There are three factors to the national media’s interest in Gregg Marshall’s coaching future, which produces uncomfortable scenes like Tuesday’s interview on the Dan Patrick Show.
- Most media members (ESPN’s Jason King would be an exception) do not visit Wichita or rarely watch Wichita State games. Their frame of reference is the ACC, SEC, Big 12 etc. It is hard for them to understand why a coach would remain at Wichita State, given other options. Since, in their understanding, most coaches would leave a Missouri Valley Conference school at first light, then Marshall must want to leave. And if he does not, it means something is wrong with him, not that something is right with the job.
- The future is always seen as more interesting, and easier to talk about, than the present. Which is why so many national outlets are often more driven by the coach’s next job, the player’s next team, the franchise’s roster in two months and trade deadlines than the game going on that night. Market forces, or laziness, compel that kind of speculation and questioning.
- The coaching fraternity brings a good portion of this on themselves. They job-hop and mislead often enough that all of them become suspect. That has not been Marshall’s history, but he is found guilty by association. Is the natural course of things that coaches (like regular people) want better jobs and bigger salaries. Unlike most regular people, the job prospects for coaches is newsworthy.
Marshall stayed at Winthrop for nine seasons and is wrapping up his sixth at Wichita State. By almost any measure, but especially in the coaching business, that is stability. One of his mentors is former College of Charleston coach John Kresse, who stayed 23 years at one school and won almost 80 percent of his games.
It is his hope that Marshall, 50, follows a similar path.
“I hope he stays at Wichita State,” Kresse said. “I found my paradise. Being at a place where you feel comfortable and well-thought of is very, very important. At Wichita State, he can continue winning and growing the program and being an important part of that community. I hope he’s found his paradise.”
Marshall invited Kresse to Atlanta for the Final Four. Kresse accepted the offer and will eat dinner with the team on Friday and sit with Marshall’s family during Saturday’s game against Louisville.