HiringOhio ValleySun Belt

Preston Spradlin hired as new head men’s basketball coach at James Madison

Preston Spradlin has been hired as the new head men’s basketball coach at James Madison, the school announced on Friday. Spradlin is a two-time Ohio Valley Coach of the Year as the head coach at Morehead State, where he went 142-116 over eight seasons with two NCAA Tournament appearances (2021 and 2024).

“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,” said AD Jeff Bourne. “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.”

Spradlin is a KY-native who got his start working under John Calipari at Kentucky for five seasons. He made his way to Morehead as an assistant in 2014 and was elevated to interim head coach two years later at just 29 years old, getting the job for real after navigating the Eagles through a difficult situation with former head coach Sean Woods. He found his footing and by year five he began his run of four-straight seasons with 22+ wins.

“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!”

The Dukes are coming off perhaps their best-ever season, winning 32 games (most in program history), and winning the Sun Belt Tournament to get back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2013. The 12-seed JMU squad upset 5-seed Wisconsin to earn their first Round of 64 victory in 41 years.

Former head coach Mark Byington went 82-36 in four years at the helm before leaving earlier this week to take over at Vanderbilt.


credit to James Madison Athletics for the image