“This was a difficult decision, but one I feel was necessary for my family, the university and, most importantly, the student-athletes,” Marshall, 57, said in a statement. “I remain grateful for my years spent at Wichita State. I wish to thank the coaches, student-athletes, the university, the community, and all of Shocker Nation for their unending dedication, support and loyalty. I am incredibly proud of this men’s basketball program and all it has achieved over the past 14 years and am confident of its continued success.”
Marshall coached at Wichita State for 13 seasons, turning the Shockers into a mid-major powerhouse and leading them to the Final Four in 2013, their first national semifinal appearance since 1965. He departs as the program’s all-time winningest coach with a 331-121 record. But last month, Wichita State announced it had hired a St. Louis law firm to investigate Marshall’s conduct after articles by Stadium and the Athletic revealed allegations of physical and verbal abuse by former players and staff members.
One of those players, Shaquille Morris, told Stadium that Marshall had punched him during practice after he had tried to help a teammate off the floor. Stadium also reported that Marshall had attempted to choke former assistant coach Kyle Lindsted. The Athletic reported Marshall had followed and tried to punch a Wichita State student who played another sport and who had parked in Marshall’s spot.
Former players also accused Marshall of racially taunting them at practices, with one player of Native American descent saying Marshall made “Indian howling noises” in his direction and told him “to get back on his horse,” and another player, from Colombia, accusing Marshall of telling him he would make “a great coffee bean picker.” Another player said Marshall body-shamed him, leading to anxiety and depression.
Eight Wichita State players entered the transfer portal after last season, with all but one leaving the program.
“Our student-athletes are our primary concern,” Wichita State Athletic Director Darron Boatright said in the statement. “While the university acknowledges the success of the basketball program under Coach Marshall, this decision is in the best interest of the university, its student-athletes and the WSU community. WSU will continue its pursuit of excellence with the help of its student-athletes, staff and loyal supporters of the basketball program.”
Assistant coach Isaac Brown will serve as the team’s interim coach.