Additional Coaching Staff
Byron Taylor | Associate Head Coach
After one season as an assistant coach for the James Madison men's basketball team, Byron Taylor has been promoted to associate head coach for the 2017-18 season, as announced by Head Coach Louis Rowe on May 25, 2017.
"This is a well-deserved move for Coach Taylor," Rowe said. "He was a crucial part of our first season here at JMU, as well as our recruiting efforts all year, and I'm looking forward to him taking on even more responsibility heading into next season."
Taylor was one of Rowe's first hires upon arriving at JMU prior to the 2016-17 campaign and was instrumental in both day-to-day operations of the program and the Dukes' seven-player signing class for the 2017-18 season.
Prior to joining the Dukes, Taylor spent seven seasons at North Florida, including five as an assistant coach. At UNF, Taylor helped Head Coach Matthew Driscoll build the Ospreys into an annual power in the Atlantic Sun Conference. North Florida took home the regular season crown in both the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons, winning 45 games combined across the two campaigns.
In 2014-15, UNF won its first-ever A-Sun Tournament title, advancing to the program's first NCAA Tournament since it made the jump to Division I prior to the 2005-06 season. In his final two years, Taylor also proved crucial to the development of guards Dallas Moore, the 2015-16 ASUN Player of the Year, and Beau Beech, a two-time First Team All-ASUN selection.
Taylor also worked directly with a quartet of 1,000-point scorers at UNF in Travis Wallace, Parker Smith, Andy Diaz and Jerron Granberry. Diaz and Granberry accounted for multiple ASUN All-Tournament accolades, while Wallace was a Second Team All-ASUN selection and Smith was named to the All-ASUN First Team in addition to picking up Second Team NABC All-District honors.
"I am truly honored to be given this promotion," Taylor said. "I would like to thank Coach Rowe for having confidence in me and allowing me to gain experience in every aspect of our program. I'm looking forward to continuing the work we've started to help our program improve move in the right direction. We are truly excited about our program moving forward as we continue to develop our student-athletes on and off the court."
Taylor lives in Harrisonburg along with his wife, Deidra, and his daughter, Harlow.
Rob Summers | Assistant Coach
Former West Virginia star and James Madison men’s basketball director of operations Rob Summers will rejoin the JMU men’s basketball program as an assistant coach for the 2017-18 season, as announced by Head Coach Louis Rowe on April 20, 2017.
Summers returns to the JMU program after serving as the head coach at Division II Urbana (Ohio), where he headed the program for three seasons. Prior to that, he acted as the Dukes’ director of operations for the 2013-14 season after a two-year stint at Glenville State, where he was the associate head coach and compliance coordinator.
“I’m so excited to have Coach Summers join our staff here at JMU,” Rowe said. “He’s learned from some of the best coaches in the country and will bring his own experience as a head coach to our program. He has the passion and energy we’re looking for and I’m looking forward to him connecting with our guys.”
Out of high school, Summers started a sterling collegiate career at Penn State, where he appeared in 56 games from 2002-04. After transferring to West Virginia, he played three seasons under Head Coach John Beilein, now at Michigan.
As a Mountaineer, Summers sat out due to transfer rules in 2004-05 as WVU reached the NCAA Elite Eight before making 33 appearances in 2005-06 en route to a berth in the NCAA Sweet 16. As a senior, he led WVU to a win in the NIT Championship, starting 36 games and shooting 63.3 percent from the field, a mark that still stands as the second-highest single-season percentage in WVU history.
“I’m overjoyed to be returning to JMU to join Coach Rowe’s staff,” Summers said. “I’m excited about his vision for this program and what he’s building in Harrisonburg and I can’t wait to be a part of it. I knew it would take a special opportunity for me to leave my program at Urbana, but I know how special of a place JMU is and I can’t wait to get to work.”
Summers was a three-time Big East Academic All-Star at WVU, where he received his bachelor’s degree in sports management in 2007 before earning his master’s in athletic coaching education in 2012.
Tim Johnson | Assistant Coach
Former Wofford standout and assistant coach Tim Johnson has joined the James Madison men's basketball program as an assistant coach for the 2017-18 season.
Johnson, who was selected to the Wofford Athletics Hall of Fame in 2016, has spent the last four seasons as an assistant coach for the Terriers after a pair of seasons as a graduate assistant at Wyoming. Since returning to his alma mater, he has helped Wofford win two Southern Conference titles, in addition to the pair he won as a player in Spartanburg.
"Tim is a young, energetic coach with a passion for developing young men," Rowe said. "He was a great player and he knows how to pass that knowledge on to our guys. He's eager to get started and we're very excited to have him be a part of the program we're building."
While playing at Wofford, Johnson led the Terriers to Southern Conference Championships--the first two in program history--as both a junior and senior, guiding them to berths in the 2009-10 and 2010-11 NCAA Men's Basketball Championships. He was named All-SoCon at the end of both campaigns and departed Wofford as the only player in the school's Division I era to pull down more than 1,000 rebounds.
Michael Strickland | Director of Operations
Michael Strickland will join the James Madison men’s basketball staff as Director of Operations for the 2017-18 season, Head Coach Louis Rowe announced on June 2, 2017.
Strickland has most recently served as an assistant coach for the Irish National Team and has been the operations director and senior recruiting analyst for ScoutsFocus Inc. since 2016. In 2014-15, he held the Director of Operations position at The Citadel and has been an assistant coach at both Tuskegee University (2015-16) and Roanoke College (2012-14).
“I’m very excited to have Michael join our staff moving forward,” Rowe said. “He has been a part of every facet of a basketball team and that experience and knowledge, as well as his familiarity with the Washington, D.C. area, will be invaluable to us this season. He’s excited to join our family and we’re looking forward to getting started this year.”
Prior to his collegiate stops, Strickland held several other positions in the basketball industry. After a four-year playing career at Randolph-Macon, where he earned his degree in Economics in 2010, Strickland was an assistant coach at both Benedictine College Prep in Richmond and Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C. He has also been a general manager and skills trainer for Ganon Baker Basketball, Inc. since 2010.
“It is thrilling to have the opportunity to join Coach Rowe and his staff,” Strickland said. “Coach Rowe and I both feel that I can help the Dukes achieve success on and off the court. I’m excited to get back to Virginia and start working at such a great institution in James Madison. I can’t wait to get started and contribute to the JMU family and community.”
Strickland will support a fresh-faced roster in 2017-18. The Dukes have added seven signees for the fall, inking freshmen Zach Jacobs, Greg Jones, Matt Lewis and Dwight Wilson in the early signing period, as well as freshman Darius Banks and junior college transfers Develle Phillips and Antanee Pinkard in the spring.
JMU returns two starters from its 2016-17 campaign and will add guard Stuckey Mosley and forward Gerron Scissum, who each redshirted this past season after transferring from Toledo and VCU, respectively.