D’Antoni stepping down as Herd coach; Jackson takes over

Published 7:26 pm Monday, March 25, 2024


Associate Athletic Director of Strategic Communications

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall Athletics announced on Monday afternoon that there will be a leadership change within the Men’s Basketball program.

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Associate head coach Cornelius Jackson will take over as head coach for Dan D’Antoni, who spent 10 seasons leading the Herd.

“This has been an inspiring decade of Marshall Basketball under the leadership of Coach D’Antoni,” said Christian Spears, Marshall’s Director of Athletics. “His commitment to Marshall is unrivaled and his legacy will be honored for years to come. He built a program that plays for a community who deeply cares about him and our student-athletes. We wish him the very best and look forward to seeing him as he continues to support the program he built.

“We are confident that Coach Jackson will continue using the vast knowledge gained under Coach D’Antoni while maintaining the sincere connection to the student-athletes who played for D’Antoni and Corny over the last decade.”

Jackson has served under D’Antoni as an assistant since the 2017-18 season – a season in which the Thundering Herd advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The Oak Hill, W.Va., native was named to the role of Associate Head Coach for D’Antoni in July 2023.

During 10 seasons with the Herd, D’Antoni compiled an overall record of 177-148 with a 95-81 record in conference play.

The 177 career wins is second in Marshall history, trailing only Marshall coaching legend and basketball court namesakes Cam Henderson for the all-time lead with the Thundering Herd.

The highlight for D’Antoni’s tenure came in the 2017-18 season – Jackson’s first with the program – when he coached the Thundering Herd to a 25-11 record that included a 67-66 win over Western Kentucky in the Conference USA Championship which sent Marshall to its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 31 years.

Marshall went on to earn the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament win – an 81-75 win over No. 4 seed Wichita State – that etched the team into the Herd record books.

Another highlight of D’Antoni’s coaching career included the 2018-19 season when the Herd won a CIT Championship and finished with a 23-14 record behind three players who ended their careers as three of the top-6 scorers in Marshall history: Taevion Kinsey (2,641, No. 1), Jon Elmore (2,638, No. 2) and C.J. Burks (1,892, No. 6).

D’Antoni also led the Herd to the most regular season wins in 75 years in the 2022-23 season when the team won 24 games – the most regular season wins for a Marshall team in 76 years.

Beyond the wins and losses, D’Antoni and his sister Kathy D’Antoni, who serves on Marshall University’s Board of Governors, started one of Marshall Athletics’ key outreach initiatives in the “Running With The Herd” program, which was a goal-based program that involved elementary and middle school-aged students with the Thundering Herd team and rewarded goals achieved in academics by recognizing those students at games.

“Danny has been everything that we mean when we speak of greatness with Marshall University,” Marshall University President Brad D. Smith said. “From his time as a revered player for the Herd to his days coaching in the NBA and his subsequent journey home, his pride and love for Marshall has always shined through.

“As a proud Son of Marshall and proud West Virginian, he has worked diligently to not only set the standard for excellence within his program, but also to bring the community and state closer to our beloved university with initiatives like the ‘Running With The Herd’ program. We look forward to him continuing to be one of Marshall University’s biggest supporters and most influential ambassadors.”

Furthermore, D’Antoni has cultivated Marshall’s basketball coaching tree, which is shown in bringing back former players such as Jackson and Adam Williams to his staff while also grooming some of his former players for coaching, such as current assistant director of operations Ryan Taylor and current graduate assistant Justin Edmonds.

It is that tutelage that has Jackson ready to take over as the program’s next head coach.

“Coach D’Antoni has always understood the importance of Marshall-based people being involved in our men’s basketball program and in Marshall Athletics – those who have given their heart and sweat equity to the university in pursuit of its success,” Spears said. “Through his mentorship and guidance over the past decade, he has helped pave a path to ensure that continues in the future while expanding Marshall’s coaching presence in the college ranks.

“That is why I am so confident that Corny has been prepared for this and is ready to be our Head Coach. Danny also believes in him and his ability to get us back to a tournament championship and the NCAA Tournament.”

Details surrounding a press conference to introduce Coach Jackson will be announced in the near future. Stay tuned to HerdZone.com and our social media channels for updates.