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Tuesday, Apr 23, 2024
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Ryan Ridder named next men's basketball coach

Ryan Ridder will lead Mercer's men's basketball team this upcoming season. This is his fourth head coaching gig of his career.
Ryan Ridder will lead Mercer's men's basketball team this upcoming season. This is his fourth head coaching gig of his career.

Ryan Ridder, formerly of UT Martin's Skyhawks, has been hired as Mercer’s Men’s basketball coach.

Ridder comes to the Bears with a 191-120 overall record as a head coach at the University of Tennessee at Martin, Daytona State College and Bethune-Cookman University.

The coach is credited with an impressive turnaround the program he is now leaving, pulling up UT Martin to its first winning season in four years in 2016/17. In his second season with the team, he led the Skyhawks to 11 wins more than in his first season at the helm.

In 2020, Ridder was awarded a spot on ESPN’s “40 Under 40.” The list comprises 40 of the most promising coaches around the NCAA, among whom were three Southern Conference head coaches. Ridder was among other current head coach powerhouses like Job Scheyer (Duke University) and Wes Miller (University of Cincinnati).

At Mercer, Ridder will inherit a similar team, one which has not had a winning season since 2020/21 and is in the bottom half in most statistical categories in its conference. Athletic Director Jim Cole highlighted Ridder’s ability to enhance the abilities of the players on his roster as the team lost two of its top four scorers after the season ended.

“Coach Ridder has shown throughout his career that he excels in skill development, which will help bring out the best in our returning student-athletes. I'm also confident that our fans will be energized by the brand of basketball that he will bring to Hawkins Arena as well,” Cole said.

Mercer averaged 71.2 points this past season, compared to UT Martin’s 81.5 in Ridder’s last season with the Skyhawks. Had Mercer averaged 10 more points this season than they did, the Bears may have gone 23-9 in 2023/24.


Gabriel Kopp

Gabriel Kopp '26 is majoring in Journalism and Law and Public Policy at Mercer University. He has written for The Cluster since he started at Mercer, and currently works as the Sports Editor. When he isn't studying, he enjoys going for runs and reading the New York Times.


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