A historically successful season led to a contract extension for Morehead State Coach Preston Spradlin, the school announced Wednesday.
Spradlin led Morehead State to its first Ohio Valley Conference Tournament championship in 10 years, a 23-8 record and an NCAA Tournament bid. The Eagles finished as the No. 7 team in the nation in the CollegeInsider.com mid-major poll.
The 23 victories were the most for the program since 2015-16, the most for any men’s program in the state of Kentucky and tied for seventh most wins in the nation. The Eagles’ 12-1 home record was the program’s best since 2010-11.
As a reward, Morehead State extended Spradlin’s contract through the 2024-25 season.
Spradlin came to Morehead State after five seasons with Kentucky’s program. He spent two seasons (2009-11) as a graduate assistant with the Wildcats before three years as the assistant director of operations (2011-14).
“Coach Spradlin and his staff have worked tirelessly to build a championship program,” Morehead State Director of Athletics Jaime Gordon said in a news release. “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.
“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.”
In this past season, Morehead State defeated every OVC opponent for the first time since 2010-11. The Eagles also made the largest one-year turnaround from 2019-20 to 2020-21 in the NET rankings and the KenPom rankings.
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 was named OVC Coach of the Year. He was also named a finalist for the Hugh Durham Mid-Major Coach of the Year and Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year awards.
“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,” Spradlin said in a news release. “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 lifelong commitment for my family, and it has been a great honor to serve as the head coach of this program.
“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 year’s NCAA Tournament are a byproduct of the tremendous belief that all of these individuals have demonstrated since day one. 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 became Morehead State’s interim head coach nine games into the 2016-17 season. From a 2-7 start to the season, he then guided the Eagles to a 12-9 record the rest of the way and a 10-6 mark and second-place finish in OVC play.
A 2005 graduate of Betsy Layne High School, 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 UK in 2011.