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MCGILL: Ticket Office Led By State Natives, Longtime Herd Fans

From left: William Smith, Cole Woodrum and Matt Miller.
From left: William Smith, Cole Woodrum and Matt Miller.
May 22, 2018

By Chuck McGill

HerdZone.com

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – There is a groundswell of positivity in Marshall athletics these days, certainly stirred by a banner 2017-18 sports year here that included triumphs on the courts, fields, pools, tracks and in the classroom.

College football pundits have taken to social media to highlight the Herd, citing last season’s success (eight wins and a bowl victory) and this season’s long list of returning players as reasons. Marshall, if one doesn’t know, is the only Football Bowl Subdivision team that returns two 800-yard running backs and one 800-yard receiver. The program also returns 103 combined starts on the offensive line, 16 of the team’s 20 top tacklers and 89 percent of the team’s sack production.

Yes, that’s reason for optimism, and Marshall fans have responded in kind. During the season ticket renewal phase, 96 percent of last season’s ticket holders re-upped. That is a staggering retention number, but it underscores the good vibes from a bounce-back season, the promise of what lies ahead in 2018 and an attractive home schedule. Marshall will host ACC member North Carolina State in non-conference play, and Middle Tennessee, defending league champion Florida Atlantic, Charlotte and UTSA. The home season opens against nearby Eastern Kentucky.

Joan C. Edwards Stadium will be the site of large crowds on six Saturdays this fall. The fans, obviously, deserve credit for that. But here at Marshall, we have people working behind-the-scenes to make sure every chairback and inch of aluminum is covered in Kelly green this season. You may have already talked to the Marshall ticketing team, or you may see them or hear from them in the coming months. They will be out in the community at summer events. They will be working the phones during an aggressive outbound sales campaign.

A main reason the ticket sales team is so good at what they do is because of their love for the Thundering Herd. Cole Woodrum, Marshall’s director of athletic ticketing, and athletic ticket office assistants Matthew Miller and William Smith, have common threads that bond them. They are all three West Virginia natives. They all three attended Marshall. They all three have long cheered on the Herd from the stands, their love and passion for athletics rooted in this fact:

Before they sold Marshall tickets, they held Marshall tickets. 

 

Name: Cole Woodrum

Age: 26

Hometown: Winfield, West Virginia

College: Marshall

Major: Business Marketing; Business Administration

High School: Winfield High School

High School Sports: Track

Job responsibilities: Day-to-day ticket operations; supervise ticket office staff; daily financial deposits

What initially sparked your love of athletics?

Woodrum: As long as I can remember I’ve been part of Marshall athletics because of my family being part of Marshall. I’ve been around the program as long as I can remember. It’s been all I’ve known is athletics and Marshall athletics.

Aside from HerdZone.com, what are three websites visited by you daily?

Woodrum: Twitter, Business Insider, Barstool.

Who is your all-time favorite athlete?

Woodrum: Randy Moss (Fun fact: Woodrum once raced Moss – he walked up to him at a bowl game, told him he could beat him in a race. Moss looked at the 6-year-old Woodrum and said, ‘Why don’t you try?’).

What’s your favorite sports/work-related memory of the past year?

Woodrum: The trip to San Diego (for the NCAA tournament). It was one of the coolest experiences of my life.

What’s your perfect three-course meal lineup (appetizer, main course, dessert)?

Woodrum: Cheese fries, filet steak, skillet cookie.

What’s the earliest sports event you can remember attending?

Woodrum: 1997 Motor City Bowl – it was on my sixth birthday.

What are three sports movies you’ll still be watching in 25 years?

Woodrum: Remember the Titans; Rocky 4; Space Jam.

If you could take any current Marshall athletic department member and slot them into any sports movie role, who would it be and which role would you choose?

Woodrum: Teddy Kluemper (Assistant Athletic Director for Development) as Coach Morris Buttermaker in Bad News Bears.

If you could be any Marshall athlete for any moment in the school’s sports history, who would it be and which moment would you choose?

Woodrum: Willy Merrick in the ’92 national championship for the kick.

What gives you the most enjoyment about working for Marshall athletics?

Woodrum: It’s all I’ve ever known is athletics and being part of Marshall. I just like trying to better the program. I like trying to extend it and advance it in different aspects. I get to help the program I’ve loved for so long.

 

Name: Matt Miller

Age: 23

Hometown: Huntington, West Virginia

College: Marshall

Major: Sport Management/Marketing; MBA

High School: Huntington High School

High School Sports: Soccer and baseball

What initially sparked your love of athletics?

Miller: Growing up playing sports with twin brother; going through soccer, travel soccer.

Aside from HerdZone.com, what are three websites visited by you daily?

Miller: Instagram, MyMU, Barstool.

Who is your all-time favorite athlete?

Miller: Allen Iverson.

What’s your favorite sports/work-related memory of the past year?

Miller: Beating Wichita State; We were all working here (at the Henderson Center), answering phone calls, getting people set up for tickets, and we had streaming set up.

What’s your perfect three-course meal lineup (appetizer, main course, dessert)?

Miller: Lobster artichoke dip, surf and turf, key lime pie.

What’s the earliest sports event you can remember attending?

Miller: Myrtle Beach Pelicans minor league game.

What are three sports movies you’ll still be watching in 25 years?

Miller: Legend of Bagger Vance; Remember the Titans; Hoosiers.

If you could take any current Marshall athletic department member and slot them into any sports movie role, who would it be and which role would you choose?

Miller: William Smith as Kevin Costner in Tin Cup.

If you could be any Marshall athlete for any moment in the school’s sports history, who would it be and which moment would you choose?

Miller: Aaron Dobson for “The Catch.”

What gives you the most enjoyment about working for Marshall athletics?

Miller: The people I’m around. I like seeing the faces, I like meeting new people, I met Red Dawson, the Pruetts, etc. It’s the best part of the job.

 

Name:William Smith

Age: 22

Hometown: Kenova, West Virginia

College:  Marshall

Major: Sport Management (Minor in Exercise Science); Graduated in December 2017

High School: Spring Valley

High School Sports: Golf

What initially sparked your love of athletics?

Smith: I have been a sports fan my whole life, in a gym or a golf course, addicted to ESPN, big stats guy, always followed Marshall athletics.

Aside from HerdZone.com, what are three websites visited by you daily?

Smith: Twitter, Instagram, ESPN.

Who is your all-time favorite athlete?

Smith: J.J. Redick.

What’s your favorite sports/work-related memory of the past year?

Smith: The conference championship in basketball. We were all downstairs in the Hartley Room with the marketing department watching us beat Western Kentucky.

What’s your perfect three-course meal lineup (appetizer, main course, dessert)?

Smith: Maple Butter Blondie, Maple Butter Blondie, Maple Butter Blondie.

What’s the earliest sports event you can remember attending?

Smith: Marshall vs. Hofstra, Aug. 30, 2003.

What are three sports movies you’ll still be watching in 25 years?

Smith: Remember the Titans; Tin Cup; Sandlot.

If you could take any current Marshall athletic department member and slot them into any sports movie role, who would it be and which role would you choose?

Smith: Tyler Able (Director of Marketing) as White Goodman in Dodgeball and Cole Woodrum as Peter La Fleur.

If you could be any Marshall athlete for any moment in the school’s sports history, who would it be and which moment would you choose?

Smith: Eric Kresser when he won the championship in ’96 at home in Huntington.

What gives you the most enjoyment about working for Marshall athletics?

Smith: I enjoy helping fans and enjoying who I work with. I like the guys in there from top to bottom. It’s been a cool experience for me.

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