‘It’s special when you have your mentor across the field.’ Ikenberry excited to face former head coach this weekend

FILE - James Madison head baseball coach Marlin Ikenberry
Published: May. 10, 2023 at 11:20 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - James Madison head coach Marlin Ikenberry will see a familiar face in the opposing dugout when the Dukes welcome Old Dominion to Veterans Memorial Park this weekend.

The head coach of Old Dominion is Chris Finwood. Finwood was the head coach at VMI for three seasons from 1992 to 1994. Ikenberry played under Finwood at VMI.

“It’s a special relationship with that program,” said Ikenberry. “Having him across the field from me is special.”

Ikenberry says he’s been keeping an eye on the Monarchs from afar. When Finwood won his 600th career game, Ikenberry says he sent a congratulatory text message to Finwood. The one takeaway the Dukes head coach has from playing under Finwood was to play the game hard.

“That’s something that was instilled in us when going into college and playing for him was that you always play hard for all nine innings. That’s something we try and instill in our program.

The three-game series between Old Dominion and James Madison begins on Friday at 6 p.m.