STATESBORO, Ga. (WTOC) - Georgia Southern University men’s basketball head coach Mark Byington is leaving the program. Southern announced in a press release that he had resigned.
“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 Incoming Georgia Southern Director of Athletics, 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. This job is a premier position not only in the Sun Belt, but nationwide, and we are confident that we will find a great basketball coach for Georgia Southern University.”
A national search will begin immediately for the Eagles next head coach. Andrew Wilson, who is currently the associate head coach for the Eagles, will serve as the interim head coach effective immediately.
Byington will be the next head at James Madison University in Virginia. JMU made the announcement on Friday.
He spent seven years at the helm of the Georgia Southern men's basketball program, where he led the Eagles to a 131-97 record. He was also the first GS coach to win 20 or more games in three consecutive seasons - his final three in Statesboro - in more than 30 years.
"I am extremely excited to be the next basketball coach at James Madison University," Byington said in a statement. "I want to thank President Alger, Charlie King and Jeff Bourne for trusting me to lead an exciting time for James Madison basketball. I feel it's one of the best jobs in the Mid-Atlantic and I'm looking forward to winning immediately."
Byington is a Virginia native.