Special to HNN Provided by Herd Zone

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall athletics’ Big Green Scholarship Foundation held its first HERDSPYs event, honoring student-athletes and recognizing some of the greatest moments in Thundering Herd history as voted by Thundering Herd fans via HerdZone.com.



The evening began with the presentation of the Big Green Legacy Award to Dr. Dorothy “Dot” Hicks, the creator of women’s intercollegiate athletics at Marshall who has endowed five scholarships. Hicks, a former Marshall professor, coach, and administrator until her retirement in 1999, continues to serve on the department’s Hall of Fame committee. In 2008, the new Thundering Herd softball field was named in her honor and in 2012, the Huntington Herald-Dispatch named her the Lowell Cade Sportsperson of the Year.


Austin Loop’s four-point play against UTEP was voted the Men’s Basketball Play of the Year. That moment gave the Herd a 57-46 lead in a contest Marshall won 78-71 for its first Conference USA win of the season. Loop, who also received the HERDSPY for Perseverance, was named to the league’s Honor Roll for having a grade point average of 3.0 or better.


Running back Devon Johnson’s school-record 272 rushing yards and four touchdowns in a 35-16 Marshall win over Florida Atlantic was named the Football Play of the Year, while the program’s 26-23 C-USA Championship win over Louisiana Tech was named Moment of the Year.


Football’s 64-61 double-overtime win over East Carolina in the 2001 GMAC Bowl was voted the Moment of All-Time. The game, dubbed the “Miracle in Mobile”, saw the Thundering Herd rally from a 38-8 halftime deficit to win on an eight-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Byron Leftwich to Josh Davis.


The Defining Moment in Herd History HERDSPY went to the final play of the Young Thundering Herd’s 15-13 win over Xavier on Sept. 25, 1971. The victory was the program’s first since the horrific Nov. 14, 1970 plane crash which took the lives of all 75 aboard Southern Airways Flight 932. The award was accepted by Red Dawson, a former assistant coach for Marshall who worked not only with the 1970 team, but was also a leader for the Young Thundering Herd.


The HERDSPY for Courage and Commitment went to swimmer Katie Kramer, a student athlete who not only swam the Strait of Gibraltar, but who was also earned the C-USA Academic Medal and was named to the league’s honor roll.


The HERDSPY for Dedication went to football’s Clint Van Horn, a native of Beckley who came to the program as a walk on and finished the 2014 campaign with first-team All-C-USA honors at right tackle. He was also named to the league’s Honor Roll.


The Chad Pennington HERDSPY for Leadership went to two-time All-C-USA center Chris Jasperse, who started a Marshall Football Bowl Subdivision school record 53 games for the Thundering Herd and played 4,040 snaps, leading all active FBS linemen.