JMU hires Mark Byington as men’s basketball coach

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

Published on Friday, March 20, 2020 at 8:43 pm EST

James Madison has hired Mark Byington as their new men’s basketball head coach. He replaces Louis Rowe, who was let go at the end of the season.

Byington returns home with this move. He is from Salem, Virginia. According to Google Maps, he’ll now be an hour and 37 minutes away from home.

Basketball (Photo by

“Mark Byington made an immediate, positive impression and quickly stood out as the best fit to lead James Madison men’s basketball,” Director of Athletics Jeff 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!”

He comes to James Madison after leading the Georgia Southern Eagles program. He went 131-97 during his tenure.

Byington was the Eagles head coach since 2013 before this move. He had three straight 20 or more win seasons.

He was the first Eagles coach in 30-years to do this. Byington also had six winning seasons during his tenure.

“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.”

Besides being the Eagles head coach, he also served as the Virginia Tech Hokies assistant coach in 2012-13. He also was the College of Charleston Cougars interim head coach in 2012.

He also served as a College of Charleston assistant coach from 2005-12.

Early in his career, Byington served as the Director of Basketball Operations with the Virginia Cavaliers in 2004-05. He also was a graduate manager with the Cavaliers from 2002-04.

He began his coaching career as an assistant coach with the Hargrove Military Academy Tigers in 2001-02.

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