Staff
Head Coach
Marlin Ikenberry

Director of Athletics Jeff Bourne announced on June 30, 2015, the appointment of Marlin Ikenberry as head coach of the James Madison baseball program, naming Ikenberry the sixth skipper in program history.

"I am extremely excited to welcome Coach Ikenberry to JMU and our baseball program," Bourne said. "Marlin brings a tremendous philosophy and set of experiences that mesh well with our vision for being the NCAA model for the student-athlete experience."

Ikenberry previously served as head coach at Virginia Military Institute from 2004-14, racking up 282 wins, the most in program history, and leading the Keydets to numerous school records.

He departed VMI in 2014 as the Institute's longest-serving head coach and was instrumental in turning around a program that had won more than 20 games just twice in the nine seasons prior to his tenure. In 11 seasons with Ikenberry at the helm, the Keydets dipped below the 20-win mark just twice and posted the first three 30-win seasons in program history.

"My wife Shannon and I, along with our two boys, could not be more excited to join the JMU family," Ikenberry said. "With that said, I consider it a great honor and privilege to have the opportunity to take over a JMU baseball program that has such a long history of success. I would like to thankJeff Bourne, Kevin White and all those involved in the process for their due diligence. I look forward to partnering with Jeff and the rest of the athletics department to lead JMU baseball into the future."

Prior to being named head coach, Ikenberry served as the top assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at VMI under head coach Tom Slater beginning in 2001. After Slater's departure for a coaching job at the University of Florida, Ikenberry was tabbed to head up the program and the decision paid immediate dividends.

Ikenberry returned to his alma mater for the 2001 season after spending three years at William and Mary as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. In 2000, his final season in Williamsburg, the Tribe racked up a school-record 32 wins. The following year, William and Mary won the only Colonial Athletic Association title in program history.

"I want to thank Associate Athletics Director Kevin White and the entire search committee for their work on this process, especially Coach Christy Morgan and Coach Mickey Dean," Bourne said. "Their insight as successful head coaches at JMU was invaluable to us in selecting Coach Ikenberry as the ideal fit for JMU Baseball."

After guiding the Keydets to 23 wins in 2004 and 27 in 2005, Ikenberry led VMI to 30 victories in 2006 and 34 in 2007, a single-season mark that still stands as the best in program history.

Over the course of his 11 seasons, VMI averaged more than 25 wins per season. Prior to Ikenberry taking the reins, the 25-win 2003 campaign--Ikenberry's third and final year as recruiting coordinator before stepping in as head coach--marked the only time the Keydets had reached that mark in a single season. From 2004-2014, 15 VMI players were selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

This past year, Ikenberry served as the Vice President for Business Development at ARMS Software, which develops recruiting, management and scouting software for collegiate athletic departments across the country.

Ikenberry began his collegiate baseball career as a four-year starting catcher for the Keydets. While playing, he developed a reputation for his excellent defensive skills and his handling of the pitching staff. He also caught for former VMI and Major League pitcher Ryan Glynn. He played on VMI's 1993 squad that advanced to the Southern Conference Championship game and ranked third nationally in defense.

A native of Richmond, Va., Ikenberry has two brothers who also attended VMI. Twin brother Merlin Ikenberry was a teammate as a pitcher and designated hitter while his oldest brother Steve Ikenberry is an alum of the class of 1980. Marlin married the former Shannon Marshall in August 2000 and the couple has two sons.

"I also would like to thank all my former players, coaches, mentors and friends for allowing my family and me to be a part of their lives," Ikenberry added. "I know that, without their belief in my hard work, passion and energy, I would not have been afforded this unbelievable opportunity. I'll also extend a special thanks to ARMS Software for their professionalism, intellect and leadership, which has made me not only a better coach, but a better leader. I look forward to getting to work right away. Go Dukes!"

Ikenberry replaces former head coach Spanky McFarland, who retired following the 2015 season with 521 wins across his 18 seasons leading the Dukes, the second-highest total in program history.

JMU returns all but two players from this past year's team heading into 2016, including eight of its nine starters.

Assistant Coach
Alex Guerra

Alex Guerra has been named an assistant coach for the James Madison baseball team, as announced by Head Coach Marlin Ikenberry on Wednesday afternoon.

“I am very excited to have Alex join the JMU baseball family,” Ikenberry said. “I have had the great pleasure to watch Alex grow and develop as both a player and a coach. He brings the energy, passion and vigor it takes to excel, as well as the knowledge base it takes to train hitters and infielders.”

Guerra comes to JMU from Radford, where he had served the Highlanders as an assistant coach since 2013. At Radford, he acted as the team’s lead hitting coach and recruiting coordinator while working closely with the catchers on a day-to-day basis.

The Wantagh, N.Y, native oversaw the development of six all-conference position players, including a pair of selections in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft and Radford’s first-ever nominee for the Johnny Bench Award, given annually to the top catcher in Division I.

“I am extremely honored and excited that Coach Ikenberry gave me this opportunity to be a part of the JMU baseball program,” Guerra said. “I believe in the direction that he has set for us, and I am excited to get to work and elevate JMU baseball to a higher level. The future is going to be very bright.”

Prior to Radford, Guerra served as director of baseball operations at Central Florida before moving into a volunteer assistant coach position the next season. While in Orlando, he played a vital role in recruiting, budgets and travel while also coaching the outfielders and assisting with the infield, catchers and scouting reports.

“Alex worked with two of the best coaches in the industry in Terry Rooney at UCF and Joe Raccuia at Radford,” Ikenberry added. “He is one of the best young coaches and recruiters in the game and we’re excited to have him join our team immediately.”

Before going into coaching, Guerra played two season at Division III Greensboro College before transferring to Radford for his final two collegiate campaigns. As a Highlander, he batted .311 and drove in 94 runs while playing second base, shortstop and third base, tacking on 11 home runs across his junior and senior seasons.

JMU returns all but two players heading into 2016 and brings back eight of nine starters for the Dukes' first season under the new coaching staff.

Assistant Baseball Coach / Camp Coordinator
Daniel Bowman

Local product Daniel Bowman has been added to the James Madison baseball coaching staff as a volunteer assistant coach, as announced by Head Coach Marlin Ikenberry on Thursday afternoon.

“I am very excited to have Daniel Bowman come back to the Valley to be part of this program and join the JMU family,” Ikenberry said. “I had the privilege to coach against Daniel for four years in college and was very impressed, not only with his baseball prowess but also with his work ethic.”

Bowman, a Bridgewater, Va. native and former standout at Turner Ashby High School, comes to JMU after spending the 2015 season as a member of the coaching staff at East Tennessee State, where he worked with the Buccaneers’ outfielders, hitters and baserunners.

Prior to ETSU, Bowman spent the 2014 season playing in the Arizona Diamondbacks farm system after a pair of seasons playing for the Lake Erie Crushers in the Frontier League.

“First of all, I’d like to thank Coach Ikenberry for giving me the opportunity to join his staff,” Bowman said. “I couldn’t be more excited to be back in the Shenandoah Valley and coaching here at JMU. Growing up in the area, I always followed the success of JMU baseball very closely and I look forward to helping continue that tradition. It’s an exciting time to be part of the JMU baseball program and I am truly grateful to be here. Go Dukes!”

Bowman was a collegiate standout, leading Coastal Carolina to Big South Conference regular-season and tournament championships in all four of his seasons with the Chanticleers, as well as a 2010 NCAA Regional Championship.

As a senior, Bowman capped off his career by garnering Big South Player of the Year and All-America honors. He graduated from Coastal Carolina as the program’s leader in games played (246), games started (244), at bats (963), hits (309), RBIs (206) and total bases (526). He was also the first player in Big South history with 200 runs scored, 200 RBIs and 300 hits. “Daniel played for one of the best in the business in Gary Gilmore at Coastal Carolina,” Ikenberry added. “I know the intensity, knowledge, work ethic and dedication to the game that he brings to our program. He also learned under Tony Skoal at ETSU, whom I have known and respected since our playing days.”

At Turner Ashby, Bowman batted over .400 in each of his final three seasons, including an eye-popping .510 in his final prep campaign. His average as a senior, coupled with 11 home runs and 36 RBIs, earned him First Team All-State honors and saw him named the District and Region Player of the Year. He also helped the storied program capture state championships in both 2007 and 2006.

Bowman puts the finishing touches on a young JMU coaching staff that also includes pitching coach Jimmy Jackson and assistant coach Alex Guerra in addition to Ikenberry. JMU returns all but two players heading into 2016 and brings back eight of nine starters for the Dukes' first season
under the new coaching staff.

Assistant Baseball Coach / Pitching Coach
Jimmy Jackson

Jimmy Jackson has been named assistant coach and pitching coach for the James Madison baseball team, as announced by Head Coach Marlin Ikenberry.

"We are very excited to have Jimmy and his family join the JMU Baseball family," Ikenberry said. "I was very impressed with his staffs, both at Fordham and Siena, over the last seven years, and his background in pitching and development planning will help propel our program's pitching."

Jackson comes to Harrisonburg from Fordham, where he spent four seasons as the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator, putting together some of the Atlantic 10's best pitching staffs along the way.

In 2015, his staff combined to break the program record for strikeouts in a season, as the Rams fanned 392 opposing batters to break the 1999 mark of 387 en route to their second straight appearance in the A-10 Championship. Jackson also saw two members of his first
recruiting class selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, including pitcher Brett Kennedy, who was taken in the 11th round by the San Diego Padres.

The 2014 season marked Fordham's first appearance in the A-10 Championship in four seasons, as Jackson guided the pitching staff to its best strikeout-to-walk ratio (1.91:1) since
joining the conference.

"I would like to thank Coach Ikenberry for giving my family and me the opportunity to be a part of this incredible university and baseball program," Jackson said. "Coach Ikenberry has a proven track record and has set the bar high for this program. I am looking forward to being a part of that climb and continuing the rich tradition of JMU Baseball."

Prior to his four years at Fordham, Jackson spent three years at Siena, the last two
as the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator. The pitching staff led the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in ERA in his first season as pitching coach and finished second in the conference the following year.

Jackson's staff lowered its ERA by two full runs each season and, in 2011, posted the program's best ERA in over 10 years. Siena's pitchers also broke three individual season records and two season staff records, as well as a pair of freshman season records.

In three years at Siena, the Saints had multiple All-Conference and All-Region players, as well as one Freshman All-American and one All-American. Prior to Siena, Jackson spent three years as the varsity pitching coach at Archbishop Spalding High School in Severn,Maryland. In that time, Archbishop Spalding had 17 players who advanced to play in college, including 10 pitchers. Additionally, Jackson delivered private lessons to over 20 players that moved onto the collegiate ranks, including eight who played at the Division I level.

"Jimmy has coached with some of the most dynamic leaders and coaches in baseball, including Steve Miller at Archbishop Spalding High School, Tony Rossi at Siena and Kevin Leighton at Fordham," Ikenberry said. "He has developed great arms that went on to play professional baseball everywhere he has coached, including both the collegiate and high school ranks."

Originally from Glen Burnie, Md., and a graduate of Old Mill High School, Jackson played two years ('04 & '05) of independent professional baseball in the Frontier and Atlantic Leagues
after a standout collegiate career that ended in 2004 at Division II Shepherd University in West Virginia, where he earned his bachelor's degree. He was a two-way player as an infielder and pitcher at Shepherd, earning First Team All-Conference, All-Region and Preseason All-American honors as a pitcher. He still holds multiple pitching records at Shepherd.

Jackson and his wife, Brittany, have one son, Grayson.

JMU returns all but two players heading into 2016 and brings back eight of nine starters for the Dukes' first season under the new coaching staff.