Inside Marshall Sports

Another Vegas column on Hamrick, sort of

You may have seen an earlier column, was posted on the Gazette’s Web site. As you can see from the following, he did not exactly get a good send-off from the Vegas media…

Hamrick’s to-do list, with a twist

If new Herd AD Mike Hamrick really wants to impress us all, he needs to pull off the following:

1. Get an indoor practice facility built.
2. Ditto for a new baseball field, on or very near campus.
3. Re-establish effective Thundering Herd network in football, where applicable, and basketball.
4. Bridge the gap between Shewey Building and Old Main.
5. Hire super coaches, when needed.
6. And finally, get these guys to do a pregame flyover at Edwards Stadium …

… The U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels are based at NAS Pensacola and practice one or two mornings on most weeks. If you ever get a chance to watch them, do it. … And by the way, I don’t claim any particular competence at photography, just a good camera and a little luck.

Enjoy your summer…

Hello from the Gulf Coast

My posse and I have settled in at Pensacola Beach, Fla., for the week, where (a) the sand is almost snow-white, (b) the Gulf is as clear as tap water and (c) we are the only West Virginians here. The last car I saw with a West Virginia license plate came Friday morning as I was driving past Huntsville, Ala., and it was a Herd fan. I have seen no WVU fans since Thursday.

First off, congratulations to Mike Hamrick on taking the job and coming home. May you be the the AD who gets baseball fields built and television packages improved, and not the AD who hires Bill Herrion and John Thompson and honks off every high school football coach in his own state.

Monday night, I toasted the events in style with the apparent official drink of P’Cola, the Bushwacker. Google it and see the contents — it is a rather pleasant, potent libation.

Just a few other thoughts:
— Can we get away from comparing Hamrick’s $235,000 salary to the rather small amount Marcum made? We all know Marcum’s pay comes with an asterisk — he not only agreed to the bargain-basement salary afforded Lance West, he sliced it to allow him to bring Jeff O’Malley down from UMass. Remember, it was Marcum’s “retirement job.”
— Back in C-town, Da Boss, Mitch Vingle, did cartwheels over the hiring that, frankly, I wouldn’t do over the Second Coming of Christ. Go ahead, call me a grouch. I can take it.
— Every time I see the word “confidentiality” in the hiring process, I want to barf. When I finally come back, I have a tale of openness that should make your head spin.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy your summer. At this point, you can bloody well believe I am.

Live from Nashville …

Where gas is $2.19 and it’s still just 8:30 here … I’m mildly amused that the MU athletic department seach is (allegedly) wrapping up, possibly next week. As you already know, I’m way, way out of town through June 26.

(OK, I’ll be a cynic: We’ll go past August 1 with the AD search … we’ll hear about technicalities and contract details and all that stuff.)

Just a few words on the “candidates” here: I really didn’t think Jeff O’Malley would get a sniff, and that’s for the best. He may turn out to be a top-notch AD somewhere, but the fans here would NOT give him a fair shake.

In many ways, I am hoping that Ed Hamrick is not, not, not in the mix. Nothing against him, and I know he misses West Virginia, but his record at East Carolina is still relevant — and not very positive. You take a poll of ECU fans on their most disliked figure and I betcha he “wins.” Bob Marcum is probably more popular among Herd fans than Hamrick is among Pirate backers.

Should Marshall hire Hamrick, a fair and thorough re-examination will be in order.

Interim AD, Dobson update

I’ve been off today, but heard about the appointment of David Steele as interim AD. He’s plenty capable of keeping the operation rolling until the new guy comes in, that’s for certain.

The question is: What about Jeff O’Malley? From what I can gather, Dr. Kopp wasn’t knocking Marcum’s chief of staff, and he may be a candidate for the permanent job.

But, boyyyyyyyy, the late timing — 4:30 p.m. today — is interesting, indeed. I am not sure this has happened before at MU, save for the naming of the interim AD in 1970. A very different circumstance, for certain.

Up in Canton: Aaron Dobson had two catches for 38 yards, including a 27-yard TD strike in the USA’s 55-0 evisceration of Mexico. Next up is the gold medal game against Canada, 1 p.m. Sunday.