April 1, 2013

R-MC Alum Gregg Marshall ‘85 Leads Wichita State Men’s Basketball to Division I Final Four

Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images

by Gary Williams
Randolph-Macon Sports Information

Randolph-Macon alumnus and former men's basketball assistant coach Gregg Marshall '85 has advanced his Wichita State squad to the NCAA Division I Final Four. The ninth seeded Shockers upset second seeded Ohio State on Saturday night 70-66 to advance to the Final Four for the first time since 1967.

Marshall graduated from R-MC in 1985 and was a four year member of the Yellow Jackets men's basketball team. During that time, Randolph-Macon posted an 84-35 record, captured two Mason-Dixon Conference titles and made three appearances in the NCAA Division II South Atlantic Regional. Marshall helped Randolph-Macon to 26-5 record in the 1983-84 season where the team ranked fourth in the final NCAA Division II poll.

The 6'3" guard played in 102 games for the Yellow Jackets, totaling 403 points, 211 rebounds and 184 assists. "He was never a gifted scorer but was a tough kid who took his defensive responsibility very seriously," remembers R-MC alumnus Marty Wilson '85. Wilson served as a manager for the Yellow Jackets men's basketball and baseball teams during his time as a student.

"Much like Lamar Giggetts on this year's team, Gregg always drew the assignment of the other team's best perimeter scorer," said Wilson. "The best defensive game that I ever saw him play was against Liberty University's dynamic scorer Eric Gordon. Gordon came into Crenshaw averaging over 20 points per game. Gregg was given the assignment of playing him "solo" – which meant that Gregg had no help side defensive responsibilities. His job for the game was to deny Gordon the ball. He did his job that night holding Gordon to half his average."

Marshall was also known for his intensity during games and also in practice. "He was famous for his level of intensity in practice…often times leading to dust ups with some of his best friends on the team," said Wilson.  

After graduating in 1985, he was tabbed as Hal Nunnally's assistant coach for the 1985-86 and 1986-87 seasons. The Yellow Jackets went 32-23 over those two seasons and made a late season run to capture the Mason-Dixon Conference Championship in 1987.

His intensity on the court in his playing days transcended into his coaching style which was heavily influenced by Coach Nunnally. "Watching him coach it looks like he has carried his defensive intensity as a player into his coaching philosophy," added Wilson. "In his interviews now you hear him and his team talk about "playing angry." I would not classify Gregg's style of play as "angry" but rather intense. His teams really benefit from his intensity. He also has shown the knack of being able to take kids with potential and growing them into solid starters and contributors…much like how Coach Nunnally saw and developed the potential in Gregg as a player."

Marshall served as an assistant for 13 seasons at schools that included, Belmont Abbey, College of Charleston, and Marshall where his clubs posted a combined 268-129 record.

The Randolph-Macon graduate made his head coaching debut for Winthrop University in the 1998-99 season. During his nine year tenure as head coach, the Eagles captured six regular season Big South Championships, seven Big South Tournament titles and made seven NCAA Tournament appearances. The four time Big South Coach of the Year led Winthrop to their biggest win in program history when they upset Notre Dame in the NCAA Tournament First Round 74-64 on March 16th, 2007.

Marshall's success as Winthrop's all-time winningest coach landed him the head coaching job at Wichita State University in April of 2007. The Shockers, under Marshall's leadership, captured the NIT Championship in 2011 and returned to the NCAA Tournament in 2012 after winning the Missouri Valley Conference Title.

Wichita State entered the 2013 NCAA Tournament as a nine seed this season and picked up a First Round victory over Pittsburgh. The Shockers then upset top seeded Gonzaga before knocking off LaSalle and Ohio State to punch their ticket to the Final Four.

Gregg Marshall's squad takes on the tournament's overall number one seed Louisville Saturday, April 6th in Atlanta, GA. Tip-off is slated for 6:05 P.M. on CBS.