Mark Byington’s Departure: JMU Faces Crucial Hiring Decisions Amidst Athletic Department Upheaval

JMU Sports News: Mark Byington Departs for Vanderbilt

Reports have indicated that Mark Byington is leaving JMU to join Vanderbilt. As JMU’s head men’s basketball coach, Byington led the Dukes to the NCAA Tournament in 2023-24, where they secured a victory over Wisconsin in the first round but were defeated by Duke in the second round of the tournament.

For Byington’s departure, JMU will receive a $500,000 buyout. The Dukes are now tasked with finding a replacement quickly as the transfer portal is currently open, and players are securing spots on teams for the upcoming season. With Jeff Bourne about to retire, this makes it crucial for JMU to make the final hiring decision.

JMU faces two significant challenges: filling an important position for an athletic director and a head men’s basketball coach. The university has undergone significant changes recently, with President Jonathan Alger announcing his departure for this summer and a new head football coach, Bob Chesney, being brought in late 2023 following Curt Cignetti’s departure for Indiana. Additionally, key turnover has taken place within JMU’s athletic department at various levels.

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