HARRISONBURG, Va., – James Madison Director of Athletics Jeff Bourne announced Thursday that head coach Matt Brady has signed a new contract as leader of the men’s basketball program. The deal extends Brady’s commitment to JMU through the 2016-17 season.
"I look forward to working with Coach Brady in the future as the Dukes battle for conference championships and appearances in the NCAA Tournament,” Bourne said. “The momentum in our men’s basketball program has continued this year under Matt's leadership, and the team’s run in March has created genuine excitement for the future. Our freshman student-athletes have performed extremely well, and we anticipate another excellent recruiting class arriving on campus for this fall. I am excited to watch them compete next season and take the energy and enthusiasm from this past year’s CAA Tournament and NCAA playoffs into the 2013-14 season. The coaching staff has a clear plan in place to build upon the current energy by developing consistency and becoming an engaged part of the community. The future of our program is bright.”
Brady has posted an overall record of 88-82 during his five seasons in Harrisonburg and stands at 161-132 in nine years as a collegiate head coach. With three 21-win seasons, he has orchestrated three of JMU’s seven best win totals in program history. During the 2012-13 season, he guided the Dukes to a 21-15 record, including the program’s first Colonial Athletic Association Championship and NCAA Tournament appearance in 19 years as well as the Dukes’ first NCAA postseason win in 30 years.
“It is a true privilege to be the men’s basketball head coach at James Madison University," Brady stated. "This institution is a special place, not only because of the on-court potential of our program but also due to the well-rounded academic and community experience afforded to every student-athlete on this campus. We’ve worked diligently to cultivate a culture of success for our program, and that hard work resulted in a tremendously exciting March for a lot of people. Our championship run demonstrated how our program has the ability to galvanize the community, and I look forward to further engaging myself and our players with the university and community to make a positive impact."
JMU had posted eight consecutive losing seasons prior to Brady’s arrival. In his inaugural campaign in 2008-09, he led the Dukes to a 21-15 ledger, the program's first winning record in nine seasons and a postseason run to the semifinals of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. He followed that with a 13-20 campaign in 2009-10 with a squad that was decimated by injuries. Brady's Dukes rebounded with another 20-win mark in 2010-11 at 21-12 before again suffering through significant injuries in a 12-20 season in 2011-12. Finally in 2012-13, the pieces fell into place for the program to make a significant step forward with a 21-15 season and the CAA title.
The 2012-13 season began inauspiciously with a 1-5 start, however Brady's squad turned things around quickly by winning six of the next seven games. It marked the first time in the program's Division I history to fall as many as four games below .500 and claw back for a winning record. By late January, the Dukes hit their stride and won eight of their final 12 league games to finish 11-7 in CAA play and claim the league's No. 3 seed after being picked sixth in the preseason. It marked just the second winning league record for the program in 13 years as well as both the most CAA wins and highest CAA finish since 1999-2000.
Led by four seniors, JMU carried the momentum into the CAA Championship in Richmond. The Dukes defeated William and Mary 72-67 to reach their first semifinals since 2001, topped Delaware 58-57 to achieve their first title game appearance since 1997 and put together their best all-around game of the season with a 70-57 win over CAA Regular Season Champion Northeastern to claim the program's first title since 1994 and second overall. In the NCAA Tournament, No. 16 seed James Madison wase shipped to Dayton, where it defeated LIU Brooklyn 68-55 in the First Four before then falling to top-seeded Indiana. Overall, JMU finished the year going 20-10 in its final 30 games following the 1-5 start.
Brady was recognized as State Coach of the Year by the Virginia Sports Information Directors following his successful campaign and also claimed District 10 Co-Coach of the Year accolades from the National Association of Basketball Coaches. The postseason run and accolades came after a renewed emphasis on defense as the Dukes posted their best defensive scoring mark (64.6 points per game) since 1984-85, predating the three-point shot, while also leading the CAA with 60.8 points allowed in league games. JMU set program records in blocks, steals and fewest turnovers.
A former college point guard, Brady saw his JMU point guard, senior Devon Moore, set a program assists record with 502, the first JMU player ever to surpass 500. Moore, who was one of Brady’s first recruits to sign at JMU, was also Second Team All-State and Third Team All-CAA. He was named to the CAA All-Tournament Team along with senior forward Rayshawn Goins and Tournament MVP A.J. Davis, who was later invited to compete with the top seniors in the country at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament in front of NBA scouts and executives. So far, eight players from Brady’s first four JMU squads have gone on to play professionally.