Head Coach Mike Houston Gets a Raise and Extension
Yesterday was the icing on the big-ass cake that has been the last year of JMU Football! Almost a year to the day from when Mike Houston was hired as the head coach, JMU gave him a raise and a one-year extension. Second only to his hiring, this is without question one of the best signs we’ve seen from AD Jeff Bourne and the JMU administration that they remain serious about competing at a high level. Seriously, there is no overstating how happy this makes us. And while it can be viewed a break from the nickel-and-diming that JMU has at times engaged in with coaches like Brady, Withers, and to a lesser extent the Rowe hire, it’s also hard to argue that when someone truly delivers both on the field AND in helping JMU be “a national model for the student-athlete experience,” the admin has returned the favor. Ask Mickey Dean or Kenny Brooks and now Coach Houston how they feel they were/are treated by the administration and I’ll bet you won’t get shade thrown in response. In other words, as frustrated as we get with certain moves in a vacuum, when we take a look at the big picture, it sure looks a lot more like those that merit better in fact are awarded better.
Now as we all know, coach contracts in today’s world are worth as much as the paper they’re printed on, but in reading the linked article and Houston’s quotes about family and knowing a bit about his path, it sure looks like he may be here a while. He has so far been very intentional in his moves and he sure “seems” happy in the Valley. With everything a coach gets at JMU, if he’s good he’ll win and things will be great. In other words, JMU will continue to be really good with Houston in charge, and Houston will always, barring scandal of course, have random G5 chances for the next few years anytime he wants them so no need to hurry out to friggin’ San Marcos. On the other hand, if he wins another title, or even just keeps the program in the top 10 year after year for a few more years, the local P5 dream job is probably more achievable that way than by jumping to a mediocre G5 now.
And not to cross the streams, but if three or four years down the road JMU ever gets another shot at FBS, which G5 spot would Houston rather be? At the place he’s rooted his family and really built something sustainable that’s filled with momentum or in Storrs, CT or Mobile, AL, or El Paso, TX? No brainer. In any case, LOCK THE DAMN GATES AGAIN!
Oh yeah, the Men’s Hoops team lost a heartbreaker at the buzzer to W&M 73-72 in Williamsburg last night when a last-second putback clearly came after the buzzer. Of course, still no word from the CAA officiating crew on what caused their momentary blackout when Snowden got manhandled on the layup attempt before the buzzer. In any case, as disappointing as the loss was it’s obviously hard to argue that this team is still making progress.