Four 20-win seasons and a 21-11 record in 2015-2016 wasn’t enough for JMU coach Matt Brady, who was fired Monday, ending a couple of weeks of speculation about his job status.
The athletics department characterized the move as a mutual parting in a news release Monday morning, and said the school is seeking a new direction for the program.
There will be national interest in the job. Augusta Free Press staff writer Scott German talked to one top assistant at the ACC Tournament in Washington, D.C., last week, who expressed interest in the possible opening.
Madison is in the process of investing significant money into the growth of its men’s basketball program, with plans for a new home arena to replace the outdated Convocation Center that have been stalled by flagging attendance in the latter years of the Brady era.
Brady, 50, led the Dukes to one NCAA Tournament, in 2013, but his teams failed to get past the CAA quarterfinals in seven of his eight seasons in Harrisonburg.
Brady was hired in 2008 to helm a program that had posted eight straight losing seasons prior to his arrival, going 77-155 over that span.
Brady’s record in eight seasons was 139-127.
“We are grateful to Matt Brady and his staff for their commitment to our program over the last eight years,” Bourne said in a statement. “He helped us to recover from a long period of drought for JMU men’s basketball and had multiple accomplishments. That said, when I met with Matt, we agreed that it was time for both parties to move in a different direction.
“We hold our coaches to high standards of success both on and off the court. Success is ultimately judged by postseason performance, and we have not advanced past the CAA quarterfinals in seven of eight years. Despite winning records on the court, home attendance has declined.”
The school has hired Fogler Consulting and former Division I coach Eddie Fogler to assist in the national search for a new coach.
“It is a critical time for our program,” Bourne said. “We have the opportunity over the next few months to make significant progress on fundraising for the new Convocation Center. It is imperative that we have the right coach in place to show continued growth in our program as we fulfill our fundraising goals and ultimately usher in a new era of JMU basketball in a new building.”
– Story by Chris Graham