Be the Change: Athletics

Photo: Fans Embracing the values of sportsmanship has benefits that extend far beyond the playing field. From student-athletes who balance academic scholarship with athletic demands, to faculty who embody the principles of honor and fair play, to alumni who exemplify the drive to excel, Madison's people and programs seek to personify sportsmanship. And with sportsmanship has come the desire to go beyond self, beyond team, to reach out to the world to make a difference. Balancing competition with respect, victory with honor and contest with scholarship, the character-building power of athletic performance has been channeled into a force for positive change.

The Stories ...

JMU Nation — get a load of this

JMU's Bridgeforth Stadium expansion phase one complete Phase One of the expansion of Bridgeforth Stadium, home of the football Dukes, is complete, allowing alumni, friends and fans to gather and make lasting memories. And more is on the way! … Read More

America's strongest man

Mike Jenkins As Mike Jenkins ('04, '05M) gets ready to step into the spotlight of his next North American Strongman competition, a quick glance at a small photograph of his late uncle … Read More

Character counts

Challace McMillin JMU's first football coach Challace McMillin has mentored generations of student-athletes and is a perpetual draw for former students, many who also have become coaches. The holistic approach … Read More

Top hoops

Betsy Witman ('87) builds a top hoops program and raises money for cancer research JMU alumna Betsy Witman ('87) coaches the women's basketball team at York College of Pennsylvania. In addition to building a top hoops program, she's helped raise money for cancer research … Read More

The People ...

  1. Judith Flohr

    Judith Flohr

    Kinesiology professor

    Judith Flohr has always believed that a vital part of a woman's sense of self stems from her physical well being. "If you have confidence in your physical self," she explains, "then that confidence will make an impact … Read More

  2. Charles Haley ('87)

    Charles Haley ('87)

    NFL All-Pro and Five-Time Super Bowl Champion

    In Charles Haley's case, changing the world means being one of a kind. He is the first and only NFL player to be a member of five Super Bowl championship teams. One of the all-time great NFL defenders, Haley was a vital force … Read more

  3. Kevin Knight  ('99)

    Kevin Knight ('99)

    Firefighter, former USL Richmond Kickers defender

    Kevin Knight is a star — on the field and off. A former defender with the United Soccer Leagues' Richmond Kickers, Kevin is now a firefighter. He decided to pursue a firefighting career along with … Read More

  4. Challace McMillin

    Challace McMillin

    Madison College's First NCAA Football Coach

    About 60 young men, at least some of them looking like pretty good athletes, showed up one September afternoon in 1972 for the organizational meeting of Madison College's first football team. Madison's first NCAA … Read More

  5. Matt Miller ('98)

    Matt Miller ('98)

    Founder of C Different Foundation

    A former JMU swimmer and amateur triathlete, Matt decided he wanted to help blind people participate in athletics. Since its inception, his non-profit C Different Foundation has … Read More

  6. Janet Phillips ('88)

    Janet Phillips ('88)

    Golf professional and community leader

    Janet Phillips' passion for the game of golf began when she was just 8 years old and eventually led her to JMU, where she played on the women's golf team while earning a degree in sports management. Now co-owner of the … Read More

  7. Robert and Frances Plecker

    Robert and Frances Plecker

    Loyal fans and benefactors

    While not professors, coaches or graduates of JMU, the late Robert Plecker and his wife Frances have often been described as among JMU's most loyal fans. Shenandoah Valley natives, the Pleckers met, married … Read More

  8. James Robinson

    James Robinson

    JMU sports fan

    When James Robinson joined the JMU staff several years ago, he brought with him an unflagging focus on the positive. One of his first efforts was to make sure his office became known as a resource for the entire university … Read More

  9. Buddy Showalter

    W. Raymond "Buddy" Showalter Jr. ('50) (1928-2007)

    Team player and lead donor

    Buddy entered JMU in 1946, the year the school began to enroll men. During their Madison years, Buddy and his teammates made history as part of the first men's basketball team at the school. He remained a loyal Duke and good … Read More

  10. Capt. Jeff Soule  ('02)

    Capt. Jeff Soule ('02)

    Army ranger, cyclist

    When Capt. Jeff Soule and his friend Matt Holland decided on a cross-country bike ride covering approximately 4,300 miles, it wasn't simply an extreme adventure, it was an opportunity to raise money for cancer research … Read More

  11. Bruce Thayer ('84)

    Bruce Thayer ('84)

    Coach and volunteer

    Bruce has coached baseball since 1997, but his role as a mentor took on a whole new meaning when he traveled with a group of 12- and 13-year-olds across the country. The group from Fairfax County, Va., went to Pine Ridge, S.D., to help at the Oglala Sioux … Read More

Be the Change! sectors ...

Be the Change
in Athletics

Judith Flohr
Kinesiology professor

Charles Haley ('87)
NFL All-Pro and Five-Time Super Bowl Champion

Kevin Knight ('99)
Firefigher, former USL Richmond Kickers defender

Challace McMillin
Madison College's First NCAA Football Coach, Kinesiology Professor

Matt Miller ('98)
Founder of C Different Foundation

Janet Phillips ('88)
Golf professional and community leader

Robert and Frances Plecker
JMU benefactors

James Robinson, Director
Office of Equal Opportunity and JMU sports fan

W. Raymond "Buddy" Showalter Jr. ('50) (1928-2007)
Team player and lead donor

Capt. Jeff Soule ('02)
Army Ranger, cyclist

Bruce Thayer ('84)
Coach and volunteer