Huff to announce coaching staff on national signing day


Austin O’Connor | Marshall University

Charles Huff speaks to the media at his introductory press conference on Tuesday, Jan. 19.

At a press conference set for 5 pm Wednesday, Marshall head football coach Charles Huff will officially announce his assistant coaching staff in confluence with a discussion on national signing day. 

Assembling a staff is one of the most important jobs for a new head coach at the start of his regime, and most of the time, it is a staff full of new hires. 

Holdover assistant coaches from a previous staff is a rarity. The reason for that is not always because the old coaches are incapable; often times, it is a matter of the old coaches not meshing with the specific culture being established by the new coach.

When it comes to the new Marshall football staff constructed by head coach Charles Huff, there will be one holdover and nine new coaches. 

Based on Huff’s comments at his introductory press conference two weeks ago, he gave the impression that all of Holliday’s former staff had a fair shot of earning a spot on his staff. 

“There are good coaches on this staff,” Huff said. “I think it is my job to recruit the current players and recruit the current coaches, because you don’t have the success that you’ve had here at this university without really good coaches.” 

Whether Huff decided to move on from each coach after individual interviews or after something else transpired, nine of ten assistant coaches have parted ways with the program. 

Tim Cramsey, the 2018-2020 offesnive coordinator/quarterback coach, will be the lone coach who remained from Doc Holliday’s 2020 staff.

Brad Lambert, the 2019-2020 defensive coordinator, took the Purdue DC job before he could even be considered for the 2021 staff, but after finishing behind Huff for the head coach opening, it would have been unlikely for him to return as defensive coordinator. 

With the retaining of Cramsey and the departure of Lambert, that begs the question: who are the offensive and defensive coordinators going to be? 

It appears Cramsey will continue his offensive coordinator role, while the defensive coordinator spot will go to Lance Guidry. Guidry was the safeties coach at FAU in 2020. Before that, he was the head coach at McNeese State from 2016 to 2018 and the defensive coordinator at Western Kentucky from 2011 to 2012. 

The special teams coordinator will be Jeremy Springer, who spent the last three years as Arizona’s special teams coordinator. 

The rest of the new assistant coaches provides a balance of new faces and old faces recognizable to many Herd fans. 

The first recognizable name is Bill Legg, who served as Marshall’s offensive coordinator from 2010 to 2017. He will be the team’s tight end coach and associate head coach. 

Two other well-known names will helm the Herd’s front-seven: former Marshall defensive lineman Ralph Street as defensive line coach and former Marshall safety Shannon Morrison as the linebacker coach. 

Morrison formerly coached the linebacker position for two years and the safety position for two years at his alma mater from 2005 to 2008. 

Rounding out the defensive coaching staff, former Austin Peay co-defensive coordinator Dominique Bowman will coach in the secondary. It is unclear if he will coach the entire defensive backfield or just corners while Guidry coaches the safeties. 

On offense, a familiar name to that state of West Virginia but not Marshall in particular is Clint Trickett, who played quarterback at WVU from 2013 to 2014. Trickett was the co-offensive coordinator and quarterback coach at FAU in 2020, but he was let go as a part of an Owl staff shakeup. 

At running back, Telly Lockette will assume coaching duties. Lockette has spent time at Florida State and Miami recently.

The final piece is new offensive line coach Eddy Morrissey, who coached at Austin Peay the past two years. He also spent a year at Mississippi State with Huff in 2018 as the offensive quality control coach and assistant offensive line coach.

All ten assistant coaches are already working hard on the recruiting front, and although national signing day is Wednesday, most of their focus is already on the 2022 class. Still, Wednesday is an important day for the program. 

The February national signing day – once the marquee day in college football recruiting – is no longer the day it once was, paling in comparison to the early signing day in December.

Nine Marshall commits signed their national letters of intent on Dec. 16; the two commits who did not sign in December have since de-committed. All that remains to sign from the commitment list is Charles Huff’s first commitment as head coach, Caleb Coombs. 

Coombs, a four-star recruit on Rivals, is a wide receiver from Washington, D.C. who was recruited by Huff at Alabama. 

Coombs is Marshall’s highest rated Rivals recruit since Jaquan Yulee in the class of 2016, and the highest ranked receiver commit since Deontay McManus in 2013. 

Adding Coombs, Marshall has a 10-man class, making it one of the smallest in the country. 

However, there are other avenues Marshall will use to fill out the spots left open by the 2021 class. Those avenues are the transfer portal and the JUCO market. Already, Marshall has one transfer lined up, Billy Ross from the University of North Carolina. Ross is originally from Huntington, playing high school football at Huntington High.  

The press conference Wednesday at 5 pm will be live streamed on Facebook for everyone to watch. 

Grant Goodrich can be contacted at [email protected].