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Eastern Kentucky University AD heading to James Madison



RICHMOND, Ky. — Eastern Kentucky University Vice President and athletic director Matt Roan announced he had accepted the same role at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

What You Need To Know

  • Athletic director Matt Roan announced he was leaving Eastern Kentucky University for the same position at James Madison University 
  • Roan has led EKU Athletics since Jan. 2020
  • Among his accomplishments, EKU noted Roan’s leadership through the COVID-19 pandemic, success in athletics and in the classroom, and his ambitious on campus building projects
  • The Virginia native also led EKU football in its transition to the Atlantic Sun Conference

“Matt has made a transformative impact on the EKU athletics program, leading our teams through the challenges of COVID-19 and securing landmark sponsorship deals for Roy Kidd Stadium and Alumni Coliseum,” said EKU President David McFaddin. “Although we will miss him at EKU, we are excited for Matt as he returns to his home state of Virginia.”

Roan leaves after four years at the helm of EKU Athletics, beginning in Jan. 2020.

EKU said Roan helped steer the department through the COVID-19 pandemic, including a nine-game “Season of Opportunity” for EKU Football, with two of their games broadcast nationally on ESPN and FS1.

“I am so thankful that we were asked to return to EKU in 2020 and lead athletics, which proved to be the right place at the right time for my family and me in many ways,” said Roan on his time at EKU. “We have loved our opportunity here to try and make a positive difference on campus and in the community and I am hopeful that I have done just that. As excited as we are for what lies ahead, it is bittersweet because I will miss working together with so many great people who make up Colonel Nation and who have been incredibly supportive.” He added he believed “the best is yet to come” for the Colonels.

Among his accomplishments, Roan led EKU Athletics through two lucrative naming rights partnerships, as well as a five-year partnership with Nike and BSN Sports to outfit EKU student athletes and coaches. He was also instrumental in bringing back the men’s and women’s tennis programs in 2022 after being on hiatus since 2018.

The Virginia native also led EKU’s transition to the Atlantic Sun Conference in 2021.

In total, the Colonels have achieved five conference titles, 19 All-Americans, 13 conference players of the year, seven coaches of the year, 11 academic All-Americans, and 167 all-conference selections in Roan’s time as athletic director.

Roan also spearheaded ambitious campus facilities projects, including a new on-campus beach volleyball facility, repurposing of the Moberly Building into a football operations center, and improvements to the track, football, baseball and softball fields. Most notably is the announcement of at least a $31.35 million renovation to Baptist Health Arena at Alumni Coliseum, which began in March 2024.

Roan’s last day at EKU will be May 15, 2024. EKU said it will begin a search for a new athletic director immediately and name an interim AD in the coming weeks. 

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