Matt Roan announced as JMU’s new Director of Athletics

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WFXR) — James Madison University President and the Board of Visitors have announced that Matt Roan will be the new Director of Athletics.

Roan hails from Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) where he is known for making an immediate impact on the Colonel’s athletics program and lifting the department. Roan guided EKU and its 18 sports through a conference transition to Atlantic Sun in 2021. He reorganized the athletics construct and brought in 57 coaches and staff over four years.

During his tenure, almost every EKU program benefitted from some form of facility upgrade, including a $40 million renovation to the Alumni Coliseum.

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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. This opportunity is special as it represents the ideal intersection of what is most important to me personally and professionally. 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,”

said Roan.

He graduated from Pulaski County High School and spent three semesters at Virginia Tech before he transferred to Southern Utah (SUU). There Roan earned his Bachelor of Science in political science. He was also a three-time All-Great West Football Conference honoree and a two-time ESPN/CoSIDA Academic All-District recipient.

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“James Madison Athletics has had unparalleled success throughout my 25 years and particularly recently as our national brand blossomed,” said Jeff Bourne, who is set to retire as the Director of Athletics in September. “When we climbed to FBS football and the Sun Belt Conference, we believed that we would not have to sacrifice winning as we ‘leveled up.’ Now that James Madison is fully reclassified as FBS for the 2024-25 season, Matt Roan is the perfect individual to build upon that success and steer JMU to even greater heights.

Roan takes over near the conclusion of one of the most successful years in JMU athletics history. The Dukes went 11-2 in football to finish first in the Sun Belt East and qualify for the program’s first-ever FBS bowl game in its second reclassifying season. While the 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, the men’s soccer, women’s, and volleyball each garnered at-large bids to the NCAA championships.

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