Georgia Southern’s Men’s Basketball Coach Mark Byington is leaving the school after seven years to take over the program at James Madison, the school confirmed on Friday night.
Jeff Goodman of Stadium is reporting that he is signing a six year contract, a big number among mid-major college basketball coaches coming into a new program.
Byington led the Eagles to a 131-97 record and consistently had the team in the top four of the Sun Belt Conference standings. Although the team never made the NCAA Tournament or won a Sun Belt title on his watch, the team was always competitive, especially in the Tookie Brown era.
“We want to thank Mark for his seven years of service to Georgia Southern and certainly wish him the best of luck in the future,” said new Athletic Director Jared Benko. “We fully expect to have a very deep and qualified candidate pool as we move forward. In terms of what attributes we’re looking for in our next head coach, we want someone with integrity, first and foremost. They must also be adept at player development, have a history of strong academics and NCAA compliance and also be the right fit for the Georgia Southern culture. Furthermore, this coach must also be able to put together a strong coaching staff and be a strong recruiter. We will be focusing on these primary traits when selecting our next coach.
Byington’s return to the Colonial Athletic Association, where James Madison plays, is a homecoming of sorts as he played college basketball for UNC Wilmington.