Joe Robbins/Getty Images
By Thayer Evans
December 23, 2014

Marshall is working on a long-term contract extension with head coach Doc Holliday that is expected to be finalized in the near future, a source told

Holliday led the Thundering Herd to a 12-1 campaign this season and their first Conference USA championship. They face Northern Illinois in the Boca Raton Bowl on Tuesday night. Holliday signed a two-year extension before this season that increased the value of incentives in his contract but didn't change his base pay.This new agreement would add on years to Holliday's contract and bring a considerable pay raise, according to the source.

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Holliday had drawn interest from Pittsburgh, which will hire Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi, according to's Pete Thamel.

Holliday has been the head coach at Marshall since 2010 when he left his role as associate head coach at West Virginia. In five seasons with the Herd, he has gone 39-25, including 22-5 in the past two seasons. Last year's 10-4 mark was Marshall's first season with double-digit wins since 2002.

After losing in last season's conference title game, the Herd rebounded to claim the C-USA championship this year, and Holliday was named the conference's coach of the year. Marshall had chased an undefeated record that could have earned it the Group of Five's spot in a New Year's Six bowl, However, a 67-66 overtime loss to Western Kentucky ended those dreams.

Holliday will have to rebuild the Herd's offense next season without quarterback Rakeem Cato, the four-year starter who ranks fifth in NCAA history in passing touchdowns and eighth in passing yards. However, star running back Devon Johnson, who racked up 1,636 rushing yards on 191 carries, will return next year. Marshall also had its best defense under Holliday's tenure this season, allowing just 4.7 yards per play, 15th in the FBS.

The Herd will be playing with heavy hearts in Tuesday's bowl game after university president Stephen Kopp died unexpectedly Wednesday from a heart attack.

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