JMU hires Mark Byington as men's basketball head coach

James Madison University Director of Athletics Jeff Bourne released a statement about the JMU men's basketball program Friday morning.
James Madison University Director of Athletics Jeff Bourne released a statement about the JMU men's basketball program Friday morning.(WHSV)
Published: Mar. 20, 2020 at 8:10 PM EDT
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James Madison University announced Friday night it has hired Mark Byington as its next men's basketball head coach.

Prior to the official announcement, sources close to the situation confirmed the hire to WHSV after Byington's hire was first reported by multiple national college basketball reporters.

Byington comes to JMU after spending seven seasons as the head coach at Georgia Southern. He guided a program turnaround at GSU with a 131-97 overall record, including three straight 20-win campaigns in his final three seasons at Georgia Southern.

JMU's official announcement featured this statement from Byington:

"I am extremely excited to be the next basketball coach at James Madison University," Byington said. "I want to thank President Alger, Charlie King and Jeff Bourne for trusting me to lead an exciting time for James Madison basketball. I feel it's one of the best jobs in the Mid-Atlantic and I'm looking forward to winning immediately."

Byington signed a six-year deal with JMU. His total compensation is $450,000 per year. His base salary is $375,000 and he'll make an additional $75,000 per year for fundraising, ticket sales promotions, and other external responsibilities.

JMU Director of Athletics Jeff Bourne released the following statement about Byington Friday night:

"Mark Byington made an immediate, positive impression and quickly stood out as the best fit to lead James Madison men's basketball," Bourne said. "Coach Byington is very cerebral in his approach. He knows the game, he knows what it takes to lead a winning Division I program and he knows how to lead and impact student-athletes to be successful both on the court and in life. He demonstrated a deep knowledge of our program and our current student-athletes, and he has a plan to lead JMU to the top of our conference, to win championshps and to lead us back to postseason play. We are excited to welcome Coach Byington to Harrisonburg!"

Byington is a native of Salem, Virginia. He was a prep basketball star at Salem High School and was State Player of the Year as a senior.

Prior to serving as head coach at Georgia Southern, Byington was an assistant coach at Virginia Tech, an assistant and interim head coach at College of Charleston, Director of Basketball Operations and a Graduate Manager at the University of Virginia, and an assistant coach at Hargrave Military Academy. Byington played college basketball in the Colonial Athletic Association at UNCW where he was an All-CAA performer.

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