HARRISONBURG — James Madison women’s basketball coach Sean O’Regan has been on the road recruiting all week. Now he’s got good news to share with prospective future Dukes.
O’Regan, who has two Colonial Athletic Association regular-season titles and three straight WNIT appearances in three seasons as JMU’s head coach, signed a contract extension through the 2022-23 season, the school announced Wednesday.
A JMU alumnus who was a longtime assistant under former Dukes coach Kenny Brooks before Brooks left for Virginia Tech four years ago, O’Regan kept the Dukes’ streak of 14 straight postseason appearances alive after tying a program record with 29 victories this past season.
But as he’s continued to hit the recruiting trail, the question of how long he’ll be at JMU is one that often comes up.
“It’s a question I get with almost every serious recruit,” O’Regan said. “They want to know what’s your contract situation. It is nice to be able to say I’m scheduled to be able to coach here for your career. With the climate the way it is with college coaches changing jobs, I say to all of them this is where I want to be. Now I have a little more evidence to back that up.”
Offering and signing the extension was in some ways a formality as both sides wanted to continue the relationship.
O’Regan took over a successful program and continues to restock the roster to stay atop the CAA. Though losses in the conference tournament have kept the Dukes out of the NCAA Tournament under O’Regan, JMU was one of the last two teams to miss out on an at-large bid in 2018-19 and should once again be favored to win the CAA this coming season.
For O’Regan’s part, he’s said since the end of the season he wasn’t looking for another job.
“JMU women’s basketball has been a model of consistency for nearly a decade and a half and Sean O’Regan has been instrumental in that rise to prominence,” JMU athletics director Jeff Bourne said in a statement released Wednesday. “The 2018-19 season was another successful year for the program with a regular season championship and memorable run in the WNIT. With returning talent and a continuous injection of elite incoming talent, the program is poised to add CAA Tournament Championships and NCAA appearances in the years to come under Sean’s leadership.”
Still, the new deal offers some relief for O’Regan moving forward.
“I’m very, very grateful,” he said. “It’s never something they have to do. I originally signed a five-year contract and we’re three years in, so it’s not something they had to do. We could have worked with that, but it feels good to get a vote of confidence from them as far as keeping the bar as high as we can.”
In Thursday’s print edition of the Daily News-Record, the brief on women’s basketball coach Sean O’Regan incorrectly identified the length of his contract extension. On Wednesday, O’Regan signed a four-year contract extension running through the 2022-23 season, not a three-year extension as written on Thursday.