Wichita State men’s basketball coach Gregg Marshall loves to compete. Competing for his favorite charity gets him fired up in a different way than his duties on game day.
Marshall joined 47 other NCAA basketball coaches in a voting competition on ESPN.com on Monday afternoon. Fans can register at espn.com/infiniti and vote for their favorite coach. Winners advance to the round of 24, then 16, and then four. The winning charity, announced March 16, receives $100,000.
Marshall’s charity is the Wichita Children’s Home, an organization he and his family worked with for several years. Each charity receives $1,000 to start.
“Let’s go,” Marshall said. “We need Shocker nation to get up. We moved to sixth in the polls (Monday), so hopefully we can get a long run in this competition.”
Marshall’s mother was adopted from a children’s home in Greenwood, S.C., giving him a personal connection to the children served at the Wichita Children’s Home.
“These young people, they deserve a chance to be successful,” he said. “Sometimes they have tough situations that they’re coming from. They just need love and they need people to care for them. If you do that, just like my mom, they can go on to be wonderful people.”
Voting began Monday afternoon. Kansas coach Bill Self (Assists Foundation) and Kansas State coach Bruce Weber (Coaches vs. Cancer) are also participating. Former Wichita State coach Mark Turgeon (Alzheimer’s Association) and former WSU assistant Tad Boyle (Ronald McDonald House) are, as well. Ohio State’s Thad Matta is the two-time champion, said Wichita Children’s Home board of trustees president Debbie Kennedy.
“We know that there is no finer coach than Coach Marshall and we want to offer him all of our support and we need your support,” Kennedy said. “(Support will) benefit our most vulnerable population, the neglected, abused and abandoned children, who are cared for by the Wichita Children’s Home.”
The list of 48 coaches is a who’s who of coaching, including Michigan State’s Tom Izzo, North Carolina’s Roy Williams and Duke Mike Krzyzewski.
Marshall is leaning on WSU’s marketing department to get the word out on social media. He is leaning on fans to help him raise money for the charity.
“I encourage Shocker nation to get out and vote,” he said. “Let’s vote angry.”