HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Marshall football Coach Doc Holliday isn't afraid to adapt when the situation calls for it.
"I've always felt and always believed that, if you don't like where you are, you have to change something," Holliday said.
And Holliday doesn't like where his team has finished in two of his first three seasons as Marshall's head coach. In three years, the Herd has reached one bowl and had to sneak in with a 6-6 record in order to do that. That doesn't cut it for a football program that enjoyed seven bowl games in its first eight years in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Frankly, Holliday has his current job because the Mark Snyder era left the Thundering Herd with just one bowl appearance in five seasons. So, entering his fourth year, Holliday decided change was necessary.
And names on jerseys weren't.
Neither was picking season captains at the beginning of the year.
Holliday announced at Marshall's annual "Paint the Capital City Green" event last week that the last names that normally adorned the backs of players' jerseys would disappear. A few days later, he announced captains for Saturday's game against Miami University and that coaches would vote each week for another foursome, with the players voting for permanent captains at the end of the year.
Will that help the Herd score one more touchdown this season, or help the defense from keeping one out of the end zone? In terms of the playbook, it's meaningless. In terms of the team's spirit, Holliday said it's essential.
"There's a lot of teams out there that are talented teams, as far as athletes and personnel go," Holliday said. "But in order to win, you've got to have a great team. We wanted to really emphasize team."
Marshall was chock full of great athletes last season. Quarterback Rakeem Cato was Conference USA's most valuable player. Receiver Tommy Shuler was an all-conference first-team pick. So was tight end Gator Hoskins.
And where did that get the Herd at the end of the season? It got it a spot on the couch watching 70 other college football teams play in bowl games. And if they looked a few hours north to Morgantown, they saw a West Virginia University team in nearly the same predicament: Nationally renowned players in quarterback Geno Smith and receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey, but a team that failed to live up to its lofty preseason hype.
If the Herd needed a reminder of who it played for, Holliday was happy to oblige.