Jacob Ridenhour, whose knowledge of the game of basketball extends far beyond the court, is in his 14th season as Florida State’s director of basketball operations. His knowledge of the game and his proven ability as an athletic administrator makes him one of the most valuable members of head coach Leonard Hamilton’s coaching staff. Ridenhour has an incredible ability to quickly realize big picture issues, assess challenges and develop successful ideas on how to move Florida State’s program to the next level.
Ridenhour’s administrative and coaching expertise includes coaching experience at the high school, AAU and college levels and 18 years of administrative experience at two successful, Power Five conference schools — Florida State in the ACC and Auburn in the SEC.
Ridenhour has been a member of 21 postseason teams including nine NCAA Tournament teams, three NCAA Sweet Sixteen teams at Florida State (2011) and Auburn (1999 and 2003) and Florida Statte’s NCAA Elite Eight team (2018). He was also a member of the Seminoles’ 2012 ACC Championship team.
Ridenhour is a member of the athletics administration team working to renovate the Donald L. Tucker Center. The Seminoles’ arena underwent a $16 million renovation prior to the 2014-15 season. The Seminoles opened their new locker room and medical prep area during the 2016-17 season and are currently in the final planning stage a team lounge area – a completely new aspect of the Tucker Center. The renovation projects have the Seminoles’ poised to realize immediate as well as long-term success of the program under Hamilton.
As the director of operations at Florida State, Ridenhour’s responsibilities include management of the program, office and team fiscal matters, all aspects of travel, academic development and contracts. He is the primary liaison with University and Athletic Administration, educators, fan groups and opposing schools.
Ridenhour is also director of the Florida State Basketball Camps. His responsibilities include organizing, marketing, and operating the camps. Ridenhour has created and instituted the highly successful Florida State Team Camp with teams from throughout the southeast and numerous international teams — the largest of its kind at Florida State — and brought in annual sessions of the prestigious Five-Star Basketball Camp to Tallahassee, both providing significant economic and financial impact to the Tallahassee community.
Ridenhour has been integrally involved in the day-to-day inner workings of two major Division I athletic departments for over 20 years. He began his collegiate career at Auburn as a team manager in 1993, for the late Tommy Joe Eagles. Later joining the staff at Auburn University for Cliff Ellis, the former head coach at Auburn and Clemson, where he created and administered the programs budget and was primary contact to the University Administration pertaining to the basketball team as well as overseeing player development. Ridenhour was the director of the highly successful Auburn Basketball Camp program.
While at Auburn, Ridenhour was instrumental in taking the Auburn program to unprecedented heights, reaching postseason play six times in his eight years with two trips to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen and the 1999 regular season SEC Championship. The Tigers regular season SEC Championship marked the first time in 40 years that Auburn had won the regular season SEC championship. He was involved in the fundraising, marketing and management of the Auburn Basketball brand. He was also responsible for the design and development of the Auburn Basketball Museum and was instrumental in the redesign of the office and locker room renovations.
Ridenhour has tremendous international experience with teams and programs involving tournaments, traveling, games and all aspects related to legal documents and requirements. Ridenhour has been with teams on three continents including Europe and Africa as well as Canada and the Caribbean.
Ridenhour organized and coordinated the Florida State’s trip to Greece during the summer of 2013 and their trip to Jamaica in 2017.
Prior to joining the Seminoles in the fall of 2005, Ridenhour participated in the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders and traveled with the NBA to Dakar, Senegal and Johannesburg, South Africa. He co-directed the Island Shootout in Nassau, Bahamas in 2004 and 2005.
Ridenhour has been a color analyst for ESPN3 and the Seminole IMG Radio Network for Florida State games. He made his television debut on ESPN3 in the Seminoles’ 2011-12 season opener against Jacksonville.
A native of Salisbury, North Carolina, Ridenhour received his Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Auburn in 1995 and his Master’s Degree in Sport Administration from Florida State in 2008.
Ridenhour was married to Evette O’Connor in 2011. The couple reside with Evette’s two sons James (17) and Will (13) in Tallahassee.