Gregg Marshall will not coach basketball at Wichita State forever. That, I guarantee.
And I come almost as close to guaranteeing that the Tennessee job, which came open today when Cuonzo Martin took the head-coaching job at California, will not entice Marshall to leave WSU.
The Vols would be silly if they don’t kick Marshall’s tires, so to speak. And when they do, they’ll notice that they’re full of air with plenty of tread.
I’m not sure the tire analogy works, but I know Marshall is happy at Wichita State, where he made close to $2 million this season, almost $700,000 more than Martin made at Tennessee.
Would you leave a team that returns Fred VanVleet, Ron Baker, Tekele Cotton and Darius Carter to go to Knoxville, where there are a lot of unknowns and a shaky administration that seemed to never embrace Martin?
Marshall has made the coaching job at Wichita State a great one. And his bosses have wisely upped the ante to keep him. He’s rewarded in a way no Shocker coach could have ever dreamed of previously. Back-to-back seasons that produced the team’s first Final Four appearance in 48 years and the best unbeaten regular-season run in the history of college basketball have led to numerous Coach of the Year awards for Marshall.
It’s hard to imagine he could do better at more than a handful of schools in the country. And Tennessee isn’t one of them.
Marshall might have taken a look at the Vols two or three years ago. I can’t imagine he would now. He and Martin, who left Missouri State to go to Tennessee three years ago, became friends when they coached against one another in the Missouri Valley Conference. You can bet Marshall noticed how the Tennessee administration or fan base never seemed to warm to Martin.
We were talking in the office a little bit ago about just how many college basketball jobs would appeal to Marshall. It’s an interesting question and it’s a list that has diminished in the past couple of years.
If Tennessee, which has an arena that seats close to 22,000 people, doesn’t appeal to Marshall, then what school would?
Let’s take the iconic programs like Indiana, Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, Kansas and UCLA off the table. Those jobs would appeal to almost every coach, though Marshall did fend off overtures from UCLA during the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
Are there any other jobs out there that might entice Marshall?
I think Missouri would be a possibility. That’s always been a gold mine, in my opinion. It’s a school with tremendous resources that has never produced to the level of those resources. And it’s a fan base that would embrace Marshall and vice versa.
But Missouri has a coach – at least for now. Frank Haith, though, will be on a definite hot seat next season and if the Tigers don’t win, and win big, he could be in trouble.
That’s one of the few jobs out there I can think of that potentially could interest Marshall, who could be the second coming of Norm Stewart in Columbia. He has that kind of personalty, that kind of charisma.
For now, though, Marshall isn’t going anywhere and the Shockers are set up for another tremendous season in 2014-15.