During Marshall's most recent tenure in the Mid-American Conference, the Thundering Herd had its share of impact players, perhaps none more so than 2004 MAC Defensive Player of the Year Johnathan Goddard.
In Goddard's senior season the talented defensive end led the nation with 16 sacks and 28 tackles for loss on his way to being named second-team All-American and a Bronko Nagurski Trophy finalist in addition to earning conference honors.
His talent also caught the attention of the National Football League's Detroit Lions which drafted him in the sixth round of the 2005 NFL draft. Goddard also briefly played for the Indianapolis Colts before landing with the Colorado Crush of the Arena Football League.
Tragically, Goddard, the father of four young children, died June 15 when his motorcycle, traveling at a high rate of speed, went off the shoulder of a road in Jacksonville, Florida and turned over. Goddard was pronounced dead less than twelve hours later at Shands Jacksonville Medical Center. He was 27.
At the time of his death Goddard had no insurance which has prompted Thundering Herd fans to create a memorial fund to offset the costs of funeral and burial expenses which are estimated at $13,000.
Fans congregating via independent on-line forums supporting Marshall University, the Huntington community and the friends of the Johnathan Goddard Family have established the trust fund.
Donations may be sent to:
The Johnathan Goddard Bereavement Fund
c/o Chase Bank
1000 5th Avenue
Huntington, WV 25701
Fans can also extend their condolences and join the discussion at www.herdnation.com.
Contributions in excess of the funeral expenses will be donated to the Big Green Scholarship Foundation in Goddard's name.
The staff of MAC Report Online extends its condolences to the Goddard Family.