Marshallville ‘lives on’

Mixed reactions came from Wichita State fans when they saw news break on social media that men’s basketball head coach Gregg Marshall had reached a deal to stay at WSU.

It was April 1, April Fool’s Day. “Is this a joke? Are they serious? I can’t believe it!”

Those were the most common reactions, but once multiple high-level college basketball reporters tweeted about it, it became real. Marshall is continuing his coaching career with the Shockers.

“It was just a few days of waiting, but it seemed a lot longer,” said Dustin Kuhn, WSU alumnus. “I certainly didn’t accomplish much at work as I was checking Twitter every five minutes. The rumors were so back and forth, so when the news finally broke, it was so nice.”

There were rumors Marshall was supposed to visit Alabama last Friday, but that didn’t happen. Athletic Director Eric Sexton had been on the phone early in the week finding private donors to help raise Marshall’s salary.

“The old adage, ‘you reap what you sow’ undoubtedly applies here,” Sexton said in a statement. “Over the past eight years, Gregg Marshall and his family have devoted themselves to this community, both personally and professionally. In the past few days, we have seen this community rally to return the favor. We’re grateful for those who stepped up to help us in a time of need.”

The hashtag #StayGregg — started by the Marshallville group last week — was changed immediately to #GreggStayed after hearing of Marshall’s decision to stay.

“It wasn’t until I saw the news from Paul Suellentrop and Mark Adams that we knew it was true,” said Max Runyon, president of Marshallville. “Once we were certain the news was legitimate, we immediately launched the #GreggStayed hashtag and watched it skyrocket.”

Ron Kraus, a season-ticket holder who started the GoFundMe account last week to get funds to give to WSU Athletics, said he’ll honor his word and give the money raised to SASO (Student Athlete Scholarship Organization).

“How I felt to hear Coach Marshall would be back?” Kraus said. “Relieved, happy, ecstatic, enthused would begin to sum it up. I understand how far a program can be set back by one wrong hire. I feel lucky to have Coach, and I feel I speak for Shocker Nation.”

Marshall said he’s happy to stay in Wichita and call it his home.

“I’m just amazed at what Wichita has done,” Marshall said in a statement released by the university. “We are blessed by all the people who stepped up to make this possible. This is a wonderful city, university and program with great support from so many friends, as well as our administration. Now we can return to our goal of being a shining example for a college basketball program.”

The “Marshall” will stay in “Marshallville” for presumably some time to come, and the name of the group started in the summer of 2012 won’t have to change.

“The Marshallville tradition, which has continued to grow, will live on,” Runyon said.

As of right now, no details of the contract have been announced other than Marshall will earn more than $3 million per year with a seven-year rollover.

Terms have been verbally agreed to. Nothing has been signed yet.