Marshall football: Herd adds former NFL wide receiver to coaching staff
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- The Marshall football team is getting a new wide receivers coach, and he's bringing eight years of unique NFL experience with him.
Mike Furrey - the head coach at NAIA Kentucky Christian, who played both wide receiver and safety in the NFL - resigned at KCU on Monday and is headed to the Thundering Herd. KCU confirmed the move in its announcement that Knights assistant coach Gene Peterson would replace Furrey.
The Thundering Herd was looking for a wide receivers coach after Gerad Parker left to become tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator at Purdue. Furrey led the NFC in 2006 with 98 receptions for the Detroit Lions.
Furrey spent his collegiate and most of his pro career at wide receiver.
A Hilliard, Ohio native, Furrey walked on to the Ohio State football team in 1995, then transferred to Northern Iowa in 1997. He sits second in career receptions (242), third in career yards (3,544) and fifth in career touchdowns (27) in Gateway/Missouri Valley Conference history.
Furrey joined the Indianapolis Colts as an undrafted free agent in 2000, but was waived at the end of training camp. After one season with the XFL's Las Vegas Outlaws and two seasons with the Arena Football League's New York Dragons, he returned to the NFL, where he played for the St. Louis Rams, Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns as both receiver and safety. He led the Rams with four interceptions in 2005, and also led the NFC with 98 catches for the Lions in 2006.
He was named the Cleveland Browns' Ed Block Courage Award winner in 2009, and was a finalist in 2010 for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award for his work with the Mike Furrey Foundation, which advocates for the basic needs of all people to be met.
Furrey retired in 2010 after suffering a career-ending concussion during the Washington Redskins' training camp. He spent two seasons at KCU, leading the Knights to a 4-7 record in 2011, then a 7-4 record in 2012, winning five of their last six games.
Furrey will lead a Marshall receiving corps that lost two important cogs in seniors Aaron Dobson and Antavious Wilson. Dobson was a 2012 all-Conference-USA second team selection, while Wilson earned honorable mention, and the two accounted for nearly a third of Marshall's receiving yards last season.
But the Herd returns all-C-USA first-team pick Tommy Shuler, who caught a school-record 110 passes last season for 1,138 yards and six touchdowns.
Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/marshall. Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.