Donyell Marshall’s Contract Not Renewed, Coaching Search Begins

CCSU is one of only 16 Division I programs with a coaching vacancy.

Steve McLaughlin

CCSU is one of only 16 Division I programs with a coaching vacancy.

Ryan Jones, Editor-in-Chief

After five seasons coaching Central Connecticut men’s basketball, Donyell Marshall’s contract was not renewed by the university, the athletic department announced Friday.

Marshall coached the Blue Devils to a 40-104 record over his five season tenure along with one playoff appearance.

In the athletic department’s press release, Marshall said that “it has been a privilege to serve as the head coach for this program for the past five seasons, and that he was “grateful to have had the opportunity to coach these young men. I thank each of them, as well as my coaching staff, for making this a memorable experience. I thank everyone for their commitment to me and this program and for working hard every day to make us better.”

Since the news of Marshall’s departure from the program, Tre Mitchell and Xavier Wilson have entered the transfer portal and have likely played their final games as Blue Devils.

Interim Athletic Director Tom Pincince said in an interview with the Recorder that he has met individually with every player since the announcement Friday. Some players are still making the decision on if they want to stay or not. Pincince said that no matter what they choose, the athletic department will have their full support.

“If you decide you want to go, it’s not as if we cut off all ties at that point,” Pincince said. “We’re going to help you get to that next destination.”

The situation with players leaving is tough on both sides. Typically, a new coach will want to recruit their own players and if players decide to stay, they will have to buy in to that coach’s philosophy. The decision is possibly tougher on the players, Pincince said.

“You come to play for a coach and then you find out that coach won’t be there anymore, it’s difficult,” Pincince said. “We will give them some time to make that decision about what they want to do next.”

The coaching job for CCSU will be a coveted one. Central Connecticut is one of only 16 Division I programs that are looking to hire a new coach this season, according to CBS. Interested parties have already been clamoring for the opportunity, according to Pincince.

“I’ve gotten more phone calls and texts in the last four days than over any four day stretch of my career,” Pincince said.

There will be a committee formed soon that will evaluate the candidates for the job and will vote on the final decision. Pincince said that at this time the committee has not been finalized but it is mostly complete.

The hopes are high for whoever is eventually picked. Pincince acknowledged that “we’ve seen in this league that teams can turn it around pretty quickly and be successful and that’s what we’re looking for.”

There will be a lot of things factoring into the final decision, Pincince said, but to him the ideal hire is someone “who can come in and set the tone from day one. Someone who can create the atmosphere that can be successful.”

The committee is focused on taking its time and not rushing into a decision. “This is a really important hire” for the program, Pincince said.

“There’s a lot that goes into it. We’re not going to sit there with a lot with X’s and O’s and those kind of things. They know their job is to coach once they get here and my job is to find the best person for that role.” The product on the court plays a factor, “but theres a lot more to it than that,” Pincince said.

“I’m not interested in winning the press conference. I’m interested in creating a program that gets back to the top of the [Northeast Conference] which is something that I know we can do.”