by David Williams, HNN Freelance Correspondent
Huck's Herd Last MU Basketball Team that went Dancing

Rick Huckabay coached Marshall University's Thundering Herd with flair and tenacity and electrified the Tri-State area from 1983 to 1989. His fast and furious teams scored over 100 points 6 times in his tenure that included 4 Southern Conference titles and a record of 129-59. Huckaby's teams became known as Huck's Herd. Huckaby pulled an average of 8,334 fans into the Henderson Center in a mainly  football town.

Huckabay made the Asheville, N.C. Civic Center the place to be in March for Herd fans at The Southern Conference Tournament, as green and white clad Marshall fans flooded the city for every tournament game in the 1980s. Herd fans even spent $2 bills one year, just to show the impact of Marshall on the Asheville community and the mayor of Asheville could often be seen sporting a green blazer in anticipation of "Huck's Herd" and followers.

Huck's Herd contained many fan favorites like Skip Henderson, John Taft, Tom Curry, Sam Henry, Rodney Holden, LaVerne Evans, John Humphrey, Bruce Morris (who made a field goal from 89 feet 10 inches known as The Shot Herd Around The World),and Andre Cunningham.

Huck's Herd Last MU Basketball Team that went Dancing

With his outspoken comments, his exciting approach to the game, his penchant for ripping refs, Rick Huckabay created excitement like no other Marshall basketball coach has and made Marshall basketball a front page story.

Although Huck was forced to resign in 1989 over a recruiting scandal, Huck will go down as one of Marshall's top coaches. Huckabay might best be remembered for him and his staff wearing white tuxedos with kelly green ties to coach in at their first Marshall-West Virginia game, won by the Herd 78-67. Huck went on to coach in the area at South Point high School. He died way too young at 59 in 2006.

Huck felt other team's felt the Herd didn't belong in the UK Invitational . Her said:

"If I were president of the United States, I'd hire those three SOB's that called that game to guard me. Their attitude toward 'Mickey Mouse' Marshall and the other teams in the tournament (University of Kentucky Invitational, Dec 1988 ), and the other teams in the tournament upsets me. They were looking at Marshall and saying, 'Who are these piss ants out there They're not supposed to be very good.'


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