James Madison Dukes Baseball ProgramFounded in 1970, the James Madison baseball program played at Long Field at Mauck Stadium through the end of the 2009 season. In 2010 they opened play at Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park, the school’s new baseball and softball complex. The “Diamond Dukes,” as the team is known, have compiled a 1092-670-8 all-time record and have made the NCAA ...
Dukes Football Beginning EraThe Dukes played their first season in 1972 and were coached by Challace McMillin until 1984. Madison moved from NCAA Division III to NCAA Division I-AA in 1980 and would join what is now the Colonial Athletic Association’s football conference in 1993 (at the time it was an independent entity known as the Yankee Conference). The football team’s popularity grew ...
Dukes Basketball Coach John Thurston eraJohn Thurston was hired as the fourth head coach of the James Madison Dukes men’s basketball team in 1985. Thurston had previously served as an assistant coach under Campanelli with the Dukes since 1975. Thurston successfully turned the program around in his second season at the helm, guiding the Dukes to a 20–10 record, a berth in the National Invitation ...
CAA tournament WinnerOn March 12, 2013, the Dukes defeated Northeastern University to win the CAA tournament, earning an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. This is the first appearance in the tournament since 1994 and only the second time in school history they have won the CAA.
History of the Dukes
The James Madison Dukes sports team has a rich and storied history in NCAA athletics. Founded in 1972, the school's first sport was men's basketball, quickly becoming one of its most successful programs. The Dukes have since become an NCAA powerhouse with multiple National Championships across various sports, including football, baseball, and softball.
In recent years the James Madison Dukes have been making waves on both the national stage as well as at home with solid performances from all of its teams, including Football, where they won an FCS Championship in 2016, and Men’s Basketball, where they are currently ranked #3 nationally for 2020-2021 season. In addition to these successes, fans also take great pride in supporting other JMU-related activities, such as student organizations or community service initiatives, that make up part of what makes this university unique.
With an impressive list of accomplishments already achieved by the James Madison Duke Sports Team, it will be exciting to see what else can be added over time! As dedicated fans, we look forward to cheering them on every step along their journey toward further success!
College Sports Established
James Madison University
1979 - Present / NCAA Division I
2022 - Present / Sun Belt Conference
1979 - 2022 / Colonial Athletic Association
Dukes - The James Madison Dukes have a long and storied history in the NCAA. Their nickname, often shortened to “Dukes,” has existed since the school was founded in 1908. But what many fans may not know is that the origins of their beloved moniker go back much further than that.
In 1826, when James Madison University opened its doors as an all-male college preparatory school (the university would become coeducational by 1966), it adopted a new mascot - The Duke of Montpelier – after then-President James Madison's Virginia estate. This mascot was chosen due to its connection with President Madison himself and his legacy at the university; he had served as president and chancellor of JMU during his lifetime.
The name stuck over time, eventually becoming “Dukes” for short when referring to sports teams from JMU or any other organization associated with them, such as student clubs or alumni groups. Over time this name became synonymous with excellence on the field and off; today, it stands for hard work, dedication & loyalty among athletes & students alike! And while some changes have been made along the way, including switching from the purple & gold colors originally used by team uniforms to blue, the royal color scheme we use now - one thing never changed: our love for being called DUKES!
Men's Basketball 0
Women's Basketball 0
To qualify as the greatest player for this team, the player must have played one season for this team. If not, we will remove the player.
* verifies that player has played for this team as an added player by a fan.