State of JMU Athletics: Football

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HARRISONBURG, Va. -- The James Madison football team begins a new era in 2019 but expectations remain high for the Dukes.

Head coach Curt Cignetti is preparing for his first season at the helm of the Dukes' program after joining JMU last December. He previously coached for CAA rival Elon. Cignetti replaces Mike Houston, who is now the head coach at East Carolina.

Cignetti and his staff will look to help the Dukes bounce back from what some consider a disappointing 2018 season. JMU went 9-4 overall but lost to Colgate in the second round of the FCS playoffs.

The Dukes are again expected to be one of the top teams in the country this fall. JMU is ranked No. 1 in the HERO Sports FCS Top 25 preseason poll and has had multiple players earn preseason All-American accolades.

JMU opens the 2019 campaign Saturday, August 31 on the road at West Virginia.