Late last night, the Athens (Ohio) Messenger reported that North Dakota State’s Saul Phillips was Ohio’s new basketball coach, replacing Boston College-bound Jim Christian. So what does that mean for the Marshall search?
For one, that takes a contender for the Thundering Herd job off the table. Phillips had been mentioned in more than one spot as a coach to watch in Huntington. His resume fit what we’ve divined Marshall’s strategy to be — looking for successful small-school head coaches.
And here’s something else. Reports have Phillips signing a deal that pays him $550,000 annually. Based on Tom Herrion’s contract, that’s about $100,000 more than what Herrion was scheduled to make in 2013-14. During his press conference to discuss Herrion’s resignation, Marshall AD Mike Hamrick mentioned the improvements made in recent years to the men’s basketball program. Could more improvements, especially in the realm of compensation, be on the horizon? Does Marshall have a choice?