HUNTINGTON — As Marshall University’s football players returned to campus this week for voluntary workouts, head coach Doc Holliday waits for his time to return to his Huntington office and resume a normal day’s work.
While Holliday and the coaches are still not allowed back, the players are wrapping up their first week of voluntary workouts, giving a slight hint of normalcy in an abnormal year to date around the college sports world.
“At the end of the day, we’re really excited to get the kids back on campus,” Holliday said via FaceTime.
“There’s no question that (Athletic Director) Mike Hamrick, our doctors and the staff have done a tremendous job of making that happen.
“It’s amazing all the hoops we are having to jump through with this, but the players are doing a tremendous job of adjusting.”
With the season slated to start on Aug. 29, Holliday is eager to find out what the new normal will be for football season — when practice starts, how it will be conducted, will games be delayed, fans or no fans at games.
Those are all questions that are very much up in the air at this point.
However, Holliday is happy his guys are back in preparation for their passion.
“These kids love the game and they love to play,” Holliday said. “I know they’ve been as frustrated as we have because they can’t do what they love to do. That’s get up and go to work every day to do what they have to in order to be great players. I know they missed it and I know they are excited to get back.”
With the players and strength staff working through voluntary workouts, Holliday said he and the coaches are still working each day through Microsoft Teams, meeting to get together a game plan for what is going to occur when and if teams are allowed to practice.
That practice would have to start in July if the season were to get underway as planned on Aug. 29 with the Herd traveling to East Carolina.
Holliday said that the biggest emphasis for the players during voluntary workouts is getting physically prepared for the upcoming season.
“The majority of these kids had nowhere to work out,” Holliday said. “When you talk about weights and all those things, gyms were closed and a lot of guys didn’t have access to weights or their high schools when they went home.
“These kids have a lot of catching up to do as far as getting physically prepared with the conditioning and strength part of it to get ready to go play the game. Summer has always been crucial to the development of players.”