George Mason University Assistant Vice President, Director of Athletics Brad Edwards announced that the school has extended head men’s basketball coach Dave Paulsen’s contract for one year through the 2021 season.
“This is in recognition of the outstanding job Dave has done since day one of arriving on campus to set this program back on firm footing,” commented Edwards. “He was thrust into a complex situation and immediately set about to build, from a total program perspective, an infrastructure and culture geared toward academic excellence, athletic success, and community engagement and to bring those principles into alignment with the mission of our University.”
In his first season at the helm of Mason’s program, Paulsen guided the Patriots to the championship contest of the Gildan Charleston Classic and mentored six Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week selections, including A-10 All-Rookie Team honoree and VaSID Rookie of the Year Otis Livingston II. In addition, Paulsen helped develop NBA Summer League mini-camp invitee Shevon Thompson.
During the course of the season, Mason defeated Power Five opponents Ole Miss and Oklahoma State to face nationally-ranked Virginia in the Gildan Charleston Classic championship. The Patriots also uprooted NCAA Tournament participant and A-10 regular season co-champs VCU during the regular season.
“I’m honored by this tangible show of support from President Ángel Cabrera and Brad Edwards,” Paulsen remarked. “I think it represents a recognition of some of the positive steps forward our program took this year, and also an awareness that there is much work yet to be done. We want to build this program from the ground up, understanding that there are no shortcuts in the process of creating a championship culture.
“I am more excited than ever to continue the work we have begun, and am more certain than ever in the bright future ahead for Mason basketball. This is a great community and I love working with Brad and Dr. Cabrera. I look forward to working collaboratively with them to improve our product on the floor and build and sustain the necessary improvements in our infrastructure to assure future success.”
Prior to his Fairfax arrival, Paulsen led Bucknell to four postseason berths in his seven-year tenure and four regular season championships. A three-time coach of the year, Paulsen tutored 18 All-Patriot League honorees and a two-time Patriot League Player of the Year and eventual NBA Draft selection in Mike Muscala.