Wichita St. hires Winthrop's Marshall

Updated: April 14, 2007, 9:45 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

WICHITA, Kan. -- Wichita State hired Gregg Marshall as its basketball coach Saturday, four weeks after he led Winthrop to a first-round victory over Notre Dame in the NCAA Tournament.

Athletic director Jim Schaus said the school had reached a tentative seven-year agreement with Marshall for $750,000 a year, plus performance incentives. Schaus told reporters Marshall was his first choice to fill the job.

Marshall replaces Mark Turgeon, who left for Texas A&M on Tuesday.

"I don't believe there is anybody more talented or a greater fit for Wichita State than Gregg Marshall. We could search for weeks, months, years and not find somebody with his talent and caliber -- somebody that fits what we need," Schaus said. "We need someone with his skill, his passion, his energy to be able to take this program to the highest level of excellence, to become a national-level program."

Marshall, who met with Wichita State basketball players Friday night, said he and his family did not make the decision to accept the job until Saturday morning after sleeping on it.

"Preparation will not be a problem, hard work will not be a problem, playing with passion and intensity will not be a problem," Marshall said. "I can't guarantee you every shot will go in and I can't guarantee you that we will win every night, but you will get an honest effort and you will get something you can be proud of on that court night in and night out.

He planned to meet with his former players in Rock Hill, S.C., Saturday evening. At least one, and possibly two, of his coaching assistants would come to Wichita State with him, Marshall said, declining to name them.

Winthrop promoted assistant Randy Peele to replace Marshall on Saturday night.

Marshall told reporters he would concentrate on recruiting in the next few weeks, and said he looked forward to his first practice in the upcoming season with his new team.

"I am very aware of and very cognizant of the fact we are not done with the growth that has started in the last several years, but can actually aspire to even greater heights," Marshall said.

In the past nine years, Marshall said he has been recruited nine times about other coaching jobs -- three of those times this spring.

Winthrop, under the coaching of Marshall, has made seven NCAA appearances in nine years. Marshall was honored earlier this year as the Big South's top coach. Marshall, who won coach of the year honors for the fourth time, led the Eagles to the first perfect conference record in Big South history.

"Today, we have a national-level coach," Schaus said. "We hired a coach that is highly regarded throughout the country. I am going to tell you it is going to take some time. We need to be patient. ... Excellence is not about one season, it is about building a program."

A source close to the situation told ESPN.com that Marshall was extremely impressed by the overwhelming fan support, facilities and overall package of coaching at Wichita State, considered one of the top programs in the Missouri Valley Conference.

Marshall's first order of business will be to secure the seven commitments the Shockers have for next season. Turgeon called the recruits before he left for Texas A&M to ensure that they stayed true to their commitments.

Marshall had been offered a 10-year contract at Winthrop, with a raise from $270,000 to $400,000.

Information from The Associated Press and ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz was used in this report.

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