McMillan inks contract extension at Samford

After leading Samford to its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 24 years, head men’s basketball coach Bucky McMillan has been signed to a contract extension, the university announced Tuesday.
“I want to thank Dr. Taylor and Martin Newton for their confidence in the direction of the program as I am extremely grateful for the contract extension,” McMillan said. “We are building a special program here at Samford and I look forward to continuing to work, along with my staff and players, to compete for championships and have a basketball program that is relevant on a national level. I greatly appreciate the support of our administration and fans that have been essential to our program taking the strides we have in the last couple of years. Together, we will work to take even bigger steps forward in the years to come. Go Bulldogs!”
During the 2023-24 season, McMillan led Samford to the best season in program history. The team set a school record for wins, posting a 29-6 final record. The team won its first outright Southern Conference regular season championship with a 15-3 record in league play, and the Bulldogs won the SoCon Tournament title to earn just the third NCAA Tournament bid in program history and first since 2000.
“Coach McMillan has already distinguished himself as one of the country’s bright, young coaching talents,” Samford President Dr. Beck Taylor said. “Samford is building a great mid-major men’s basketball program, and the university is making investments to ensure that Bucky will be our leader for years to come. The program’s future has never been brighter.”
In the NCAA Tournament, Samford faced one of the elite programs in college basketball history in Kansas. The Bulldogs narrowly lost to the Jayhawks, falling by a score of 93-89.
“Coach McMillan has delivered on what he said he was going to do to transform the Samford basketball program, and he’s just getting started,” Samford Director of Athletics Martin Newton said. “The recognition of Dr. Taylor and our administration to invest in ‘Bucky Ball’ and keep the Birmingham native home is tremendous and one of the most unique stories in college sports. I’m excited to see what the future holds under Bucky’s leadership and the continued growth of support from the campus and community. Go Bulldogs!”
The 2023-24 season saw Samford put up some impressive numbers nationally. The Bulldogs posted the longest win streak in the nation, winning a school-record 17 games. Samford ranked fifth in the nation in scoring, averaging 86.1 points per game. The team also ranked in the top 10 in the nation in three-point percentage (5th-39.5%), turnovers forced per game (5th-16.66), bench points per game (6th-33.29), fastbreak points per game (7th-15.20), winning percentage (T-7th-82.9) effective field goal percentage (9th-57.1%) and assists per game (10th-17.7).
Following the season, McMillan was named the SoCon Coach of the Year for a third-straight year. He was also named the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Region 21 Coach of the Year.
The 2023-24 season was McMillan’s fourth season at Samford. Under his leadership, Samford has now posted three-straight 20-win seasons for the first time in program history. In his first four seasons, Samford has won three SoCon championships, having won a share of the SoCon regular-season title during the 2022-23 season before winning it outright and winning the SoCon Tournament this season.

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