On November 14th, 1970, a Southern Airways jet carrying 75 people returning from the Marshall-East Carolina game came in too low for a landing in Huntingon, West Virginia. The plane clipped some trees, then exploded when it hit the ground. All passengers and crew on the plane were killed, including 37 members of the Marshall football team, 12 coaches, 21 boosters, and the five-member crew.
At the time, Marshall was just beginning to recover from a scandal that had embarrassed the school and lead to NCAA probation and their removal from the Mid-American Conference. "The Marshall Story" is the story of how Marshall fought back from the scandal and the plan crash, enduring several losing seasons before winning a Division I-AA national title in 1992 and another in 1996 before moving to Division I-A in 1997.
The story of the plane crash and Marshall's rebuilding were made into the movie "We Are Marshall" with Matthew McConaughey starring as Jack Lengyel, Marshall's football coach after the crash. The second to last chapter of the book details the making of the movie.
The book ends with a excerpt from a Chicago Tribune story called 'Seasons of Grief'. It talks about how relatives dealt with the loss of their loved ones lost in the plane crash. It is gut-wrenching to read, but the book would be incomplete without it.
The Marshall Story is a good book - it tells the story of Marshall football without pulling many punches. The authors, four former sports reporters who covered Marshall over four decades, do an excellent job of profiling the coaches and teams throughout the years. There is plenty of inside information to be found, some good, some bad. If you would like to know more than the Hollywood portrayal shown in the 'We Are Marshall' movie or you want to know about Marshall football throughout the years, this is the book you're looking for.