a move out of conference (ECU) or entering the conference (FAU, FIU, LA Tech).  They have been a member of C-USA since 2005–before that they were a member of the Mid-American Conference.

Sport-by-sport year in review
Football (5-7, 4-4)
Home field: Joan E. Edwards Stadium
With players like future Hall of Famer Randy Moss having donned the team’s colors, as well as two national championships in their FCS days, football is easily the most visible and most storied of Marshall’s athletic programs.  Edwards Stadium has been a house of horrors since it opened in 1991; the Herd is an incredible 118-19 at home.  However, they’ve been average over the past three years under Doc Holliday’s watch (17-20, 13-11 C-USA) despite a bowl win in 2011.  Marshall, of course, came to the attention of the country when 37 members of the football team, as well as a number of its coaches and boosters, perished when Southern Airways Flight 932 crashed on November 14, 1970; the incident and the subsequent recovery of both the school and the community of Huntington itself was immortalized in the 2006 Matthew McConaughey film, We Are Marshall.

Men’s Basketball (13-19, 6-10)
Home court: Cam Henderson Center
After back-to-back 20 win seasons and a loss to Memphis in the C-USA final in 2012, Tom Herrion’s team slid in 2012-13, his third season.  They haven’t been to the Big Dance since 1987.

Women’s Basketball (9-21, 3-13)
Home court: Cam Henderson Center
The women’s basketball team is another that fell off from a decent season (16-14, 7-9 in 2011-12).  They struggled away from home, going only 1-10 on the road and 2-4 at neutral sites.

Baseball (20-34, 6-18)
Home field: Appalachian Power Park
Despite a 2008 runner-up finish in the C-USA Tournament, the Herd has struggled on the diamond in recent years; since 1994, they have had just two seasons at or above the .500 mark.

Softball (36-22, 13-10)
Home field: Dot Hicks Field
It was a historic year for the softball team; they won their first ever C-USA championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history.  They were competitive in their regional, pushing #12 Kentucky to extra innings in a loss and beating Notre Dame before being eliminated by Virginia Tech in a heartbreaking 3-2 loss in 13 innings.

Men’s Soccer (11-5-1, 3-5-0)
Home field: Veteran’s Memorial Soccer Complex (beginning in August)
Despite a undefeated non-league mark and one of the top defenses in the country, the men’s soccer team struggled in the competitive C-USA and failed to make the postseason.

Other sports
Women’s soccer (7-11-1, 3-7-1) improved a little bit on their 4-11-3, 2-6-2 record from 2011…Volleyball (18-13, 8-8) fell to UCF in the opening round of the C-USA Championships in November, improving on a 10-21 (8-12) record in 2011 that saw them miss the postseason…Men’s golf finished fifth in the C-USA Championships in Texarkana, AR.  They competed in the Irish Creek Collegiate in Kannapolis, hosted by Charlotte, where they placed 12th…Women’s tennis lost to Tulsa in the C-USA quarterfinals in Houston in April…Track and field placed 5th in the C-USA championships, sending eight athletes to the NCAA East Regionals in Greensboro–including Vanessa Jules (high jump), Crystal Walker (triple jump) and Amanda Kennedy (javelin)…Cross country saw its men finish 5th and its women finish 8th in the C-USA meet in Hattiesburg, MS, followed by a 16th (men) and 19th (women) place showing at the Mid-Atlantic Regionals hosted by Penn State.

Tags: Conference USA Marshall Thundering Herd

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