Photo courtesy JMU Athletics

JMU rewards Mike Houston with raise, contract extension

Mike Houston, who led James Madison to its second FCS national championship in his first season as head coach, received a bit of a bonus on Thursday.

The school announced a $75,000 raise and a one-year extension on Houston's original five-year contract. He will receive a base salary of $375,000 through 2021. His deal also includes bonuses for a conference championship, conference coach of the year, national coach of the year honors and academic success.

"Mike Houston is not only a successful football coach, but he is a quality person, a great mentor and an embodiment of our aspirations as an athletic department and as a university," said JMU Athletic Director Jeff Bourne said. "We are pleased to reward Mike for a tremendous first year and eagerly anticipate building on our national championship heading into 2017 and beyond."

JMU hired Houston last year after he guided The Citadel to a 14-11 record and Southern Conference championships in his first two seasons.

The Dukes finished 14-1 this season, including 8-0 in the CAA. Houston earned Coach of the Year honors from the CAA and American Football Coaches Association.

After knocking off five-time defending champion North Dakota State 27-17 in the FCS semifinals, the Dukes beat Youngstown State 28-14 in the championship game.

"At the beginning of the year, every college football program has this goal," Houston said after the game. "The great thing about tournament play is it's not up to a vote system or anything like that. You go out there and play it out on the field."

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