Home JMU introduces Eastern Kentucky AD Matt Roan as new athletics director

JMU introduces Eastern Kentucky AD Matt Roan as new athletics director

Chris Graham
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(© Steve Heap – shutterstock)

It’s been a busy couple of days of changes at the top at James Madison University, with the school naming Charlie King the interim president, and a new person being put in charge of the athletics department, Matt Roan, of late the AD at Eastern Kentucky.

“I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to join the team at James Madison University and for the trust placed in me by President Alger to lead James Madison Athletics,” said Roan, who was named the new athletics director on Thursday, a day before the JMU Board of Visitors voted to name King to replace Jonathan Alger on July 1.

Alger is leaving JMU to take over as president of American University.

Roan will be replacing Jeff Bourne, who is retiring on April 30.

Roan is a Virginia native who attended Hargrave Military Academy and Virginia Tech before completing his undergraduate degree as a student-athlete at Southern Utah University and going on to earn a law degree from the University of Kentucky in 2012.

Roan served as deputy AD at Southern Utah and Eastern Kentucky before then assuming the AD position at Nicholls State in 2016. He returned to EKU as AD in 2020 and will enter his ninth year as a Division I director of athletics when he takes over at James Madison in May.

JMU Athletics is nearing the completion of one of the most successful athletics years in school history. JMU ranks 74th in the Learfield Director’s Cup after going 11-2 in football to finish first in the Sun Belt East and qualify for the program’s first FBS bowl game in its second reclassifying season. Men’s basketball set a program wins record with a 32-4 season as the Dukes won the Sun Belt and made an NCAA second-round appearance for the first time in 41 years.

“This opportunity is special as it represents the ideal intersection of what is most important to me personally and professionally,” Roan said. “I look forward to working in alignment with the Board of Visitors and my colleagues as we strive for excellence for the institution and athletics alike. My family and I look forward to making the JMU community home, engaging with the many stakeholders who are passionate about the Dukes, and continuing with the incredible trajectory established by Mr. Jeff Bourne, outstanding student-athletes, coaches and staff.”

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].