The James Madison football program will celebrate its 50th season of play this fall with a commemorative logo, which was unveiled earlier this month.
Formerly an all-women’s teachers college, JMU fielded its first football team in 1972 when then-head coach Challace McMillin famously recruited players from class registration lines. The Dukes have since become one of the most recognizable programs at the Football Championship Subdivision level, as they’ve reached the playoffs in seven straight seasons and captured a pair of national championships in 2004 and 2016.
“We have a special football history at James Madison,” athletic director Jeff Bourne said in a statement. “In some ways, you can trace the growth of our institution to the growth of our football program Each decade featured terrific student-athletes and coaches with each etching their place in program history.
“We have evolved into one of the top programs in the nation with two national championships, a rich postseason history, wins over (in-state Football Bowl Subdivision programs) Virginia and Virginia Tech, other FBS victories and a pair of appearances on ESPN’s College GameDay. We have All-Americans, national players of the year and individuals who achieved all the way to the NFL. There is so much to celebrate, and we are excited to do that this fall.”
As for the logo, it is in the shape of a football and features horizontal stripes to replicate the stripes on a regulation college ball, with the years 1972 and 2021 contained within the stripes. It prominently displays “50 SEASONS” in the center with streamers flowing through the numbers as a nod to the streamers that JMU fans throw in the air to celebrate every time the Dukes score.
The logo is complete with two stars at the top to represent the aforementioned national titles and JMU’s primary logo at the bottom.
The Dukes will open their 50th season on Sept. 4 against Morehead State at Bridgeforth Stadium.
Photo courtesy of @JMUSports on Twitter.