Pitt assistant Herrion hired at Marshall

Tom Herrion was ready to become a head coach again, even if it

meant leaving a successful program at Pittsburgh.

The former Panthers associate head coach was introduced as

Marshall’s new coach Saturday.

Herrion was given a five-year contract. The financial terms

weren’t immediately released.

He replaces Donnie Jones, who left last month to become Central

Florida’s coach.

Herrion said he was impressed by Marshall president Stephen J.

Kopp’s commitment and support for the university’s athletes.

“It was clear as day that I needed to be here, that we needed

to take this opportunity and to elevate our basketball program,”

Herrion said. “We are here to elevate. I told Dr. Kopp it’s not to

rebuild, but to continue to restore and build on and elevate the

program to greater heights.”

Herrion, 42, spent three seasons on Jamie Dixon’s staff.

Pittsburgh won the Big East tournament in 2008 and advanced to the

NCAA regional finals in 2009.

Before that he went 80-38 in four seasons at the College of

Charleston, including a 25-8 record in his first season. He also

spent eight years on Pete Gillen’s staffs at Providence and

Virginia.

Herrion’s dogged pursuit of the Marshall job left a lasting

impression on athletic director Mike Hamrick.

“He showed a passion that he wanted to be here,” Hamrick said.

“He pursued this job from day one.”

A 1989 graduate of Merrimack, Herrion wasn’t Marshall’s first

choice. Appalachian State’s Buzz Peterson said he was offered the

Marshall job but the two sides couldn’t agree on a contract.

Marshall went 24-10 this season and played in the 16-team

CollegeInsider.com Tournament, its first postseason tournament

appearance since 1988.

“Our fans are starved for success in basketball,” Hamrick

said. “We’re trying to get the Herd nation behind our basketball

program. We believe that will happen.”

Hamrick was the AD at East Carolina when he hired Herrion’s

brother, Bill, as the basketball coach in 1999. Bill Herrion is now

the coach at New Hampshire.

Tom Herrion will continue to take part in a rivalry with West

Virginia, Marshall’s cross-state rival. On Feb. 3 in Morgantown,

Herrion was struck under his right eye by a coin that came from the

stands. Marshall and West Virginia meet every January in

Charleston.

“I can’t tell you how thrilled we are to be here,” Herrion

said. “I can’t tell you how excited I am to hit the ground

running. I can assure you unequivocally how good a job this is in

our circle in the landscape of college basketball.”