JMU Football Coach and 2004 Team Set for Hall of Fame Induction in Celebration of Championship Season

JMU Football Coach and 2004 Team Set for Hall of Fame Induction in Celebration of Championship Season

The JMU Athletic Hall of Fame is set to induct former football coach Mickey Matthews and his 2004 team in a celebration of their championship season. This particular team holds a special place in Matthews' coaching career, as they secured the Dukes' first NCAA football championship. What makes this victory even more impressive is that the team won the title without playing a single home playoff game.

The success of the 2004 team helped pave the way for JMU's promotion to the Bowl Subdivision, which will take place in the 2022 season. It was a historic moment for the football program and generated a wave of support from fans and the community.

The semifinal game during the championship run was particularly memorable. In order to accommodate a night-time slot on ESPN2, temporary lights were installed at William & Mary's Zable Stadium. This marked the first night football game in Tribe history and showcased the excitement and atmosphere that night games can bring. As a result, William & Mary installed permanent lights soon after.

After defeating William & Mary and Montana, JMU secured the trophy with a victory in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Since that memorable season, the Dukes have yet to experience a losing football season.

In addition to Coach Matthews and the 2004 team, the JMU Athletic Hall of Fame will also be inducting several other athletes from different sports. These include softball pitcher Meredith (Felts) Rowland, women's basketball head coach Betty Jaynes, women's soccer player Annie (Lowry) Young, two-sport athlete Julie (Martinez) Bowles, and baseball player Greg Miller.

The induction ceremony is scheduled to take place on Friday, September 6th, at the Atlantic Union Bank Center.

Fifth-year senior Katy Rader from Christopher Newport University has been selected for the prestigious "So You Want To Be A Coach" program hosted by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association. This program aims to provide graduating seniors with opportunities to pursue coaching careers in women's basketball. Rader joins a select group of athletes, including record-setting scorer Chelsie Schweers from the Class of 2011, who have been invited to participate in this program. The WBCA convention, where the program will be held, is set to take place on April 4-5 in Cleveland.

Mit Winter, a former basketball player for the Tribe, recently shared an insightful perspective on the legal landscape of college sports. In a tweet, Winter suggested that schools have two options moving forward: either recognize athletes as employees and negotiate compensation and movement or reduce the amount of control exerted over athletes. His expertise in this area makes his perspective particularly valuable.

The Peninsula Sports Club organized a Milestone Night at Joe and Mimma's Italian Restaurant to honor three outstanding figures in the local sports community. Former Hampton Roads Academy soccer and golf coach Kelly Alford, longtime area broadcaster Greg Bicouvaris, and Lafayette multi-sport coach Pat Thompson were recognized for their contributions to the sporting world. Patrick McCormick, the president of the National Wrestling Officials Association, delivered a compelling speech as the featured speaker for the event.

Upcoming events in the college sports scene include Old Dominion's women's basketball game against Coastal Carolina, several college baseball openers featuring ODU, William & Mary, Christopher Newport, and Norfolk State, as well as the start of the state Class 4, 5, and 6 wrestling tournaments and the VHSL region basketball tournaments.

As the football season at JMU approaches its historic promotion to the Bowl Subdivision, let's reflect on the legacy of Coach Matthews and his impactful 2004 team. Their triumphs not only cemented their place in JMU's history but also captivated the hearts of fans and provided inspiration to future athletes.

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