After weeks of questions in a downward spiraling season, James Madison University Athletic Director stopped the speculation, saying Matt Brady will be back to coach the JMU Men's Basketball team for the 2012-13 season.
"We are living up to the contract, giving him every chance to be successful," said Bourne.
Brady will work for a reported $290,000 base salary in the fifth and final year of his current contract.
"For now there's been no change to the contract and I'm amenable to that. That's fair, I've worked under that before," said Brady Monday. "I wasn't expecting much more than that given all the injuries we had, it was a frustrating year for everyone. I'm happy to just be back as the basketball coach at JMU and if we all do a good job and do what we're supposed to do and continue to get better, hopefully I'll be here many more years to come."
Injuries almost cost Brady his job. In the end, those same injuries may have been what bought him another year as head men's basketball coach at James Madison University.
Bourne said the number of injuries were "overwhelming," which left the administration wanting to see what Brady can do with a full team. After a rash of injuries this season, some basketball related, some not, Madison played most of the year with eight scholarship players. The results often weren't pretty, and the Dukes closed out the season with a record of 12-20, losing nine of their last 11 games.
Brady is now 67-67 as head coach at James Madison, a mark he knows isn't going to earn him a contract extension.
"I think it's show improvement and progress. That's all encompassing when you're the head basketball coach," said Brady. "This year we didn't get it done. If we don't improve in a lot of areas, then I'm not sure I'll extend me."
Brady denies coaching the final year of his contract with no guarantees for a future at JMU puts more pressure on his shoulders.
"In this business every season is critical and I'm ok with that. This is a bottom line business," said Brady.
The bottom line for 2012-13? Bourne says it's not about a definite number of wins or a specific post-season tournament berth.
"We talked about not identifying with wins and post-season play. It's about the program getting better, getting these kids back and healthy," said Bourne.
Meaning one more season, and one more opportunity to prove what Matt Brady has said he can do all along: win, and win big.
As far as recruiting players to come to Madison with his own future unclear past next season, to quote Brady, "It doesn't make it easy."
Regardless, he'll need to find some sort of consistency, hopefully in the form of healthy players. In two seasons marred with injuries, Brady's Dukes reached 20 losses.
"My greatest hope is that we can have a season without injury and that we can demonstrate consistent play at a level of excellence that we all hope our basketball team can aspire to," said Brady.
In his other two years at JMU, Brady has tallied two 21 win seasons. In the 15 years before Brady, Madison reached 20 wins just one time.
With four games left this season, Brady tore his Achilles while practicing with the team, simply because they didn't have enough players to properly practice. The injury provided just another symbol of frustration--reminding the coach with every hobbled step he took on and off the court, his season did not go according to plan.
The good thing for Brady, at least for now, for JMU it's a five-year plan.
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