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Chuck Landon: Contracts mean MU coaches are staying

Feb. 26, 2013 @ 12:12 AM

Nobody is on the hot seat at Marshall.

Not men's head basketball coach Tom Herrion.

Not head football coach Doc Holliday.

Not any coach.

More than a few Herd fans have been wondering aloud about Herrion's job security in the wake of an extremely disappointing 12-16 season.

Well, guess what?

It's not an issue.

That's because Herrion received a contract extension just last year.

"We extended Tom's contract after the NIT," said Marshall athletic director Mike Hamrick, referring to the Herd's 86-78 loss to Middle Tennessee State during first-round play of the 2012 NIT.

Along similar lines, Marshall's fan base expected the 2013 football season to be a crucial, make-or-break year for Holliday after a very disappointing 5-7 record in 2012 and an overall three-year record of 17-20.

Well, guess again.

It's not an issue, either.

That's because Holliday also received a contract extension just last year.

"We extended Doc's contract after the bowl game," said Hamrick, referring to Marshall's 20-10 win over FIU in the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl on Dec. 21, 2011, in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Which means?

"They both have three years left on their contracts," said Hamrick.

That should put any conjecture over coaches being on hot seats or talk of buying out contracts to rest.

Neither Herrion nor Holliday are going anywhere.

STAFF MOVES: Marshall's football coaching staff is complete. But who is going to coach where? Ah, that's still hanging in the air like a Tyler Williams punt.

And that's because there are five assistants on the defensive side of the ball when there should be only four. The list includes Chuck Heater, coordinator; J.C. Price, line; Adam Fuller, linebackers; Todd Hartley, safeties; and Sean Cronin, whose hiring and duties haven't been announced.

Cronin is on staff, however, according to sources. So, at first, I surmised he would coach the safeties as former Herd assistant Fred Tate did in 2010 when Cronin was Marshall's defensive line coach.

But, now, sources say Cronin is going to split the defensive line coaching duties with Price. Cronin apparently will coach the ends, while Price handles the tackles.

That means Hartley still will change sides of the ball to coach the tight ends, while Heater coaches the entire secondary besides his coordinator duties.

AKERS UPDATE: West Virginia high school basketball coaching icon Willie Akers continues to improve from a scary fall he took at the Charleston Civic Center after a basketball game nearly two weeks ago.

The beloved Akers, who made Logan High basketball legendary in the Mountain State, fractured the C-6 cervical vertebrae and also broke his nose in the tumble.

Basically, he broke his neck.

But the initial threat of paralysis has passed and Akers underwent delicate surgery on his broken neck a week ago.

The 75-year-old Akers still serves as a Logan County Commissioner, but he is expected to remain at CAMC General Division in Charleston for an extended period of time. His recovery and rehabilitation will be lengthy.

Here's hoping for a full recovery by my old friend. Even if it's not at the same speed as Willie's famous fast break.

Chuck Landon is a sports columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at 304-526-2827 or clandon@herald-dispatch.com.

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