PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) — People around Princeton might have heard some Thunder on Tuesday, June 7, 2022. Not from up in the sky, but instead from the Chuck Mathena Center.

Marshall University fans, alumni, and coaches gathered for the first Marshall University coaches tour since the pandemic began. It also marked the first full tour and trip to Princeton for Herd Head Football Coach Charles Huff.

“I am excited to be here. a lot of herd fans here a lot of people that have been behind the herd for a very long time and the chance to get out and meet them and hear some of the stories and hear their excitement for the season and what the athletic program and what the university is doing now and I’m excited,” said Huff.

Staff from all across the Marshall University athletic department made the trip down to Mercer County, as they believe it allows for a deeper connection for fans and a chance to communicate outside of a stadium.

“It is just so cool to be able to sit down and like eat bread and have a moment with people to just have questions and get to know us because I think that’s the biggest thing with any coach, you don’t know us,” said Ari Aganus, the Herd Womens’ Volleyball Head Coach.

And many Marshall coaches have ties to our area. Mike Swan, the Women’s head soccer coach, played soccer for Bluefield University in 1996, met his wife, and still has family in the area today.

“Going down college avenue in Bluefield, one of them is WVU the more important one is Marshall and you are just talking to half the town who are right behind you. so even though we got this small community down here, they are absolutely all behind Marshall so it is great to just talk to the folks down here,” said Swan.

Of course, before Dan D’Antoni became a household name for Marshall fans, he cultivated his talents on the hardwood at Mullens High School.

“Well for me, cause I am a resident, a long-time resident of Southern West Virginia I see a lot of people I haven’t seen for years and years and years. It’s more than an alumni event for me it is a personal event,” said Herd Men’s Basketball Head Coach D’Antoni.

After fans and coaches got to know each other, it took no time to bring up questions about the upcoming athletic calendar. The hot topic being the football team’s number one preseason ranking in the conference and the Herd’s entry into the Sun Belt Conference.

“That means they preseason picked all of us number one in football. this state this region this community these folks who care about Marshall so I hope we all wear it, show up with pride and let’s try to win this league in hear one,” said the newest Marshall University Athletic Director Christian Spears.