MU offensive coordinator Bill Legg resigns
HUNTINGTON — Marshall University offensive coordinator Bill Legg resigned his position with the Thundering Herd football program Thursday.
Legg, who also served as the Thundering Herd tight ends coach, had been with the team since Marshall head coach Doc Holliday was hired to lead the Herd in time for the 2010 season. Legg’s resignation is effective immediately.
It was the second stint at Marshall of Legg’s career. He was also with the program from 2001-02 under former head coach Bob Pruett.
Legg, a Poca, W.Va. native and graduate of West Virginia University, said his time in Huntington was special, but it was time to move on.
“I’ve absolutely loved Huntington and I’ve loved Marshall University,” Legg said. “I’ve loved the people here and, yeah, there’s many that don’t like me and I get that, but there’s also a lot of them that do like me and they’ve been unbelievable. It’s
unbelievable. It’s felt like home.
“This decision was made off of all the things that have been involved over the last year with the support of the head football coach and the athletic director. Now that the decision has been made, it is time to start thinking about the future and deciding what direction do I go.”
Marshall head coach Doc Holliday issued a statement through a release about Legg, who has been a long-time friend of his and was his first call when he got the head coaching job at Marshall.
“Billy and I have known each other for a long time,” Holliday said in the statement. “I thank him for his contributions to our program and wish him and Kelly (wife) nothing but the best.”
Legg said positive memories of his time in Huntington stick out the most, such as leading the offense during the Herd’s 2014 season that with a Conference USA championship, a No. 22 national ranking and a 13-1 record.
Also, Marshall went a perfect 4-0 in bowl games during his latest stint, scoring at least 31 points in three of the four matchups — the last of which was Saturday at the New Mexico Bowl when the Herd racked up 501 yards of offense and hit on several big plays in a 31-28 win over Colorado State.
“It’s been a hell of a ride,” Legg said. “It hasn’t always gone the way we wanted it to go, but it’s been a fun ride and I have nothing but the fondest of memories and thoughts and affections for being in Huntington and being around Marshall University.”
While Legg is no longer employed with the program, his comments spoke to what he sees as an exciting future for the Marshall offense, which has the opportunity to build on its New Mexico Bowl performance.
“I think those three young offensive linemen could end up being three of the best to ever play at Marshall University,” he said. “The ceiling is so high for those kids and the same can be said for the defensive side of the football. We’ve still got a lot of young kids who are coming back. You lose (tight end Ryan) Yurachek as a senior, but you’ve got, right now as we sit today, all those other dudes are back. You’ve got 10 starters back.”
Thursday’s announcement means despite Marshall having 10 starting players back next season, they will all be learning a different scheme under a new offensive coordinator. A search for Legg’s replacement is underway.
Coming off a disappointing 3-9 season in 2016, Marshall shuff led its offensive staff around with Legg taking over the tight ends position and Todd Goebbel moving over to take over the quarterbacks with the title of co-offensive coordinator for 2017. The Herd made marginal improvements, increasing its scoring per game from 26.4 in 2016 to 26.7 in 2017 while gaining nearly 30 yards more a game (379.8 in 2017; 350.0 in 2016).
However, struggles down the stretch following a 6-1 start and a fall-off in November during the chase for the C-USA East Division championship had many people in the Marshall community calling for changes.
During his time at Marshall, Legg engineered many successful offenses, including those led by quarterback Rakeem Cato from 2012 to 2014 — all of which finished in the top 12 nationally in total offense at more than 500 yards per game.
That 2014 team set program records for points (638), first downs (366), rushing yards (3,807) and total yards (7,829).
Legg said that he is unsure of what his future will bring, but he plans to enjoy the holidays with his wife and daughter, Sarah.
“Right now, things are breaking for the holidays and that gives me time to contemplate some things as to exactly what it is I want to do and who is willing to give me the opportunity to do it,” Legg said.