Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: 10 best mid-major hires of 2024 coaching carousel

The 2024 coaching carousel saw a flurry of activity, especially at the mid-major level
Morehead State v Illinois
Morehead State v Illinois / Jamie Squire/GettyImages
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Preston Spradlin - James Madison Dukes

After taking the interim head coach role at Morehead State in December of 2016 following the departure of Sean Woods, Spradlin worked his way through a couple of tough years before landing the Eagles in the 2021 NCAA Tournament. Since 2021, the Eagles put together three more 20+ win seasons under Spradlin, establishing themselves as one of the better programs in the OVC.

After taking Morehead State back to the Big Dance in 2024, Spraldin accepted the James Madison job -- a school that has seen recent success in both basketball and football at the mid-major level, further demonstrating just how good of a job this job can be. Can the 37-year-old Spraldin continue the Dukes’ success? Given his winning track record, one would believe that yes, he will.

Ryan Ridder - Mercer Bears

Ryan Ridder is one of the more underrated coaches in college basketball. Here is what I had to say about him after the announcement of his staff at Mercer.

Ridder, who started his head coaching career at JUCO Daytona State from 2013-2017, got his first crack at the Division I level at Bethune Cookman, one of the more difficult jobs in all of college basketball. After leading the Wildcats to two .500+ seasons in three years, Ridder took over at UT Martin -- another difficult job in college basketball -- improving their win total from nine to 19 to 21 in just three years. Now at Mercer with a strong staff under his belt, expect the Bears to start winning once again. Soon.