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James Madison’s Matt Brady thriving in NCAA tournament despite uncertain future


DAYTON, Ohio — On Wednesday night, Matt Brady coached James Madison to the program’s first NCAA Tournament win in 30 years. On Friday, he’ll lead them onto the court to face No. 1 seed Indiana. And in a couple of weeks, he could be a free agent.

The school opted not to offer Brady a contract extension prior to the 2012-13 season and, according to the Daily News-Record in Harrisonburg, Va., Brady’s contract expires after the national championship game on April 8.

“To be honest, I haven’t given it a lot of thought to the contract thing,” Brady said before his team’s practice Thursday. “I’ve coached in this situation all year long.”

After capturing the CAA title and leading the Dukes into the NCAA tournament’s round of 64, it’s difficult to imagine that Brady won’t receive a contract extension at some point in the next two weeks.

Still, he had to coach and recruit in a lame-duck situation all season.

“He’s a great coach, a great guy,” said senior guard Devon Moore. “I would never want nothing bad to happen to somebody like that. You’re going to have hard years and you’re going to have a season, but at the same time, just showing everything that he’s doing, how he always has faith in me is unbelievable. I don’t have a choice but to be in his corner.”

This marks Brady’s first tournament appearance as a head coach. Even though he and his family have dealt with lingering uncertainty all season, for today he says he’s focused solely on prepping his players for the Hoosiers.

“That’s our only focus,” he said. “Everything else — I say this all the time, I’ve said it all year — everything else will work itself out. I’ll be coaching somewhere.”

His players seem to want him to stay, as Dan Steinberg points out.

Rick Maese is a sports features writer for The Washington Post.



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Eric Detweiler · March 21, 2013

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