With the start of preseason practice
comes a brand new coaching regime for Marshall women’s basketball. Matt Daniel
was hired over the summer to jump start a women’s basketball program who had
seen good times and bad under former head coach Royce Chadwick. Daniel says
it’s not about making quick fixes, but fixing the environment of the women’s
“We’re happy to try to come in an fix
everything that is broken with the women’s basketball program. I think anytime
you take over new job, everybody talks about just survive. I’m not much on
surviving, so we’re evaluating everything that is going on to help fix things. We’re not trying to band-aid things; we are trying to clean up and build a
program,” Daniel said.
At Daniel’s previous stop at Central
Arkansas he took over a program that won six games in its first year before
producing seasons of 21 and 24 wins in his last few seasons before heading
to Huntington. Daniel’s programs feature teams that like to play up-tempo and
run, which he said will be a shock at first as practices get underway.
“To be honest I feel bad for them. One
of the things that we talk to them about is that the fact that there obviously
have to be changes that are made and we are eager and happy to come in and try
to help implement those changes that are needed and it will be a tough process. There will be good days and there will be bad days,” Daniel said.
The Herd women are picked 12 in the 12
team Conference USA preseason poll of coaches. Daniel said the poll matters
little in the preparation leading in to the season.
“I’m not surprised by that. I don’t get
surprised or shocked by much, but it doesn’t change our work ethic. Our work
ethic wouldn’t change if we were on the top or bottom, that’s our approach. We’re just taking it one day at a time. The thing we talked with them about
this year is one at a time, one possession at a time, one day at a time and one
class at a time, one practice at a time, one week at a time and that starts
with the stop and first score November 9th versus Radford,” Daniel
The women’s program has a record of
581-581 since its inception in the 1969-1970 season. Daniel and his players
hope to change the feeling around the program. Sophomore guard Shay Weaver said
the transition period has been made easier by Daniel.
“I definitely feel that he’s patient. At
first a lot of us were scared to ask questions because we didn’t want to have to
run or get in trouble, but he’s real patient. He’ll explain it. He slows it
down and says okay, this is what I want you to do. As long as we’re listening and
going our hardest, he doesn’t get upset with us,” Weaver said.
The Herd’s schedule includes match-ups
with Marquette, WVU and Navy. Weaver said things have already changed a lot as
the team adjusts to Daniel’s philosophies in what he calls “Home of Higher
“We knew from the beginning it was going
to be a big change, we knew we were going to do a lot of running and we were
like ok, how are we going to do this and in this small amount of time we’ve
done so much that we didn’t even know we were able to do, so that’s been a big
surprise,” Weaver said.
Associate head coach Tony Kemper says
the program is headed in the right direction.
“There are two general things that we’re
really working on right now. One is our team and two is recruiting. With our
team, we’re all pleasantly surprised with effort and attitude. That’s been good.
At the same time we’re like every other program in the country. We just started
and we’re not where we want to be yet, but we are moving in the right direction,”
Kemper said getting their message out
there has been important, whether in recruiting or gathering fans in the
“Also I think our message that we’re out
beating the pavement and talking to people. I think it’s resonating what we’re
about and what we’re trying to build here. I think we’re making progress. All
of us are out at various times during the week making stops at local schools
and schools a long ways away,” Kemper said.
The Herd women will open at home November
1 in an exhibition contest against Concord.