Coaching Candidate Profile: Gregg Marshall

Grab your change, liquidate your 401ks, and write a check because we out here with Brink trucks full of money.

What he's done.

Gregg Marshall is the head coach of the Wichita State Shockers, a team he led to the Final Four in 2013. Marshall is from Roanoke, Virginia and graduated with a master's degree in sports management from the University of Richmond. He isn't afraid to speak his mind and has the uncanny ability to find a slight in even the most flattering of compliments. His teams mirror the identity of their coach with their gritty and intense demeanor.

Gregg Marshall is one of the hottest names in college basketball, though his road to success isn't paved in gold but blood and sweat. He wasn't groomed under an elite coaching hierarchy like many of the other big names in college basketball nor has he had the huge financial resources. Yet, like a junkyard dog he has battled. Marshall's journey began as an assistant at his Alma Mater, Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia. He then worked as an assistant at the College of Charleston where he spent 8 years, receiving an NCAA at-large bid in 1994. He then spent two season as an assistant coach at Marshall University. Eventually, he landed a head coaching gig at Winthrop University. In his 9 seasons at Winthrop, Marshall led the Eagles to 7 NCAA tournament appearances, 6 regular season titles and 7 Big South tournament titles. In 2007, Gregg Marshall's Winthrop squad won their first round NCAA tournament match up against Notre Dame, making Marshall the first Big South coach to win a tournament game. Wow.

What he's doing.

On April 14th, 2007 Gregg Marshall took the Wichita State head coaching job. In 2011, Marshall won the NIT championship by knocking off Alabama. He followed this up with a NCAA tournament at-large bid in 2012, where he lost to Shaka Smart's VCU team. In 2013, Marshall took the Shockers to new heights, knocking off the AP #1, #7, and #20 ranked teams to win the West Region and move onto the Final Four. Marshall ended up losing (72-68) to the eventual National Champion Louisville Cardinals. Taking a team, let alone one from the Missouri Valley Conference, to the Final Four is a ridiculous feat and one that is rarely accomplished by even the best coaches. However, Marshall wasn't done. He followed this performance by going 34-0 in the 2013-14 regular season, a record setting performance that has only been accomplished one other time, by the University of Nevada Las Vegas in 1991. The Shockers' accomplishments have earned them a #1 seed in the Midwest Region of the NCAA tournament. Marshall has had the Shockers in the top 50 in offensive and defensive rating for the past 4 seasons. His teams also tend to be in the top 25 in effective field goal percentage and free throw shooting. Wichita State will take on Kentucky in the round of 32 at 2:45 today on CBS.

What he'll do.

I believe the first coach Ron Wellman should extend an offer to is Gregg Marshall. Marshall has proven that he doesn't need a large budget, high paid assistants, or the top recruits to take his teams the distance. He has done all this with little praise, and his past accomplishments are just the beginning. I don't think Marshall will ever be satisfied, which keeps him hungry and focused. Gregg Marshall could lead Wake Forest to new heights, just as he's done in all of his stops. Wake would quickly become one of the toughest teams in the ACC, both mentally and physically. Marshall would demand accountability and wouldn't use tough academic days as an excuse.

Marshall's teams are traditionally very strong on the road, and even better in conference play. You will never see a Gregg Marshall coached team quit on a play or make an excuse. He has shown that he can recruit but doesn't rely on it. Two of this top scorers, Cleanthony Early and Ron Baker, were unrated recruits who were relatively overlooked at the D1 level. Yet, Marshall saw in them what many coaches overlooked, heart and a will to win. I don't think recruiting would be an issue, as he has used his recent success to bring in top 100 players such as 4 star point guard Fred Van Vleet, I believe Marshall would love recruiting against some of the in-state big dogs for the top high school players.

If Wake Forest chooses to pursue Gregg Marshall they will need to open up their checkbooks, because Marshall makes around 1.7 million dollars a year. Wichita State is a relatively small school but they will have booster support from the Koch brothers who are Wichita natives. I believe that it would take around 2.3-2.5 million dollars to bring Marshall in, but he would be worth every penny. With Marshall at the helm Wake Forest would be a top 6 ACC team next year, even with Louisville in the mix, with a strong chance at making it to the NCAA tournament. Wake Forest has all the pieces to bring Marshall in, they just need Wellman to pull the trigger.

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