HARRISONBURG, Va. (AP) — James Madison has fired football coach Mickey Matthews after 15 seasons at the university.
Athletic Director Jeff Bourne announced the move Monday, two days after the Dukes lost 28-17 to Towson to finish 6-6. It was their second loss in a row and fourth in five games. James Madison also will miss the playoffs for the fourth time in the past five seasons.
Matthews, 60, led James Madison to the 2004 football national championship and had one year remaining on his contract.
The change comes at a time of uncertainty for James Madison, which in early October announced the results of a feasibility study on whether the athletic programs should seek to move to the Bowl Subdivision level. The study made no recommendations, but said the school has the facilities in place to make the move. The university said it was seeking input from supporters in releasing the results.
Matthews' record at James Madison was 109-71. A year after the Dukes won the championship, the school opened the $10 million multipurpose Plecker Athletic Performance Center, with locker rooms, weight room and numerous other sports medicine, academic support and entertainment facilities in the south end zone.
In 2011, James Madison completed a two-year, $62.5 million expansion of the stadium that added suites and boosted its seating total to nearly 25,000 and sparking talk that a move to the FCS level was coming.
Those facilities, Bourne said, should aid the school in its national search for Matthews' successor.