Men's Basketball's Commitment to Future Solidified With Contract Extension for Preston Spradlin
After leading the Morehead State men's basketball program to national prominence in 2020-21 with an Ohio Valley Conference championship and NCAA Tournament appearance, the commitment to the future of the program has been solidified with a contract extension for head coach Preston Spradlin.
The extension will keep Spradlin as the Eagles' head coach through the 2024-25 season.
"Coach Spradlin and his staff have worked tirelessly to build a championship program. We feel like he is the right person to not just have short-term success, but to continue to have championship success for the next several seasons," said Director of Athletics Jaime Gordon. "He and his staff have shown a commitment to building this program the right way with high-character individuals. Preston is a true Kentucky-proud individual, and we know with him leading our men's basketball program we can sustain success on and off the court for many years to come."
Spradlin recently completed his fourth season as full-time head coach after spending the majority of the 2016-17 season as interim head coach. He will be in his eighth season overall with the Morehead State men's basketball program and his 13th year working with a Division I program in 2021-22.
Spradlin led the Eagle program to prominence in 2020-21, winning the program's first Ohio Valley Conference Tournament championship in 10 years and leading the Eagles to the NCAA Tournament with a 23-8 record. The Eagles finished as the No. 7 team in the nation in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major poll.
For his efforts, along with the staff's work, he was named OVC Coach of the Year. He was also named the National Association of Basketball Coaches District 18 Coach of the Year as well as to the Hugh Durham Mid-Major Coach of the Year Finalist list and the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year Finalist list.
"I want to thank (Morehead State University President) Dr. (Jay) Morgan and Jaime (Gordon) for their long-term commitment to our vision for the program," said Spradlin. "Throughout the past seven years we have called Morehead our home and as a family we have embraced being a part of this wonderful community. Serving the region of Appalachia has been a life-long commitment for my family, and it has been a great honor to serve as the head coach of this program."
Some of Spradlin's accomplishments leading the 2020-21 team included: 23 wins - the most since 2015-16, a 19-1 record in the 2021 year, most wins in the state of Kentucky, tied for seventh most wins in the nation, a 12-game win streak - tying for second longest streak in program history, 17 OVC wins - the most in program history, eight OVC road wins - the most in program history, eight overall road wins - the most since 2015-16 and a 12-1 (92%) home record - the best since 2010-11.
Morehead State also defeated every OVC opponent for first time since 2010-11. The Eagles were also ranked in the top 40 in more than 10 stats categories for Division I. In addition, he led MSU to the largest one-year turnaround from 2019-20 to 2020-21 in the NET rankings and the KenPom rankings.
"We are grateful to all of the coaches and players who have worked to build the foundation and to the fans and campus community who have supported us along the way. Bringing a championship home to our region and representing the great state of Kentucky in this years NCAA Tournament are a bi-product of the tremendous belief that all of these individuals have demonstrated since day one," he continued. "We are excited for the future of this program and look forward to leading Morehead State to more championship moments for years to come."
Spradlin officially took on the interim head coaching position on Dec. 15, 2016, nine games into the 2016-17 season after the Eagles opened with a 2-7 record. He then guided Morehead State to a 12-9 record the rest of the way and a 10-6 mark in OVC play, which ranked second in the league.
At the conclusion of that season, he finished second in OVC Coach of the Year voting.
Under his guidance Xavier Moon, DeJuan Marrero, Jordan Walker, LaMontray Harris, Johni Broome, DeVon Cooper and Skyelar Potter have been named All-OVC.
Spradlin helped coach Broome to multiple conference and national honors in 2020-21, including OVC Freshman of the Year and to the Kyle Macy Freshman All-American Team.
In 2015-16, he helped lead the Eagles to a 23-14 overall record and 11-5 Ohio Valley Conference mark, along with a second place finish in the College Basketball Invitational. With their trip to the championship series of the CBI, Morehead State won four postseason games, the most in program history. MSU's 20-win season marked the seventh in program history. The 23 wins marked the most victories for the Eagles since they finished the 2010-11 season at 25-10, with him guiding the Eagles to tying that mark with 23 this past season too.
Spradlin came to Morehead State after five seasons with national power Kentucky. He spent two campaigns (2009-11) as a graduate assistant with the Wildcats before three years as the assistant director of operations (2011-14).
Growing up in Eastern Kentucky, Spradlin earned a bachelor's degree in history from Alice Lloyd (Ky.) in 2009 and Master's Degree in kinesiology and health promotion, with a sports leadership emphasis, from Kentucky in 2011. He was a four-year men's basketball letterwinner for the NAIA Eagles from 2005-09.
Spradlin, a 2005 graduate of Betsy Layne High School, is married to the former Misty Tackett. The couple has one son, Bentley, and one daughter, Aubrey.