Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

January 24, 2013

MARK MAYNARD: Super ties for MSU, Herd

Mark Maynard
The Independent

ASHLAND — Morehead State University and Marshall University have some connections to Super Bowl XLVII.

John Harbaugh, the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, was an assistant coach at MSU in 1988 under Bill Baldridge. Harbaugh was special teams and defensive backs coach along with being strength and conditioning coordinator.

He was there only one season before taking the special teams coordinator job with the Cincinnati Bearcats.

Phil Simms, the lead analyst of the Super Bowl for CBS and a Louisville native, played quarterback at MSU from 1975 to 1978 before being selected seventh overall by the New York Giants in 1979. He led the Giants to a pair of Super Bowl titles during his 15 seasons.

Four former Marshall University players are on the Super Bowl rosters, too.

The San Francisco 49ers have former Marshall record-breaking wide receiver Randy Moss and former Herd safety C.J. Spillman.

The Baltimore Ravens have former Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year Albert McClellan and former Marshall safety Omar Brown, who is a rookie.

Moss came to the 49ers after a one-year retirement. He had 28 catches for 434 yards and three touchdowns in his 14th NFL season.

Spillman is an outstanding special teams player for the Niners with 11 tackles as a gunner for the punt coverage team. He was a 2012 Pro Bowl alternate.

McClellan  has 49 tackles, a second and a forced fumble for the Ravens in his second season.

Brown is a reserve safety for the Ravens.

Shawnee ranked

Shawnee State University cracked the NAIA Division I top 25 this week at  No. 24.

Shawnee State is 11-7. Tyler Boyles, a senior from Raceland, is a starter for the Bears. He reached Shawnee State’s 1,000-point club in November.

University of Pikeville, 18-2, is ranked No. 3. Former Rowan County standout and Mason County coach Kelly Wells is the head coach at UPike.

Columbia (Mo.) is the top-ranked team in the country.

Faulkner stars

University of Charleston recently handed top-ranked West Liberty University its first defeat after a 14-0 start.

Evan Faulkner, the former Elliott County High School star who transferred from Radford, is averaging 10.8 points. 3.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game at UC, which is 10-3.

Belmont tonight

Morehead State faces new Ohio Valley Conference member Belmont tonight at 7 in Ellis T. Johnson Arena.

The Eagles, who are 10-10 overall and 4-2 in the OVC, have won five of their last seven contests.  The Bruins, who are 15-4 on the season and 6-0 in league play, have won six consecutive games.

Belmont, which is No. 23 in the NCAA's official Ratings Percentage Index, comes in as Morehead State's highest-ranked foe this season.  The two schools have never met in men's basketball.

MARK MAYNARD can be reached at mmaynard@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2648.