Coaching search profile: Gregg Marshall

  • 03/21/2017 4:18 pm in

After nine seasons in Bloomington, Tom Crean is out as Indiana’s head coach and the search for his replacement is underway.

Inside the Hall will profile some of the candidates who are being discussed for the job over the coming days. Our eighth profile takes a closer look at Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall.

Marshall’s timeline begins in the south. Born in South Carolina in 1963, Marshall moved to Virginia to attend college at Randolph-Macon, where he was a guard from 1981-85.

Marshall spent the next two years earning his master’s degree in sport management at the University of Richmond, while at the same time holding an assistant coaching position at Randolph-Macon (the two schools are about a 25-minute commute apart).

Over the following decade, Marshall spent time as an assistant coach at three more colleges, with his last stop coming at Marshall from 1996-98.

Winthrop provided Marshall with his first big break in 1998, giving him the chance to coach back in his home state.

Inheriting a team that had never made the NCAA Tournament and hadn’t finished a season with a winning record since 1989-90, Marshall quickly turned the program around.

In nine years at Winthrop, Marshall became the winningest coach in program history (194-83 record overall, 104-24 in conference). He brought the Eagles to seven NCAA Tournaments (all a result of Big South Tournament titles) and earned Big South coach of the year honors four times.

The 2006-07 season, Marshall’s final campaign at Winthrop, was the most successful in the history of the program. The Eagles went undefeated in the Big South (14-0 regular season, 3-0 postseason), before shocking No. 6 seed Notre Dame in the NCAA tournament. It was the first win by a member of the Big South in the NCAA Tournament, and provided Marshall a platform to showcase his coaching abilities.

From there, Marshall accepted the head coaching position at Wichita State prior to the 2007-08 season, replacing Mark Turgeon, who had moved onto Texas A&M.

Ten years since taking the job in Wichita, Marshall is now a household name in college basketball. The Shockers have made the NCAA Tournament each of the past six seasons, including a Final Four appearance in 2013.

In 2013-14, Marshall earned AP Coach of the Year honors as Shockers finished the regular season undefeated and earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament before being upset by No. 8 Kentucky in the round of 32.

In 2014-15, the Shockers earned a No. 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament and defeated No. 10 Indiana in the opening round, 81-76. After the game, Marshall said he considered Indiana a ‘blue-blood’ program. Troy Williams compared the Shockers’ physicality with Michigan State.

Marshall’s teams have been balanced on both ends of the floor – in two of the last three years, the Shockers have finished in the Top 20 in the country in both offensive and defensive efficiency (per KenPom).

Even with the enormous success he’s experienced, Marshall has often complained about a lack of respect for mid-major schools. Power Five teams don’t want to schedule the Shockers in non-conference play, which he believes results in the selection committee punishing his team for poor strength of schedule.

Final Analysis: Perhaps the most successful coach still at a mid-major program, Marshall has been rumored to make the jump to a power conference for years.

But he’s built a strong foundation at Wichita State and has yet to show a desire to leave, despite the disadvantages of being at a mid-major program.

Filed to:

  • MarkHoltzHoosier

    LOL. He does seem to come with the most baggage. But winning sure does make people accommodating…

  • Jiron52000

    B must be Alford

  • Donnie Vick

    Yes and develops players. Early was a 3 star guy but taken in the first round. Baker with the knicks.

  • AssemblyBall

    Can’t be. Hasn’t been Power 5 with no previous head coaching experience, and has won 67% of games.

  • everettdean

    Not so easy to schedule the big boys….I’m guessing Bill Self is in no big hurry to schedule an in state home and home…this gets brought up often with coaches from mid majors but not sure how much water it holds

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    Wait until you get confused, exhausted, and aggravated. 😉

  • Tcuomo

    “Shut up, Happy. Don’t feel bad about me. I got my hand back, see?

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    Overall, 19 seasons
    455-173, .725
    11 Regular season conference championships
    9 Conference tourney championships

    Wichita State, 10 seasons
    261-90, .744 (132-46, .742) MVC
    5 Regular season conference championships
    2 Missouri Valley Conference tourney champs
    6 NCAA appearances, 2 NIT, 1 CBI

    Winthrop, 9 seasons
    194-83, .700 (104-24, .813) Big South
    6 Regular season conference championships
    7 Big South Conference tourney champs
    7 NCAA appearances.

    March record
    13 Tourney appearances in 19 years, 6 consecutive
    1 Final Four, 1 Elite 8, 2 Sweet 16
    2 NIT appearances, 1 championship; 1 CBI appearance

    Seeding & Expectation
    2017: 10 seed – 2nd round
    2016: 11 seed – 2nd round
    2015: 7 seed – Sweet 16
    2014: 1 seed – 2nd round
    2013: 9 seed – Final Four
    2012: 5 seed – 1st round
    2007: 11 seed – 2nd round
    2006: 15 seed – 1st round
    2005: 14 seed – 1st round
    2002: 16 seed – 1st round
    2001: 16 seed – lost in First Four
    2000: 14 seed – 1st round
    1999: 16 seed – 1st round

    Exceeded Seeding Expectations: 2015, 2013, 2007
    Underperformed Expectations: 2014, 2012, 2001* (lost to another 16 seed)
    Met Expectations: 2017, 2016, 2006, 2005, 2002, 2000, 1999

    Statistical Info at WSU…not including Winthrop b/c it skews numbers
    Overall KenPom rating: Best, 6 (2014); Worst, 155 (2008); Average, 44th
    AdjO: Best, 10 (2012); Worst, 176 (2008); Average, 62nd.
    AdjD: Best, 1 (2016); Worst, 139 (2008); Average, 45th.
    AdjT: Fastest, 139 (2012); Slowest, 308 (2008); Average, 244th
    SOS: Toughest, 51 (2013); Easiest, 120 (2014); Average, 96th

  • MarkHoltzHoosier

    A seems similar to (but worse than) Archie Miller–he’s 6 years at a Mid Major with .688 win pct.
    Did you just throw C in to mess with us?
    E would be similar to Marshall, but he’s .725.

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    For sake of argument, let’s ignore his demeanor. Fact: Marshall is a good coach. That said, I think it is really hard to get a good read on exactly how good Marshall is. KenPom is a fan as he ALWAYS has him rated WAY higher than his seeding, but they almost never live up to KenPom’s lofty rankings.

    Marshall is something that Crean was not: consistent. Looking at their KenPom end of year ratings is almost comical due to the consistency. Over the last six seasons, their AdjO ratings are 14, 67, 19, 17, 34 and 10. AdjD – 13, 1, 15, 11, 20 and 26. Tempo – 191, 301, 286, 258, 201 and 139. If Marshall becomes the HC at IU, you can take it to the bank that we would be very efficient offensively, tough-minded and elite defensively, yet play at a very methodical pace.

    I would suggest that if it wasn’t for Marshall’s one Final Four appearance, despite all of his regular season success and consistency, he wouldn’t be a candidate for this job. If you compare Marshall’s NCAA record, it is eerily similar to Crean’s. Seriously…look it up!

  • I think C is Dane Fife.

  • He’s never been a favorite of mine, for whatever reason.

    And dangit, I promised myself I’d lay off this stuff for awhile.

  • pcantidote

    Ok, so this was kind of a trick question. These are the resumes of the current blue blood coaches when they were hired by their present teams. The point is that there is no one size fits all approach to finding an elite coach. There are several different profiles here.

    A. – Coach K
    B. – Roy Williams (note that he was previously hired by blue blood Kansas with no experience
    C. – Izzo
    D. – Self
    E. – Calipari
    F. – Alford
    G. – Pitino

  • MarkHoltzHoosier

    Well played.
    I started down that path, but figured it’d be pretty f-ing tedious to prove, so I gave up. I with the others who said this whole thing is pretty exhausting. (But I have the gas in the tank and the endurance, because I didn’t have to expend it fretting about my favorite team’s performance in the postseason!)

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    He was the leader in the clubhouse for me initially. Now, I don’t think I’d have him in my top 5…and that’s not even including his demeanor (or his wife’s). I think we’d be really good in the regular season, but underachieve in March. I think we’ve seen that isn’t good enough. Why go there again?

  • sd chuck

    Don’t know that any hire will make everybody happy outside of Donovan, or Stevens. Stevens seems off the table, Donovan a long shot. I like Miller, then Marshall or Mack. No to Bennett, Fife, or Alford. The things I like about Miller, Marshall and Mack, is the way their teams value a possession, low turnovers, good open shots, hitting free throws, nice crisp passes, and must rebound and play defense to stay on the floor. I really don’t care how many stars a kid has behind his name. If IU starts winning again the Indiana kids will fall into place.

  • Seems like among us fans here on ITH, the field is getting narrowed. I wonder if it’s working the same way for FG.

  • Agreed in general with you. I’m leaning away from Marshall because of demeanor, and from Mack because of this player issue that doesn’t sit right with me (reminds me too much of Alford’s thing with Pierre Pierce at Iowa). Not sure where that leaves me, other than Miller as my leading mid-major (liked the way Dayton played WSU) and Donovan as the name hire. Of those you mentioned, I might be forgetting some others.

  • sd chuck

    I have been high on Miller for a couple of years, would love to see him at IU, but not to hyped to not accept someone else. Looking forward to next season already!

  • John D Murphy

    You’re probably right (as usual). Hard to get high recruits to a non-power league school. We have a hard time getting them to come IU. IU. Even coming off a #1 seed.

  • John D Murphy

    This feels a lot like Bill Self’s record. At Oral Roberts, at Tulsa, at Illinois, at Kansas. He simply owns the league he is in. Can’t really ask for better March results where he has been.

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    Hard to say. I just keep waiting to see that he took the easy way out and hired Alford. 🙁

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    Interesting comparison, but I do see the similarity. That said, Self and Marshall are the same age. Self was dominating at Illinois when he was 38 years old. Marshall was dominating the Big South at that age. Self has a better career record than Marshall despite coaching in a much more demanding environment. At some point, Marshall’s record is what it is, and we can’t really project that he’d be automatically better at a bigger school.

  • After everything TG said at his presser, that would be somewhat contradictory. And yet, would it be surprising? Nope, it wouldn’t.

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    I just don’t have a lot of confidence that Glass is going to get this right. I’m concerned that he is going to try to appease the loudest fans…to do exactly the opposite of what he claimed, and try to win the press conference. I sure hope I’m wrong!!

  • Yep. Same here. If he does, then in a few years the noise will be just as loud for his dismissal as it became for TC’s.

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    It leads you to Mike White…

  • Hah! I actually thought of you and White when I wrote that. I just don’t know enough about the guy to mention him myself.

  • Atha Wayne Belsha

    I think he would be good for Indiana as well.

  • Banner6

    My post was not in support of keeping Crean. I think your #200 is in reference to the Ft. Wayne loss. Inexcusable…period! However, just looking at Marshall’s record over the last 4 seasons, in a soft league, isn’t that impressive. Guess If we want another 9 years like the last 9 then Marshall’s a good fit.

  • Arch Puddington

    First, thanks for all the great research. Very informative.

    Second, while I, too, am less enamored of him than I was initially due to the personality issues, I don’t agree with the assertion that we wouldn’t be interested if it weren’t for the Final Four, and I REALLY don’t agree that his record is similar to CTC’s prior to IU. Among the differences:

    — Both had the one Final Four, but any fair understanding of Marshall’s tournament record includes the fact that his best team — a #1 seed, and deservedly so — got beaten in the second round by an absurdly underseeded Kentucky team that ultimately made the final game. Crean got hot once, and it took a top 50 player of all time to get him that far. Marshall’s success has come at a less prominent school with less prominent players.

    — Marshall has won 10 conference titles in 19 years, and has 5 other second place finishes. Crean won one conference title in nine years at Marquette.

    — Marshall has won 2 conference tournament titles, and was runner-up two other times. Crean has never even made a final game, including his 9 years at IU.

    — Marshall’s program is trending up.His most recent five years in conference were 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, 2nd, and he has a Final Four in that stretch. Crean was trending down at Marquette when IU hired him. His last 5 years: 8th, 9th, 4th, 5th, and 5th in the Big East, twice he did not make the NCAA tournament, and his teams never made it past the round of 32.

    Marshall’s record is better by a mile even without the Final Four, and he would be an appealing candidate for sure. (Well, other than the personality issues).

  • N71

    “It’s polyester!”

  • SCHoosier

    Seems like a big recruiting deal these days to point out h ow many players y our program has sent to the NBA. TC shined here. Marshall?

  • Bill Graham

    He’s our guy. 100 percent. He’s the most proven candidate that we have. Lets face it we have no idea what we are getting with Archie or Mike White. Marshall is our guy. He plays physical defense has a no nonsense rationale (just like Knight). He can win and he can recruit. If you take Stevens and Donovan out (which they shouldn’t even be considered b/c they arent leaving)…he’s a class above any candidate out there.

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    Thanks, Arch, but I’m going to stand by my assertion. First off, age matters. Someone else compared Marshall’s record to Self’s, which on the surface is accurate, but the difference is what age each coach was and where he was at when he was winning games.

    Marshall is older than Crean, yet has never coached at a power school. His record is coming against much less competition. In their 30s, Crean was coaching in the Big East against Syracuse, Georgetown, Louisville, Pitt (basically the current ACC!) and winning games. Marshall was coaching in the Big South. In their 40s, Crean was winning 2 B1G titles in 4 years. Marshall was owning the Missouri Valley.

    Obviously, Crean had more resources than Marshall, but when we look at Marshall’s record, in order to be fair, we must acknowledge that all of his resume has taken place against inferior competition compared to many of the others on our list.

  • David Schwind

    “Ima make it rain”

  • Arch Puddington

    That’s all well and good, but age is a different consideration than his record. Your assertion was that his record is no better than Crean’s, but in fact it is objectively, empirically better. Just the one fact I mentioned – -that Crean has finished 4th or worse 13 times, Marshall only twice — makes the point pretty emphatically.

    As for the “inferior competition” argument, six of Crean’s 9 years at Marquette were in Conference USA. He managed to win that conference just once, and made the tournament just twice. The worse six-year stretch of Marshall’s career is significantly better than that.

    And when Marquette moved to the Big East, his teams finished 4th, 5th, and 5th and only made it as far as the round of 32 once. So there is just no way to argue that he did what he did against better competition before coming to IU. He was above average in a conference no better than the one Marshall coaches in, and barely above .500 when he moved up to the Big East.

    I won’t argue the age issue you with you, other than to point out that just about every great coach in the country is his age or older. As it turns out, John Beilein left West Virginia at exactly the same age as Marshall, and with a less impressive record. That seems to have worked out pretty well for Michigan.

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    Does it concern you at all that he’s in his mid 50s and has never had a job at a power conference school? Outside of the one FF run, he’s not had a ton of March success either. Add the Knight comparisons (not in resume, but in attitude), and I’m not a fan of hiring Marshall. The day Crean was fired, I wanted Marshall as option #1. After reading more about him as well as some of the other probable candidates, he’s out of my top 5.

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    What I was intending to say, but could understand how you might not see it that way, is that without Marshall’s Final Four trip, we would look more closely at his record, especially considering it comes against inferior competition. The FF trumps a lot of that. But outside of that year, he’s only made the 2nd weekend one other time. That’s not a very good March resume, honestly.

    Question: do you believe that Strength of Schedule is important? The Selection Committee does. If we think SOS is important in a single season, wouldn’t it also be important over a coach’s entire body of work?

    I’m not suggesting that Marshall is a bad coach. I’m simply suggesting that his record is inflated on some mediocre SOS year to year. Which would you find more impressive: a 25 win season at major school, or a 25 win season at mid major school? Crean has six 25+ win seasons to his credit at Marquette and IU. Marshall has eight at WSU. If you want to add small school Winthrop to the mix, he adds two more.

  • vicbert caladipo

    Outside of Donovan this guy has the best resume of all who have been profiled. Been a lot of negative talk on these boards about him, but I wouldn’t be upset if we got him. He has turned down other offers in the past and more than likely will turn us down too, but he should be contacted. While people here have criticized him, the national media including Kellogg and Barkley and several others have praised him as one of the best. Take it for what it’s worth cuz most of the media praised CTC too.

  • vicbert caladipo

    I hear ya. That frog faced kid that got more camera than even Elaine Seinfeld during the NW game. Probably already got booked for the Ellen show where she makes stars out of crying kids.

  • vicbert caladipo

    Man, John, you sure folded your cards easily to OM ; ) Actually what OM said was a ringing endorsement for Marshall to me. Not 4-5 star recruits, “he developed those NBA players”. Sounds like this is the coach we need. Someone who can develop talent. Wasn’t that one of the major criticisms of CTC? That he couldn’t develop players. IMO developing players is harder than recruiting. His recruiting should get better at IU. I mean IU is not Wichita Kansas.

  • Arch Puddington

    No, I understood what you were saying, I just disagree. You said that a) we would not look at him but for his FF appearance, and b) that his record is no better than CTC’s was prior to IU. I think those are just factually incorrect. His teams have won more regular season and conference tournament titles than CTC, they have won far more consistently, and the trajectory of his program is up whereas CTC’s was down (or flat). A guy who has won four consecutive conference titles — and only lost a total of four conference games in that stretch — would be of interest even without a Final Four.

    It is also interesting to me that you dismiss his overall record because he has just the one Final Four and plays in a weak conference, since you really like Archie Miller, who has just the one Elite Eight and plays in an even weaker conference (ESPN BPI ranks the MVC above the A10).

    As for SoS, no, I don’t think it matters in this context. A coach can only beat the teams he plays, and just about all coaches at top programs started at weaker programs in minor conferences. And never mind guys like Bob Knight or Coach K; even today lots of coaches — CTC, Beilein, Sean Miller, Steve Alford, Thad Matta — were given jobs at marquee programs with less success in minor conferences than Marshall has had. I mean, no one ELSE has dominated at a mid-major level like Marshall has (well, excep Mark Few), right? To say that his record doesn’t count because he earned it against weak competition is a nearly circular argument: you can’t be considered for a top job until you have succeeded at a top job.

    Anyway, I’m not arguing that Marshall is the guy, or that he is any kind of guarantee. I’m just saying that the argument against him isn’t his record, which is as good as anyone we are considering other than Donovan.

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    Ole Man says no to Marshall and i agree. prickly

  • John D Murphy


  • Colt

    I would love to have Marshall come to IU.

  • Gregory J. Haggard

    But do you think he’s as much of a butt hole?

  • Outoftheloop


  • IUBizmark

    “No ticky…NO LAUNDRY!”