Samford University Director of Athletics Martin Newton announced on Monday afternoon a seven-year contract extension for Men’s Basketball Head Coach Bucky McMillan that runs through the year 2030.
“I am extremely excited about the announcement of Coach McMillan’s contract extension,” Newton said. “Bucky has brought a renewed energy and interest to Samford basketball. As a Birmingham native, his love for the community, combined with his passion for winning, makes him the perfect fit for Samford. The enthusiasm and school spirit since his arrival on Lakeshore Drive has been second to none and I look forward to what the future holds.”
In three seasons at the helm, McMillan has led the Bulldogs to a record of 48-35 while achieving 20 regular-season wins in consecutive seasons for the first time in program history. McMillan has seen five student-athletes earn All-SoCon honors and has garnered the SoCon Sports Media Association Anton Foy Coach of the Year award in back-to-back seasons.
“I want to thank President Beck Taylor and Athletic Director Martin Newton for their unwavering support of this program,” McMillan said. “I also want to thank everyone who has been instrumental in the direction of our program and for helping bring the first of many Southern Conference men’s basketball championships to Samford. Thanks to every player, coach, staff member, and most importantly, our supporters, fans, and incredible student body whose ongoing loud and vigorous support has made this arena one of the greatest game atmospheres, and one of the toughest places to play in the country. Under this administration, the future of all athletic programs is very bright. I look forward to us all fighting together to be a force in the Southern Conference for years to come! Go Bulldogs!”
Samford Men’s Basketball reached new heights under McMillan in year three, clinching its first Southern Conference Championship since joining the league in 2008 with a 15-3 conference record that earned them a share of the regular-season crown and matched the 1998-99 team for most conference wins in a season.
The Bulldogs added 15 wins from year one to year two under McMillan, finishing 21-11 overall and 10-8 in conference play in 2021-22. The Bulldogs notched a pair of road wins at power-five opponents, knocking off Oregon State 78-77 on Nov. 18 and besting Ole Miss 75-73 on Dec. 21.
Samford has been one of the best teams in the country at defending its home court over the last two seasons, posting a record of 26-5 in games played at the Pete Hanna Center. The Bulldogs averaged 81.4 points per game and a +12.7-scoring margin at home this past season.
“We are building something special at Samford with our men’s basketball program,” Samford President Dr. Beck Taylor said. “Our aspirations are nothing short of winning games in the NCAA tournament and providing our players with a world-class education. Bucky McMillan embodies the standard of excellence we are aiming for, and I’m pleased he will be our head coach for years to come.”