Gregg Marshall punched a player, choked an assistant coach, body-slammed a player, and tried to punch a non-basketball student-athlete through a car window, several current and former Wichita State basketball players allege.
If any of those four allegations, or the several others uncovered by The Athletic, Stadium, and other media organizations over the last week, are true, Gregg Marshall should be fired. We don’t know if he will be fired.
In the days since The Athletic broke news of disturbing allegations against the Shockers’ longtime head coach, Wichita State confirmed they are conducting an investigation into Marshall’s behavior, Marshall said he’s cooperating with the investigation, and more former players and coaches have both confirmed the allegations and/or supported Marshall.
What if the investigation leads to a dismissal? What if the nation’s highest-paid mid-major coach is fired after 331 career wins, including four during the 2014 NCAA Tournament that led to the program’s first-ever Final Four? If Marshall is fired, who might replace him?
It would be the first men’s basketball hire for athletics director Darron Boatright, who arrived at Wichita State in 2010 but wasn’t named AD until August 2016, two months before Marshall began his 10th season. And Boatright’s decision could come without the support of a permanent university president after Jay Golden abruptly resigned last month just 11 months into his tenure.
If Marshall is fired for player and staff mistreatment, history suggests it’s unlikely he’s succeeded by a current assistant coach. However, if, for example, assistant Isaac Brown is not involved in any such mistreatment and is named interim head coach for the 2020-21 season, it wouldn’t be unprecedented for him to land the full-time job. The same caveat, though to a lesser extent may apply to former longtime Marshall assistant Earl Grant, who spent three years at Wichita State (2007-10) and is entering his seventh season at Charleston.
Kyle Keller has done marvelous work at Stephen F. Austin and has recruited every corner of the south, midwest, and Plains over three decades, including three years on Bill Self’s Kansas staff from 2008-10. The Lumberjacks were forced to vacate wins from his first three years as head coach but it was an administrative eligibility error that shouldn’t impair his chances at landing a promotion.
Wes Miller leads some young options if Wichita State opts for an under-40 hire. Still only 37 years old, Miller has nine years and 164 wins at UNC Greensboro on his résumé and has been mentioned as a potential candidate elsewhere for several years. A Greensboro native, he’s never coached outside the state of North Carolina and rarely recruits west of the Mississippi. Still, Wichita State can dwarf his current mid-six-figure salary and provide a launching pad to some of the best jobs in college basketball. Furman’s Bob Richey could also be in play, as could Florida assistant Jordan Mincy.
Others to consider: Murray State’s Matt McMahon, Saint Louis’ Travis Ford, Winthrop’s Pat Kelsey, Tulane’s Ron Hunter, and Loyola Chicago’s Porter Moser.