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MBB Coach Mark Byington
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Purplehazed Offline
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Post: #21
RE: MBB Coach Mark Byington
(03-20-2020 10:44 PM)jmudukes Wrote:  
(03-20-2020 08:58 PM)JMU13 Wrote:  Can anyone shed knowledge on him? Good coach?

We have a new coach. Let's support him 100%. Get your season tickets and let's open the new arena with lots of energy. We have a great team coming back and we need to be there to cheer them on. Do not say anything negative about our new coach. Give him a chance. I hope all of our players will stay. Even though we did not win I loved watching them play. A new coach and the new arena will be a great opportunity and should be an exciting season for all.

Agreed.

I hope we get better and schedule better in place of the Bourne strategy of getting worse and scheduling weaker so we can claim we won and are in a good place.

Bourne can now focus on 2023 and the G5 shakeup (lol)
03-21-2020 10:58 AM
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jmufan2008 Offline
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Post: #22
RE: MBB Coach Mark Byington
Solid hire. Not a jump off the page hire, but has experience as a HC and knows how to rebuild a struggling program. I like that we're getting someone where the previous school's fans are wishing him well and are going to miss him. He's fairly young and hopefully brings some energy. His name did start circulating earlier in the week when he made a visit to the burg and people seemed fairly happy with his name being thrown around. Put me in the cautiously optimistic column. Can't commit to season tickets with an 11mo, but I'll be there for the opening game and maybe make a couple other games.

Hopefully he can keep our current recruits and maybe add in another gem or two. Anyone have any idea what his sideline demeanor is?

I will say, I was surprised to see the announcement so soon. Even though things were lining up perfect for it, it's still not how this admin operates, so kudos to them. Wonder how long it'll be until contract details come out.
03-21-2020 11:19 AM
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Deez Nuts Offline
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Post: #23
RE: MBB Coach Mark Byington
(03-21-2020 11:19 AM)jmufan2008 Wrote:  I will say, I was surprised to see the announcement so soon. Even though things were lining up perfect for it, it's still not how this admin operates, so kudos to them. Wonder how long it'll be until contract details come out.


Had me wondering earlier how much of a head start JMU staff had on vetting candidates. Couple of posters on here will never give credit for Bourne starting before Monday March 9.
03-21-2020 11:24 AM
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KickItToScotty Offline
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Post: #24
RE: MBB Coach Mark Byington
(03-21-2020 11:19 AM)jmufan2008 Wrote:  Solid hire. Not a jump off the page hire, but has experience as a HC and knows how to rebuild a struggling program. I like that we're getting someone where the previous school's fans are wishing him well and are going to miss him. He's fairly young and hopefully brings some energy. His name did start circulating earlier in the week when he made a visit to the burg and people seemed fairly happy with his name being thrown around. Put me in the cautiously optimistic column. Can't commit to season tickets with an 11mo, but I'll be there for the opening game and maybe make a couple other games.

Hopefully he can keep our current recruits and maybe add in another gem or two. Anyone have any idea what his sideline demeanor is?

I will say, I was surprised to see the announcement so soon. Even though things were lining up perfect for it, it's still not how this admin operates, so kudos to them. Wonder how long it'll be until contract details come out.

On the sideline demeanor, a GSU fan posted this on the HC search thread:

(03-20-2020 09:14 PM)Eagle22 Wrote:  He is a super nice guy, and honestly that is the part that infuriated me the most. Unless he changes, he won't work the refs and he won't hardly raise his voice with them. Larry would bark at the refs at least.
03-21-2020 11:25 AM
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JMad03 Offline
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Post: #25
RE: MBB Coach Mark Byington
You can usually tell how good a coach is by the reaction of the fans that are losing the coach.
Haven't read anything where a GSU fan was happy he's gone. Most have been pretty appreciative of what he's done for them and say he's a class act.
I think this is a good hire. How good? We'll soon find out.
One thing's for sure... the bar is set pretty low so he shouldn't have too much trouble raising the bar.
03-21-2020 11:31 AM
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orange-to-purple Offline
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Post: #26
RE: MBB Coach Mark Byington
Cautiously optimistic. If he took a bad program on a par with JMU and made it respectable, that bodes well.
(This post was last modified: 03-21-2020 03:18 PM by orange-to-purple.)
03-21-2020 11:37 AM
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2Buck Offline
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Post: #27
RE: MBB Coach Mark Byington
There's no doubt in my mind that a capable coach like Coach B can turn JMU around quickly. I really don't even think it's much of a challenge for many many decent coaches out there.

Outside of the (apparently) low cap we put on this search, the biggest concern I have is this hire is predicated on the hope that our new coach will have to improve on his past performance to get where we want. His past performance is 2nd-4th place with no championships/NCAAT appearances and we fired a coach for less, making it clear that's not acceptable.

There were candidates we mentioned and hoped we'd hire that only needed to replicate/maintain a level of performance they already achieved. They had championships/NCAATs appearances.

So, even though over-simplified, we hired someone that needs to improve vs someone that has already achieved what we're looking for. My criticism isn't against Coach B personally, it's just to point out yet again how we were told one thing but shown another. Really trying to be optimistic about it, not going to rush to judgement about Coach B himself since the only way to evaluate his performance at JMU is to let it play out.
(This post was last modified: 03-21-2020 01:29 PM by 2Buck.)
03-21-2020 01:25 PM
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Hart Foundation Offline
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Post: #28
RE: MBB Coach Mark Byington
If Bingington takes a bad JMU program and makes it respectable just like he did at Georgia Southern will Fans be happy? I don’t think so. That would mean he would go 7 years at JMU with no NCAA tourney bids then it would be a colossal failure again. Yet, some are happy that we are getting a coach with no NCAA bids in 7 years. I guess if you don’t have expectations you will never be disappointed.

The reality is that he has to be better than his 7 year track record shows and 7 years is a LONG time to show you can be successful at your job.
So we are left hoping to get lucky instead of banking on a hire who has shown that they can do it.

He has never won the conference title and never won the tourney title in a middling Sun Belt conference. 07-coffee3
03-21-2020 01:58 PM
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Post: #29
RE: MBB Coach Mark Byington
(03-20-2020 09:27 PM)Rock House Duke Wrote:  
(03-20-2020 08:58 PM)JMU13 Wrote:  Can anyone shed knowledge on him? Good coach?

Long story short, he took over a really bad program and made them respectable. He has not yet produced results which jump off the page like a conference regular season championship or conference tournament Championship. He does not have any NCAA or NIT bids to his name either.

His record at GSU kinda reminds me of Shaver's tenure at W&M, though he did make the NIT twice.
03-21-2020 02:36 PM
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Longhorn Offline
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Post: #30
RE: MBB Coach Mark Byington
(03-21-2020 01:58 PM)Hart Foundation Wrote:  If Bingington takes a bad JMU program and makes it respectable just like he did at Georgia Southern will Fans be happy? I don’t think so. That would mean he would go 7 years at JMU with no NCAA tourney bids then it would be a colossal failure again. Yet, some are happy that we are getting a coach with no NCAA bids in 7 years. I guess if you don’t have expectations you will never be disappointed.

The reality is that he has to be better than his 7 year track record shows and 7 years is a LONG time to show you can be successful at your job.
So we are left hoping to get lucky instead of banking on a hire who has shown that they can do it.

He has never won the conference title and never won the tourney title in a middling Sun Belt conference. 07-coffee3

If you’re unwilling to even take the time to spell his last name correctly how do you expect your fellow JMU fans to take your point of view seriously?

Not making postseason play is a concern for me too, although in fairness to his record he might have guided his first team to the NCAAT had not conference tourneys been cancelled.
03-21-2020 03:12 PM
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Hart Foundation Offline
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Post: #31
RE: MBB Coach Mark Byington
Sorry, auto correct on my iPhone keeps switching it. Byington. I will check closer going forward.
03-21-2020 03:19 PM
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orange-to-purple Offline
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Post: #32
RE: MBB Coach Mark Byington
(03-21-2020 03:12 PM)Longhorn Wrote:  
(03-21-2020 01:58 PM)Hart Foundation Wrote:  If Bingington takes a bad JMU program and makes it respectable just like he did at Georgia Southern will Fans be happy? I don’t think so. That would mean he would go 7 years at JMU with no NCAA tourney bids then it would be a colossal failure again. Yet, some are happy that we are getting a coach with no NCAA bids in 7 years. I guess if you don’t have expectations you will never be disappointed.

The reality is that he has to be better than his 7 year track record shows and 7 years is a LONG time to show you can be successful at your job.
So we are left hoping to get lucky instead of banking on a hire who has shown that they can do it.

He has never won the conference title and never won the tourney title in a middling Sun Belt conference. 07-coffee3

If you’re unwilling to even take the time to spell his last name correctly how do you expect your fellow JMU fans to take your point of view seriously?

Not making postseason play is a concern for me too, although in fairness to his record he might have guided his first team to the NCAAT had not conference tourneys been cancelled.

Yeah, really. Whining already. Geez. As my dad used to say, some folks would complain if they were hanged with a new rope.
03-21-2020 03:20 PM
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Hart Foundation Offline
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Post: #33
RE: MBB Coach Mark Byington
Simple question for Orange-to-Purple, are you satisfied with JMU not making the NCAA tourney for 7 straight years?

If your answer is no, then why would you be satisfied hiring a coach who has never made the NCAA tourney in his 7 years?


I’m not saying this coach or any coach can’t get JMU into the NCAA tourney. Everyone has a chance no matter how slight. Why is JMU rolling the dice when they have mortgaged the future to build a $100 million arena? This was not the time to take a chance.
03-21-2020 03:31 PM
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NJDuke97 Offline
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Post: #34
RE: MBB Coach Mark Byington
So you would have been happier with Mike Jones right? He made the NCAA tourney a couple of times at Radford.
03-21-2020 03:33 PM
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orange-to-purple Offline
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Post: #35
RE: MBB Coach Mark Byington
(03-21-2020 03:31 PM)Hart Foundation Wrote:  Simple question for Orange-to-Purple, are you satisfied with JMU not making the NCAA tourney for 7 straight years?

If your answer is no, then why would you be satisfied hiring a coach who has never made the NCAA tourney in his 7 years?


I’m not saying this coach or any coach can’t get JMU into the NCAA tourney. Everyone has a chance no matter how slight. Why is JMU rolling the dice when they have mortgaged the future to build a $100 million arena? This was not the time to take a chance.

I'd give the guy a chance before I started whining is what I'm saying. And the first step is getting out of the damn basement we're in.
03-21-2020 04:44 PM
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2Buck Offline
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Post: #36
RE: MBB Coach Mark Byington
(03-21-2020 04:44 PM)orange-to-purple Wrote:  
(03-21-2020 03:31 PM)Hart Foundation Wrote:  Simple question for Orange-to-Purple, are you satisfied with JMU not making the NCAA tourney for 7 straight years?

If your answer is no, then why would you be satisfied hiring a coach who has never made the NCAA tourney in his 7 years?


I’m not saying this coach or any coach can’t get JMU into the NCAA tourney. Everyone has a chance no matter how slight. Why is JMU rolling the dice when they have mortgaged the future to build a $100 million arena? This was not the time to take a chance.

I'd give the guy a chance before I started whining is what I'm saying. And the first step is getting out of the damn basement we're in.

The point, and I agree with Hart, is that based on what we were told (and applauded) long periods without championships and NCAATs ala Brady are no longer acceptable after Brady lifted the program from the ashes. We were trending up.

So a poor hire 4 years ago and we're back in the ashes. But at face value, this hire looks like a cost-control decision for a coach with a similar Brady history and performance that didn't meet the "new expectation". The hope was this was an opportunity to go beyond a "good" hire and do something special.

So again, the disappointment is in the approach and apparent standards that were applied. Now, if someone with great experience and insight (outside of the consultant that was apparently very close to Coach B) advised JMU that Coach B is far more capable than his past history conveys, perhaps we lucked out. But unfortunately we'll never know if JMU seriously considered high dollar/more accomplished options against the Byington hire, or if Coach B was just the best sub-$500k option.

There were many on here very vocal about keeping expectations within past patterns but I guess some of us had stars in our eyes. Give us a chance to grieve.
03-21-2020 06:30 PM
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NJDuke97 Offline
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Post: #37
RE: MBB Coach Mark Byington
The Introductory press conference https://espnharrisonburg.com/podcasts/03...onference/ is a good listen. You get a good feel for the process from Jeff Bourne and for Coach Byington and why he was interested in JMU.

Just reading the tea leaves- there was a budget obviously but it represents an increase for JMU MBB and I think you will see it increase with success (just like football has). They prioritized an active coach with experience and targeted realistic options from programs that were successful and peers (not Jeff Bourne's words but my take) to JMU.

BTW Brady had plateaued in terms of first round CAAT exits on the heels of up and down seasons and off court turmoil. He was not trending up- he had crested and plateaued. He was on shaky ground to begin with due to the other stuff and the losses in the CAAT were the straw that broke the camels back.

Byington has a 6 year deal. He is on record as saying that expects and needs to win right away. With the increased commitment from JMU in terms of money and the capital investment in the arena no one here is saying that they would be ok with 7 years and no NCAA or CAA championships. Heck I think if he doesn't deliver either of those within 3 years he will be on the hot seat and that's the way it should be.

I'm ok with the App State, Georgia Southern, Austin Peay, and Furman guys being among the targets. Some will turn their nose up at those schools as basketball programs and I get it but you have to be realistic about incremental improvements to a program that really hasn't been successful. If Coach Byington is comparable to Coach Brady but comes across as being more personable/relatable to players and has a track record in terms of integrity than he will be a better version of Coach Brady (more consistent, better post season results, more of a connection to the area and community) at a better time for JMU MBB with a great arena that we should all be proud of and more financial and administrative support behind the program.

Give it a chance to work- I believe it will.
03-21-2020 06:54 PM
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Deez Nuts Offline
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Post: #38
RE: MBB Coach Mark Byington
(03-21-2020 03:31 PM)Hart Foundation Wrote:  Simple question for Orange-to-Purple, are you satisfied with JMU not making the NCAA tourney for 7 straight years?

If your answer is no, then why would you be satisfied hiring a coach who has never made the NCAA tourney in his 7 years?


I’m not saying this coach or any coach can’t get JMU into the NCAA tourney. Everyone has a chance no matter how slight. Why is JMU rolling the dice when they have mortgaged the future to build a $100 million arena? This was not the time to take a chance.

You can live in this statistic that he hasn't made it to the tourney while at GSU. Anyone else can argue just as easily that if JMU shelled out 750K or a Million+ to get Shaka Smart, Rick Pitino, Coach K, or God himself and there's no evidence that just because they did it before means they'll do it at JMU. Just because Mike didn't do it at GSU doesn't mean he'll never do it at JMU. You gonna give the guy a chance or just whine about it for the next 5 years?
03-21-2020 07:47 PM
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NJDuke97 Offline
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Post: #39
RE: MBB Coach Mark Byington
I always think of the Paul Hewitt example- Mason paid him a lot of money after Coach L left and he didn't win there.

As high as I was on Bryce Drew if it would have taken $750K, same with JT III- if it would have taken $1M or name the guy- Lonergan, whomever - they all would have come with some questions attached to them- Drew the winless season at Vandy, JT III the losing seasons at GTown and being out of the mix a while, Lonergan the way it ended at GW. A top notch current mid major coach with some NCAA T experience and or success Miller, Odom, Forbes, Becker- they weren't coming to JMU unless you really overpaid for them- they are well paid now and safe at their current schools to wait out a high major gig.
03-21-2020 07:57 PM
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Post: #40
RE: MBB Coach Mark Byington
(03-21-2020 11:25 AM)KickItToScotty Wrote:  
(03-21-2020 11:19 AM)jmufan2008 Wrote:  Solid hire. Not a jump off the page hire, but has experience as a HC and knows how to rebuild a struggling program. I like that we're getting someone where the previous school's fans are wishing him well and are going to miss him. He's fairly young and hopefully brings some energy. His name did start circulating earlier in the week when he made a visit to the burg and people seemed fairly happy with his name being thrown around. Put me in the cautiously optimistic column. Can't commit to season tickets with an 11mo, but I'll be there for the opening game and maybe make a couple other games.

Hopefully he can keep our current recruits and maybe add in another gem or two. Anyone have any idea what his sideline demeanor is?

I will say, I was surprised to see the announcement so soon. Even though things were lining up perfect for it, it's still not how this admin operates, so kudos to them. Wonder how long it'll be until contract details come out.

On the sideline demeanor, a GSU fan posted this on the HC search thread:

(03-20-2020 09:14 PM)Eagle22 Wrote:  He is a super nice guy, and honestly that is the part that infuriated me the most. Unless he changes, he won't work the refs and he won't hardly raise his voice with them. Larry would bark at the refs at least.

Thanks! Working the refs is something that maybe he just needs to find his footing with. That's a fine line to walk and can get really annoying really quickly. I hope he at least raises his voice and is animated with his players. We need a HC willing to push his players and get in their faces if they're being lazy or dumb.

I'm also hearing other very positive stories from those that worked with him at past schools, so I think this is someone that the program, school, and fans can rally around.

I don't think anyone will be happy with zero NCAA appearances in the next 4 years, much less 6. However, JMU is a different opportunity than GSU. Just because he couldn't do it there doesn't mean that he can't hear. Just like if we paid $10mm for Coach K to come to JMU it doesn't mean he'd be able to win here. While I'm disappointed that we couldn't break $500k, I'm hopeful that he can be successful enough to earn a bump that eclipses that line...he'll have to earn it. He'll have the 'athleticism' to hop back into the top 4 next year. From that, he'll find recruiting to be much easier and hopefully can ride that momentum into a CAAT in year 3 or 4. If he can be even slightly better than Brady, the respectability of Rowe, and engage with the community a little better...he could bring the program back to life. It's been a VERY long time since we've had someone who was both engaging and could put a decent team on the court. Even if he can make back-to-back CAAT semis...I'm pretty sure that'd be the first time in over 3 decades or something like that...and for the record I think making the semis should be the minimum goal every year for JMU.
03-21-2020 08:08 PM
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