Thundering Herd extends contracts of Beals, Grassie

Published 10:41 pm Tuesday, June 18, 2024


Marshall Athletics

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall Director of Athletics Christian Spears announced on Wednesday that Marshall Men’s Soccer coach Chris Grassie and Marshall Baseball coach Greg Beals each have received contract extensions.

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The extensions were approved by Marshall University’s Board of Governors during their monthly meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

“I am proud to work at a place with a Board of Governors and a President in Brad Smith who recognize what special things we have going on in Marshall Athletics,” Spears said. “Both Coach Grassie and Coach Beals and their respective families have done an amazing job of successfully building the bond between Marshall University and the Huntington community, and we couldn’t be more excited to continue that momentum and success for both programs.”

Grassie’s new contract is a seven-year deal that takes effect on July 1, 2024 and runs through the end of the 2030-31 school year.

In seven seasons with Marshall, Grassie has accumulated an 85-35-17 record while building the Thundering Herd into of the nation’s most prestigious men’s soccer programs.

Grassie has led Marshall to the NCAA Tournament in each of the last five seasons with the pinnacle being the 2020-21 season when the Thundering Herd won the 2020 College Cup with a 1-0 overtime win over Indiana for the program’s first-ever national championship.

“This one is the quintessential no-brainer!” Spears said. “We have the best collegiate soccer coach in the country, so how do we help him continue what he has already established? Chris is an amazing person, leader and colleague who has embraced this community along with his awesome family. They are embedded into the fabric of who we are while also helping us see where we can go.

“Marshall and Huntington are on the rise in so many ways and Coach Grassie, along with our soccer program, help us remember we can do anything here at Marshall. We can be the best team in the country and we can win a National Championship! That belief system extends beyond the pitch and I am grateful to work with Chris and for his belief in us and our ability to ensure we can compete at the highest level. It is only going to get better from here! Seven more years of National Championship level soccer. I am thrilled for our entire community!”

Last season, Marshall went 18-3 overall, earning the Sun Belt Conference Championship with a win over West Virginia, which led to the program being designated as the No. 1 overall seed in the 2024 NCAA Tournament.

“I and my entire family are delighted to sign this seven-year extension,” Grassie said.

“I’m grateful to be a member of the Herd community. Huntington has become our home, and we want to do everything we can to bring joy to the area. For me and my fantastic staff, we see this moment as a challenge, and plan to redouble our efforts to bring glory back to Marshall. We hope we can provide many phenomenal memories to our great community in the years to come.

“Allison and I would like to thank Brad Smith for his vision and invigorating leadership of our university, and Christian Spears for his fantastic stewardship of the athletic department. Both of these leaders simply get it when it comes to creating a culture of excellence. I’m honored to be on their team. We’d also like to thank the Board of Governors for providing the opportunity, Toney Stroud for his work in getting this done and Debra Boughton for her help and guidance day-to-day.”

Beals’ contract is a two-year extension that keeps him as the leader of the Thundering Herd through 2029.

One of the 50 winningest active coaches in Division I, Beals has changed the culture of Marshall Baseball while leading the program into a new era at Jack Cook Field, which opened in March 2024.

 Beals’ commitment to player success and community involvement has become the foundation to the program’s ascent within the Sun Belt Conference – one of the top baseball leagues in the country.

“We are building something really special in baseball!” Spears said.

“You can sense it and see some of the early indications of what is coming. You have a person who has done it before, knows what it takes to get there and what is expected. Combine that with the energy and enthusiasm of a community and university that just opened a new ballpark that plays in a nationally-competitive league and we have it all.

“Coach Beals is a phenomenal person – a player’s coach and a community leader with a family who cares deeply about what we are trying to build here at Marshall. If we all stay together, we are going to win here because of all those factors. We want to make sure Coach Beals, his family and our student-athletes know we are all-in on seeing them succeed!”

 The thrills of opening Jack Cook Field started immediately when Marshall’s Tre Hondras homered on the first pitch a Marshall batter saw in the new facility.

 The excitement continued in April when Marshall earned an exciting 3-2 win in 11 innings over West Virginia, who later advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals.

Spears announced the coaches’ extensions during the annual State of Marshall Athletics press conference, which took place at the Shewey Multipurpose Room on Wednesday.