James Madison Basketball Staff Update

James Madison Head Coach Preston Spradlin has announced his initial coaching staff hires for the men’s basketball program, as he brings in four members of his staff from Morehead State while retaining one member of the previous JMU leadership.
Joining Spradlin with the Dukes are Associate Head Coach Scott Combs, Assistant Coach Dominic Lombardi, Assistant Coach Cason Burk and Assistant Coach/Operations Ky Klingsick. Additionally, Spradlin has retained Calvin Baker, who will serve as an assistant coach with player development & recruiting.
Combs and Lombardi were part of two Ohio Valley Conference tournament titles and three overall postseason berths, having competed in the NCAA Championship in both 2021 and 2024 and the National Invitation Tournament, going 1-1 in 2023 with a win over Clemson. Both Burk and Klingsick were part of Spradlin’s staffs that advanced to the 2023 NIT and 2024 NCAA Championship. This past season, Morehead State won a program-record 26 games.
The incoming staff all coached the past two OVC Players of the Year in Riley Minix (2023-24) and Mark Freeman (2022-23), who was also this year’s preseason player of the year before sustaining an injury. Additionally, they mentored a pair of Defensive Players of the Year in Alex Gross (2022-23) and Johni Broome (2021-22). Broome also won Freshman of the Year (2020-21).
Scott Combs – Associate Head Coach
Combs, a 25-year coaching veteran, comes to Harrisonburg after spending the past six seasons on Spradlin’s staff at Morehead State where he was most recently associate head coach. He helped coach 10 players to All-OVC status since 2018-19, including eight First Team members. Combs was also the longest-tenured assistant in the OVC, having been at Austin Peay for 12 years (1999-2012), where he aided the Governors in six 20-win seasons and a pair of NCAA appearances. Prior to MSU, Combs was head coach at Martin Methodist (2012-18), where he went 119-72 and advanced to three NAIA national tournaments in his six seasons.
Spradlin on Combs: “I am excited to have Scott on board to continue our success at JMU. Scott brings a wealth of experience that will impact our recruiting, teaching and overall organization of our program. This will be Scott’s seventh season on my staff, and I am confident that our administration at JMU will be impressed with the efficiency on his work.”
Dominic Lombardi – Assistant Coach
Lombardi was part of Spradlin’s coaching staff for seven years and began as director of operations in 2017-18 before transitioning to his assistant coach role the following season. Like Combs, Lombardi was part of mentoring 10 players to All-OVC accolades, with a pair of Eagles making First Team in each of the past three seasons. Prior to MSU, Lombardi spent one season as director of player development at Duquesne (2016-17) and two as the video coordinator at USF (2014-16). Lombardi, in his video coordinator role, worked two years with Spradlin at Kentucky (2012-14). His second year at UK, he was also VC for the Dominican Republic National Team.
Spradlin on Lombardi: This will make the 10th season that Dom and I have worked together throughout our careers. Dom is an elite teacher of the game and one of the brightest minds in the game. His ideas and commitment to the development of our players has been a major reason for our success.”
Cason Burk – Assistant Coach
Burk, who has coached at the Division I level for more than a decade, finished his second season with Spradlin at MSU in 2023-24. He coached four MSU players to First Team All-OVC honors in that time. Before Morehead, Burk was associate head coach for 10 years at Jackson State (2012-22). He also spent one season at JSU’s graduate assistant (2011-12). While with the Tigers, Burk coached Tristan Jarrett to SWAC Player of the Year (2020-21) and Jayveous McKinnis to an impressive three straight SWAC Defensive Player of the Year awards (2019-20, 2020-21, 2021-22). He helped JSU to the 2020-21 SWAC regular-season title with an 11-0 conference record.
Spradlin on Combs: “Cason joins our staff at JMU after two extremely successful season at Morehead State. Cason’s connections in recruiting and his ability to communicate our vision with players is second to none! His ability to relate to and challenge players will have a major impact on our success!”
Ky Klingsick – Assistant Coach/Operations
Klingsick heads to JMU as an assistant and will oversee basketball operations after serving three seasons at Morehead State (2021-24). Following two years as a graduate assistant overseeing operations, he was promoted to assistant coach and director of operations at MSU prior to the 2023-24 season. During his time at Morehead, he helped coach six players to First Team All-OVC status. He’s also organized team travel and meal coordination and was the coordinator for high school and youth camps. Prior to MSU, Klingsick was an assistant coach at Alabama Huntsville (2020-21) and a student manager and video intern at his alma mater Oklahoma State (2016-20).
Spradlin on Klingsick: “Ky has a positive energy and attitude that will be contagious in every interaction on the JMU campus! His ability to think ahead and plan will help how program run efficiently. His growth as a coach has been tremendous over the past three seasons and I look forward to seeing his career progress here at JMU.”
Calvin Baker – Assistant Coach/Player Development & Recruiting
Baker has spent the past four seasons on the JMU staff, where he’s served as director of player development and recruiting. During his time with the Dukes, he’s helped develop eight all-conference honorees, including 2021 Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year Matt Lewis and 2024 Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year Terrence Edwards Jr. JMU has gone 82-36 over the past four seasons, winning the conference championship for the first time in 11 years in 2023-24 while advancing to the second round of the NCAA Championship.
Spradlin on Baker: “It’s not every day that you take over a program that is experiencing the type of success JMU has, so having the ability to retain someone who has impacted that success and fits into the identity of our staff is a huge asset. Calvin will also help keep the JMU brand strong throughout the region with his recruiting ties. We are excited to welcome his family to our staff and share ideas for continued success.”


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