When the Southeastern Conference hired him to be its Coordinator of Men's Basketball Officials, Mike Eades walked off the court and hung up his whistle as one of the most respected officials in NCAA Division I basketball.
"I believe Mike Eades is in a group of five of the best referees in the country," long-time NCAA official John Clougherty told the Raleigh (N.C.) News & Observer. "He could be as good as anybody. I don't know everybody, but of the ones that I know and the ones that I watch in the NCAA tournament, Mike Eades is definitely in an elite group, the top five."
A 24-year veteran Division I official who worked in three Final Fours (2015, 2016 and 2017), including one national championship game. He also earned assignments in five Elite 8s and four Sweet 16s. He regularly officiated games in the SEC, ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, American, Atlantic 10 and Big South conferences and Colonial Athletic Association. Working primarily in the ACC, he had worked six of their tournament championship games.
Eades will be charged with selecting, training, evaluating, and assigning officials for SEC contests. He will also manage a basketball officiating consortium that consists of, in addition to the SEC, the American, Sun Belt, ASUN and Southern conferences.
Serving as a conference's coordinator of officials isn't anything new to Eades who had held the same position with the Mountain East Conference since the league's inception in the 2013-2014 season.
"It's a great opportunity in the SEC, it's a great league and the challenges to make the referees the best they can be which we'll all work together," Eades told the Bluefield (W.Va.) Daily Telegraph. "I look forward to the next step in my career and hope to be there as long as they'll have me."