Skip to content

Is Gregg Marshall the coaching carousel’s greatest catch?

Mar 30, 2013, 12:31 PM EDT

Wichita State Shockers head coach Marshall directs his team against the La Salle Explorers in their West Regional NCAA men's basketball game in Los Angeles Reuters

We’ve been hearing all week long about how young coaching stars Shaka Smart, Brad Stevens and Josh Pastner are signing big contract extensions and “turning down” open jobs at Minnesota, USC and UCLA.

(UPDATE: Sources are reporting that Steve Alford of New Mexico has accepted the UCLA job.)

I get it. Youth is attractive. It’s marketable. Athletic Directors are having visions of locking up a young star for decades. But the greatest catch may be too busy prepping for his next game to take their calls. Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall is already 50, and he’s taken longer to build his way up to this Elite Eight at a rather unassuming Midwestern school. But that’s exactly why Marshall may be the right guy for a power program with an image to protect.

Ever heard of Winthrop? If you’re a college basketball fan, you have, and that’s because of Marshall. He turned an invisible Big South school into a seven-time NCAA tournament bid-winner, and finally broke through with a win over Notre Dame in 2007. With Winthrop.

That was enough to get him the shot at Wichita State, when a flashier guy with more big-time contacts might have landed in a larger media market. The Shockers may have been the perfect team for Marshall, though. In taking over from Mark Turgeon – now at Maryland by way of Texas A&M – Marshall got a shot at a humble, hardworking program from a city with a chip on its shoulder. Wichita State has long chafed at the higher grade of attention paid to the state’s other DI programs – Kansas and Kansas State – and have searched for opportunities to show up their Big 12 rivals.

Well, guess who’s still dancing?

The parallel is clear. Marshall is overshadowed by his younger, more recognizable peers. Wichita State wants to be recognized as a top basketball program in its own home state, at the very least. Both have shone through to a place where all eyes are upon them, starting tonight at 7:00 pm ET.

Marshall has shown that toughness and poise can trump blue-chip flash. He has shown that he has the fortitude to roll up his sleeves and build a program that wins, no matter where he is. He did it at Winthrop, he’s done it at Wichita State, and he can do it in Los Angeles or the Twin Cities.

That is, of course, assuming he even wants to. The guy’s pretty picky about where he calls home. And he’s definitely not ready to talk about his next job when there’s still work to be done this weekend, and possibly the next.

Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.

Latest Posts
  1. The making of the Final Four court (VIDEO)

    Mar 27, 2015, 11:20 AM EDT

    Print

    It’s pretty cool to see this process in action.

  2. Wichita State assistant Steve Forbes to take over at East Tennessee State

    Mar 27, 2015, 10:31 AM EDT

    STEVEFORBES150X2201

    Forbes spent two years as an assistant at Wichita State.

  3. Tennessee fires head coach Donnie Tyndall after one season

    Mar 27, 2015, 9:08 AM EDT

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznpte3owi1njbhnjg0mtc2yjbkzdgzmdzhnzm2mtbjytc1 AP

    Tennessee has parted ways with head coach Donnie Tyndall after only one season.

  4. Tourney Snacks: Kentucky, Notre Dame win in Midwest; Arizona, Wisconsin advance to set up Elite Eight rematch

    Mar 27, 2015, 1:45 AM EDT

    (AP) AP

    The Elite Eight will feature a rematch in the West Regional between Arizona and Wisconsin and Kentucky battling Notre Dame in the Midwest Regional.

  5. Updated tournament records: Kentucky moves SEC above .500

    Mar 27, 2015, 1:00 AM EDT

    AP Photo AP Photo

    Kentucky’s win also means that the Big 12 is down to one team: Oklahoma.

  6. No. 2 Arizona pulls away from No. 6 Xavier, setting up West regional final rematch

    Mar 27, 2015, 12:59 AM EDT

    (AP) AP

    Arizona played slightly better on both ends of the floor in the second half, and they’ll take on No. 1 Wisconsin as a result.

  7. Kentucky responds to Daxter Miles Jr.’s pregame comments

    Mar 27, 2015, 12:48 AM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    If you are going to talk, you better be able to back it up

  8. Tip times, announcer pairing and channel guide for 2015 Elite 8

    Mar 27, 2015, 12:19 AM EDT

    AP Photo AP Photo

    The schedule for Saturday has been released.

  9. #POSTERIZED: Jalen Reynolds dunks on Kaleb Tarczewski (VIDEO)

    Mar 27, 2015, 12:11 AM EDT

    Jalen Reynolds Jalen Reynolds

    Jalen Reynolds dunks everything he gets his hands on, it seems.

  10. No. 1 Kentucky dominates No. 5 West Virginia to advance to Elite 8

    Mar 27, 2015, 12:06 AM EDT

    (AP) AP

    No. 1 Kentucky looked completely dominant in an easy win over No. 5 West Virginia.

  11. Sam Dekker, Frank Kaminsky lead No. 1 Wisconsin to second consecutive Elite Eight

    Mar 26, 2015, 9:59 PM EDT

    (AP) AP

    After Dekker scored 15 points in the first half, Kaminksy scored 15 in the second half for the Badgers.

  12. USC sophomore guard Kahlil Dukes to transfer

    Mar 26, 2015, 6:20 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Dukes averaged 2.1 points in 7.2 minutes of action per game.

  13. Josh Jackson, No. 1 player in Class of 2016, cuts his list to nine schools

    Mar 26, 2015, 5:35 PM EDT

    2014 Under Armour Association Finals

    Josh Jackson, the No. 1 player in the Class of 2016, is down to nine schools.

  14. Virginia Tech’s leading scorer Adam Smith to transfer, will be eligible immediately

    Mar 26, 2015, 4:24 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP

    Adam Smith averaged a team-high 13.4 points per game as a redshirt junior.

  15. Tip times, channel guide for the 2015 Sweet 16

    Mar 26, 2015, 1:25 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP

    Here is the schedule for the Sweet 16