Herd DC Rippon resigns
HUNTINGTON – One day after Marshall’s defense allowed 65 points and 555 yards in a 65-59 double-overtime loss to East Carolina, Marshall defensive coordinator Chris Rippon has resigned, according to a release by Marshall University.
"I would like to thank Chris for all of his service to our program," said Marshall head football coach Doc Holliday. “We wish him and his family the best.”
Holliday chose Rippon as his defensive coordinator when he became head coach of Marshall in 2010 and Rippon kept the position for three seasons.
Last season, he had three players move on to the NFL in defensive end Vinny Curry, safety Omar Brown and defensive tackle Delvin Johnson.
However, the 2012 season proved to be a difficult one defensively from the start.
The season started with a bit of uncertainty as players switched positions during preseason camp as Rippon looked for the right combinations for the Herd defense.
Those combinations never came to fruition as Marshall struggled to defend the run and also had trouble getting off the field on third down.
The defensive unit featured many returnees, but several were playing new positions after being switched during the preseason.
At the end of the year, Marshall gave up 517 points on defense – an average of 43.08 points per game, which ranked 119th out of 120 teams prior to Saturday’s games.
In the team’s seven losses, Marshall allowed 49.8 points per loss and the defense gave up 50 points in six of 12 contests – including a 54-51 overtime win over Rice in which the Herd led by 10 with four minutes remaining.
Holliday’s comment following the end of Friday’s loss signaled a change on the horizon.
“We’ve got to start playing better defense around here,” Holliday said.
According to the release, the search for Rippon’s replacement is underway.