|Marshall Thundering Herd|
|NCAA||Division I (FBS)|
|Athletic director||Jeff O'Malley (interim)|
|Location||Huntington, West Virginia|
|Football stadium||Joan C. Edwards Stadium|
|Basketball arena||Cam Henderson Center|
|Baseball stadium||Appalachian Power Park|
|Softball stadium||Dot Hicks Field|
|Soccer stadium||Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex|
|Other arenas||Frederick A. Fitch Natatorium|
Brian David Fox Tennis Center
Guyan Golf & Country Club
|Mascot||Marco the Bison|
|Fight song||"Sons of Marshall"|
|Cheer||"We Are... Marshall"|
|Colors||Kelly green and white|
The Marshall Thundering Herd is the intercollegiate athletic collection of teams that collectively represent the Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. Thundering Herd athletic teams compete in Conference USA, which are members of the NCAA Division I. The school's official colors are kelly green and white. The Marshall Thundering Herd have won 3 NCAA national championships and one NAIA national championship.
|Men's sports||Women's sports|
|Soccer||Swimming and diving|
|Track and field+|
|+ - Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor|
Early Marshall baseball teams played on what is now Buskirk Field on campus, but has long since been handicapped by a lack of on-campus facilities. Currently, the program uses Kennedy Center Field for home games in Huntington, Appalachian Power Park in Charleston (home of the West Virginia Power), and has recently played 1-2 series a year at Linda K. Epling Stadium at Beckley, WV. A new on-campus facility is currently being planned.
Marshall men's basketball gained notoriety under Cam Henderson, inventor of the fast break and the 2-3 zone defense who coached the team from 1935-1955. As head coach of the Herd men's basketball team, Henderson compiled a record of 362-159 and won the 1947 NAIA National Championship. His Marshall teams produced 2 All-Americans, Jule Rivlin and Andy Tonkovich - the latter was selected as the #1 overall pick in the 1948 NBA Draft. Henderson also recruited the first African-American to play at the formerly all-white colleges of West Virginia when he signed Hal Greer in 1954. His 1947 championship basketball team spurred the move into the Veterans Memorial Fieldhouse, a 6,500-seat arena that was Marshall's basketball home from 1950 to 1980. The Fieldhouse was replaced in 1981 with the Cam Henderson Center named in his honor.
On November 14, 1970, Southern Airways Flight 932 crashed near Kenova, West Virginia and killed all 75 passengers on board, including 37 members of the Thundering Herd football team. The plane disaster and rebuilding of the program was the subject of the documentary Marshall University: Ashes to Glory, and these events were depicted in the 2006 Warner Brothers motion picture, We Are Marshall, starring Matthew McConaughey and Matthew Fox.
Since its inception in 1968, the Marshall Invitational held at the Guyan Golf and Country Club has become one of the top collegiate golf tournaments in the Eastern United States. It had been held annually in April until being moved to September in 2010. It was renamed the Joe Feaganes Marshall Invitational in 2013 in honor of the Herd's longtime coach who led the program from 1972-2012.
Marshall initially fielded a women's golf team from 1974-1983 and competed in the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women championships. The program relaunched in 2002 competing in the NCAA.
The team plays its home games at Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex in Huntington. The Thundering Herd have made 2 NCAA Tournament appearances, including winning the national championship in the 2020 NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Tournament.
Initial Marshall athletic teams used the nickname "Big Green" for much of its early history. However, Huntington sportswriter Duke Ridgley first used the phrase "Thundering Herd" in 1925 to describe the football team. The headlines of that football season, coupled with the popularity of Zane Grey's novel at the time, "The Thundering Herd", saw the nickname stick.
As early as the 1930s, buffalo mascots appearances on the sideline of Marshall sporting events. However, the mascot would remain nameless and sporadic in appearances until 1954, when the editors of the Marshall University yearbook created a buffalo character roaming through the pages and named their character "Marco", derived from the term "Marshall College" as the school was known at the time. A buffalo costume was purchased for a booster club in 1965, and Marco would return to sporting events that year. In 1970, a live buffalo was introduced as Marco the mascot and was trained to perform at halftime for football games. However, after halftime during a game against Xavier in 1971, the live buffalo refused to return to its trailer and kickoff of the second half was delayed as handlers attempted to control the buffalo. The live mascot performances were discontinued afterward.
Marshall school songs are typically performed by the Marshall University Marching Thunder at home sporting events.
Marshall University's fight song is "Sons of Marshall", referring to the students of the institution, and was written by Marshall alum Ralph A. Williams in 1935.
We are the sons of Marshall
Sons of the great John Marshall
Year after year we go to Marshall U.
Cheering for our team and gaining knowledge, too
Proudly we wear our colors
Love and loyalty we share
Sure from far and near
You'll always hear
The wearing of the green
For it's the Green and White of Marshall U.
The Marshall University Alma Mater was written in 1906 by C.E. and James Haworth
Marshall, gracious Alma Mater,
We thy name revere;
May each noble son and daughter
Cherish thine honor dear.
May thy lamp be ever bright
Guiding us to truth and light;
As a beacon o'er dark water
This is for thee our prayer.
May the years be kind to Marshall;
May she grow in fame;
May her children fail her never
True to her beacon flame.
May her spirit brave and strong
Honor right and conquer wrong;
This the burden of our song
Ever her truth proclaim.
Marshall University has won 3 NCAA team national championships.
Below are national team titles in current and former NCAA sports that were not bestowed by the NCAA:
Marshall's biggest rivalries are out of conference with Ohio University, Miami University, East Carolina University, West Virginia University and Morehead State University. In Conference USA, Marshall has a budding rivalry with Western Kentucky University, Middle Tennessee State University, Old Dominion University, and University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and ten-year rivalries with University of Southern Mississippi and University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Marshall plays football at Joan C. Edwards Stadium, which seats 38,019. The stadium, which opened for the 1991 season as Marshall University Stadium with a then-record crowd of 33,116 for a 24-23 win over New Hampshire, hosted a record crowd of 41,382 on September 10, 2010, when the Thundering Herd played the in-state rival West Virginia Mountaineers. On a façade on the stadium's west side is a bronze memorial dedicated to the 1970 plane-crash victims.
In 2003, Marshall renamed its stadium, honoring a major donor, Joan C. Edwards to the university and its athletic program. The facility became the first football stadium in Division I-A to be named after a woman; Mrs. Edwards husband, James F. Edwards, has his name on the actual playing field.
Men's basketball, women's basketball, and volleyball teams play their home games at the 9,048-seat Cam Henderson Center, named for the innovative Cam Henderson who guided the school's basketball team from 1935 to 1955 and football from 1935 to 1949. Henderson won 358 games against just 158 losses as a basketball coach. The facility opened in 1981 and saw a major renovation in 1998. The Henderson Center is a 213,000 square-foot facility which houses much of Marshall University's athletic department staff offices, the ticket office, an 800-seat natatorium, a state of the art training room, a basketball-specific weight room, and spacious locker rooms. The single game attendance record at the Cam Henderson Center was set on February 18, 1984 against The Citadel when 10,705 fans witnessed the 85-71 Marshall victory.
Hoops Family Field at Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex is a 1,006-capacity soccer-specific stadium and is home to the Herd's men's and women's soccer teams. It was built on the former site of the Veterans Memorial Fieldhouse, which was demolished in order to build the stadium at a cost of $8 million. An inaugural double-header took place on August 23, 2013. The men's team held a scrimmage against Marshall alumni from past years resulting in a 2-0 victory. The women's team faced the Campbell University Fighting Camels and won 3-0. The largest crowd in the stadium's history occurred on November 24, 2019 when 2,126 witnessed Marshall defeat West Virginia in the 2019 NCAA Tournament, 2-1.
In 2012, Marshall University announced a multi-facility expansion project known as the Herd Vision campaign. The university accepted ownership of the Veterans Memorial Fieldhouse located five blocks from campus, which was demolished and replaced by the Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex, a soccer specific stadium which opened in August 2013. MU's former soccer facility next to Joan C. Edwards Stadium, Sam Hood Field, was replaced by the Chris Cline Indoor Athletic Facility, a $25 million project which included an indoor football practice facility, an indoor track, the Marshall University Athletic Hall of Fame, and a physical therapy research center, known as the Marshall Sports Medicine Institute, available for both student-athletes and anyone from inside or outside of MU who needs help with sports medicine or work related rehab or training. The Chris Cline Indoor Athletic Facility opened in September 2014. MU legends Chad Pennington, a former NFL quarterback with the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins, and the current head coach of the Houston Rockets of the NBA, Mike D'Antoni headed up fund raising for the effort for Marshall Director of Athletics Mike Hamrick.
The Marshall softball team has played its games at Dot Hicks Field since the facility opened in 2008. The $2.5 million facility features a clubhouse, grandstands, pressbox and concession building, warmup areas, and the playing field. The field is named after Dorothy "Dot" Hicks, a pioneer of the women's sports program at Marshall University who led the school's female student-athletics drom a time of intramural activities into the era of organized intercollegiate competition. At various times, she served as coach of Marshall's volleyball, badminton, women's tennis and women's golf teams.
The Guyan Golf and Country Club has served as the home course for Marshall's golf teams since the late 1940s. The Huntington course is 6,446 yards and a par-71. It has also served as the site of numerous tournaments throughout the years including the Marshall Invitational and Lady Herd Fall Classic. The golf pro of the course is Paul Bailey, a former Marshall University golfer.
On October 2019, Marshall announced a $150 million dollar fundraising initiative. The Herd Rises campaign aims to raise money for Marshall with the primary goal of building an on-campus baseball stadium at the site of the old Flint Group Pigments industrial property on 5th Avenue. Other goals of the campaign include improvements to Gullickson Hall, erecting a statue of legendary Marshall basketball player Hal Greer outside of the Cam Henderson Center, and additional funds towards student-athlete scholarships.