Reports: Mark Byington Leaves JMU for Vanderbilt

Image courtesy of JMU Athletics Communications

By Bennett Conlin

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Mark Byington is leaving JMU for Vanderbilt, according to multiple reports.

Byington went 82-36 as JMU’s head men’s basketball coach, leading the Dukes to the NCAA Tournament in 2023-24. The Dukes beat Wisconsin in the first round of the tournament before falling to Duke in the second round.

JMU will receive a $1 million buyout for his departure, according to The Athletic.

The Dukes will now work to replace Byington. They’ll need to work quickly, as the transfer portal is open and players are finding spots to play next season. Jeff Bourne now needs to make one final hire before his retirement.

With Bourne retiring, JMU needs a new athletic director and head men’s basketball coach. It’s been a hectic few months for JMU, with President Jonathan Alger announcing he’s leaving in the summer. JMU also hired a new head football coach, Bob Chesney, late in 2023 after Curt Cignetti left for Indiana.

A ton of important turnover in JMU’s athletic department.

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