Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

May 3, 2007

Herd clearly

Coaches’ caravan makes impact in Bluefield

BLUEFIELD — There must be something about West Virginia.

Three years ago, Mark Snyder left Ohio State, a national football champion in 2002, and returned home to Marshall as the Thundering Herd’s head coach.

Less than a month ago, Donnie Jones, who was part of the coaching staff at two-time national basketball champion Florida, returned home to Marshall.

And, that’s not all. New West Virginia men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins has joined Mountaineers’ football coach Rich Rodriguez in returning home to the Mountain State.

“Isn’t that amazing, it is something about West Virginia,” said Snyder, Marshall’s third-year football coach. “You look at coaches at West Virginia and the coaches at Marshall, we’re all back home now.”

His explanation?

“It’s just the people,” Snyder said. “You get out in this big bad world and you deal with certain things at different schools, but it’s just the people here.”

Snyder, Jones and Marshall women’s basketball coach Royce Chadwick visited the Upperclassman II on Thursday evening for the first stop in the Thundering Herd’s annual Big Green Coaches Tour.

“We’re excited to be here, Donnie Jones has brought a ton of optimism to our university,” said Chadwick, entering his sixth season at Marshall. “Look at what Mark Snyder has done, the spring game and coming off the (‘We are Marshall’) movie.

“It’s a great time to be at Marshall and to be in the coaches box there and be a part of what is going on. I think it’s going to be a great year for us.”

Jones, a 1992 graduate of Marshall, returned to Huntington in early April to try and turn around the fate of the Thundering Herd basketball program, a squad that last reached the NCAA tournament in 1987. He also just wanted to get back home to West Virginia.

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