James Madison hires Morehead State’s Spradlin


James Madison has hired Morehead State‘s Preston Spradlin as its new men’s basketball coach, the school announced Friday.

Spradlin is coming off his second NCAA tournament appearance with the Eagles.

“My family and I are extremely excited for the opportunity to lead the JMU program and take over during a monumental time for the University!” Spradlin said. “Throughout this process it was of the utmost importance that we not only found a great basketball program but also a caring community that we can embrace and continue to raise our family. We are looking forward to connecting with the many supporters of JMU Athletics and partnering together to compete for future championships! Go Dukes!”

Spradlin was the head coach at Morehead State for eight seasons, building the Eagles into one of the most consistent mid-major programs over the past few years. In his last four seasons at the helm, Morehead State won two Ohio Valley regular-season championships, went to two NCAA tournaments, won 94 games total and went 58-16 in conference play.

This season’s 26 wins set a program record for wins in a season.

“Preston stood out at the top of our list as we researched candidates based upon the resume that he’s built at a very young age as a head coach,” athletic director Jeff Bourne said. “Once we met with him, it was even more evident that he’s the total package in a head coach. The results speak for themselves, but beyond the results we found a genuine and authentic coach and teacher who cares about his student-athletes, about his institution and the community. Given our recent success at James Madison, our facility, our resources and the enthusiasm of our fanbase, we believe Preston is the right coach to build something truly special in Harrisonburg.”

Prior to taking over at Morehead State, Spradlin was an assistant under Sean Woods for two seasons and began his coaching career as a graduate assistant under John Calipari at Kentucky from 2009 to ’11.

He’ll replace Mark Byington, who left earlier this week for the Vanderbilt job. Byington led James Madison to a historic season, going 32-4 and beating Wisconsin in the first round of the NCAA tournament.



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