James Madison AD Bourne to retire Spring 2024

James Madison athletic director Jeff Bourne has led the athletic department since 1999.
Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 10:08 AM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - James Madison Athletic Director Jeff Bourne will retire Spring 2024, the university announced on Friday.

Bourne took over as athletic director in 1999 and oversaw the growth in JMU Athletics, which most recently included the football’s transition from FCS to FBS and into the Sun Belt Conference, the opening of the Atlantic Union Bank Center and renovation of the Convocation Center among other accomplishments.

“I am pleased with the accomplishments we have achieved as a program and the positive impact we have been able to make in the lives of our student-athletes,” Bourne said in a statement. “Our athletic program is in a great place and poised for a bright future, particularly with our overall culture and the people who comprise it. Like every institution in the country, our greatest future challenge will be proactively adapting to the evolution of college athletics.”

Under Bourne’s direction, JMU accomplished the following:

  • 3 NCAA National Championships – Football (2004, 2016), Lacrosse (2018)
  • 77 Conference Team Championships
  • 60 Conference Regular Season Titles
  • 151 Teams Represented in NCAA Postseason Competition
  • 181 All-Americans
  • 7 National Players of the Year
  • 129 Conference Players of the Year
  • 83 Conference Coaches of the Year
  • 15 Academic All-Americans
  • 6 Conference Top Finishes in Learfield Director’s Cup

“Jeff’s impact on JMU throughout his career is difficult to put into words,” said Alger. “Fortunately, there are numerous examples that shine a bright light on his achievements and contributions, from the sustained success of our teams in athletic competition to the accolades our student-athletes regularly receive for their prowess in the classroom. Jeff’s commitment to JMU Athletics for the past 25 years has been felt on campus and across the nation. On behalf of the entire university, I congratulate Jeff on his upcoming retirement and a wonderful career he has had at JMU.”

As for what’s next for Bourne, he intends to spend more time with his wife Mary Lou along with their children and grandchildren.

“My work has been incredibly fulfilling, but a time comes in your life when exploring other opportunities and experiences become a priority. Mary Lou and I look forward to spending time doing things we enjoy that have not been possible in my current role. I’ve always strived to emphasize an appropriate balance in my life of what’s important between work and family. We are fortunate that we will live in the Charlotte area close to our family to begin a new chapter in our lives.”

The university intends to obtain a search firm to lead a national effort to identify Bourne’s successor.