Initially, 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 ...
On April 24, 2014, Marshall University Athletic Director Mike Hamrick announced Mullens native and Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach, Dan D’Antoni, as the next head coach of the Thundering Herd. D’Antoni is a Marshall alum and played point guard for The Herd from 1966 to 1970. He led the team in scoring with a 17.5 scoring average in 1968–69 and ...
History of The Herd
The Marshall Thundering Herd is one of history's most storied NCAA sports teams. Founded in 1895, the Thundering Herd has run long and successful as one of college football's premier programs. The team has won over 500 games over its 120-year existence, making it one of the winningest programs in all Division I athletics.
Marshall’s success on the field dates back to their first season when they posted an 8-1 record under legendary head coach John Maulbetsch. Since then, they have gone on to win 11 conference championships and make 15 bowl appearances—including a trip to the 2020 New Mexico Bowl, where they defeated Buffalo for their sixth straight bowl victory!
Offensively, Marshall has been led by some great quarterbacks throughout its history, including Byron Leftwich (2002–2003), Chad Pennington (1996–1999), and Michael Payton (1989–1992). On defense, players like Mario Harvey (2006–2009) and Vinny Curry (2007–2011) helped anchor some dominant units among college football's best during those years.
Most recently, though, it was wide receiver Tommy Shuler who set records while playing for Marshall from 2010 through 2014 with 3 consecutive 1st Team All-Conference selections; he also holds numerous school records, such as receptions made per game & career receiving yards, amongst many others!
Overall there is no denying that over its 120-year existence, The Marshalls Thundering Herd's legacy will live forever within NCAA Football lore - A true testament to what hard work & dedication can achieve from both coaches & players alike!
Thundering Herd Products
College Sports Established
Huntington, West Virginia
1973 - Present / NCAA Division I
1949 - 1973 / University Division of the NCAA
2022 - Present / Sun Belt Conference
2005 - 2022 / C-USA Conference
1954 - 1969, 1997 - 2005 / Mid-American Conference
1976 - 1997 / Southern Conference
1949 - 1952 / Ohio Valley Conference
Thundering Herd - Regarding college sports, few teams have a nickname as unique and iconic as the Marshall Thundering Herd. But where did this name come from? It’s an exciting story that dates back over 100 years!
The origins of the Marshall Thundering Herd go back to 1895 when football was first introduced at Marshall University. At that time, they were known simply as “the Big Green” due to their green and white uniforms. However, in 1927 a new coach named Roy “Legs” Hawley took over the team and quickly changed its name to reflect his style of play: he wanted them to run like a herd of thundering buffalo!
Hawley believed in aggressive offense with quick plays designed for maximum impact on opponents, so he chose such an intimidating moniker for his team. The idea caught on quickly among fans who embraced Hawley's coaching style and his new nickname for their beloved school's athletic program - The Thundering Herd!
Since then, this catchy phrase has become synonymous with all things related to Marshall athletics; it can be seen everywhere, from t-shirts worn by students around campus or heard during games when thousands cheer "Let's Go Herd!" And while some may think that such a mighty name is hype created by marketing campaigns or clever slogans used by coaches - nothing could be further from the truth! This legendary moniker is rooted deep within university history dating back more than one hundred years ago when Coach Roy "Legs" Hawley gave birth not only to one of college sports' most recognizable nicknames but also to what would eventually become today's proud tradition: being part of TheMarshallThunderingHerd!!
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