"I coached against Jeff when I was at Richmond and always liked what they did offensively," stated Huesman. "His teams were always well-coached and hard to defend. Jeff's approach is in line with what we are trying to do here, and I think it will be a smooth transition for both our coaches and players."
During Durden's first season as offensive coordinator at JMU, he helped guide the Dukes to the 2004 FCS National Championship. James Madison has posted a winning record in each of the last nine seasons, advancing to the FCS playoffs five times during that period.
Durden's JMU teams ranked in the FCS top-20 in rushing yards eight times. The Dukes accumulated more than 400 yards per game four times and averaged more than 28 points per game six times in his nine campaigns calling plays.
The 2008 JMU squad was second in the FCS with 38.1 ppg and fourth in the country in rushing at 282.8 ypg. The Dukes won the Colonial Athletic Association that season with a 12-2 overall record and an 8-0 league mark. JMU was also No. 22 in the nation in total offense at 401.4 ypg.
Durden has coached many top quarterbacks during his career, including former Walter Payton Award runner-up Rodney Landers. Landers was second-team All-CAA in 2007 when he set JMU's single-season total offense record of 2,951 yards. He was the CAA Player of the Year and National Player of the Year runner-up in 2008 when he eclipsed JMU season marks for total offense (3,304), touchdown passes (21), rushing yards (1,770) and run-pass touchdowns (37).
Prior to joining James Madison, Durden gained experience in the Southern Conference as an assistant coach at VMI from 1999-03. He was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Keydets his last two years in Lexington, Va. VMI set team season records for points in 2002 and points and total offense in 2003.
From 1995-98, Durden was the offensive coordinator at Morehead State. In 1997, the Eagles led the FCS in scoring and was second in the nation in total offense. Durden also coached at California (Pa.), West Georgia and Georgetown (Ky.) earlier in his career.
As a student-athlete, Durden was an all-conference defensive back at Georgetown (Ky.) where he earned his Bachelor's degree in Education in 1988. He also holds a Master's in Education from West Georgia (1991). He has a son, Jakob (19), and a daughter, Hannah (16).