Niagara extends Paulus through 2024-25

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Niagara University Director of Athletics Simon Gray has announced the contract extension of Greg Paulus through the 2024-25 season.

“Greg’s passion for Niagara Basketball can be felt daily,” Gray said.  “He has made an immediate impact on our student-athletes, around our campus, and in the greater community.  There is a lot of momentum in our basketball program and we are excited about the future.”

Paulus’ accomplishments during his maiden voyage as a head coach were recognized by the college basketball industry as he was the recipient of the 2019-20 Joe B. Hall National Coach of the Year Award which is presented annually to the top first-year coach in NCAA Division I college basketball. 

Paulus, who was named Niagara University men’s basketball head coach in November 2019, made the 2019-20 Purple Eagles one of the most competitive teams in the MAAC. The Purple Eagles surpassed preseason predictions with Paulus having the Purple Eagles contending near the top of the conference all season while winning ten games against conference opponents.

The Purple Eagles ranked statistically in the top-25 in the nation in fewest turnovers per game (10.6), fewest total turnovers (338), turnover margin (3.3), and 3-point field goal percentage (.372), while leading the MAAC in all four categories. Niagara had the best assist-to-turnover ratio (1.13) in the MAAC as well. Under Paulus’ tutelage, sophomore Marcus Hammond had a career-season en route to being named to the All-MAAC First Team.

“It is a privilege to be the head men’s basketball coach at Niagara University,” Paulus said. “I am grateful for the continued commitment and support from Father Maher and Simon Gray. We will continue working to enrich the lives of our student-athletes on and off the court to make Niagara University, the community, and alumni proud.”

It was a record-setting 2019-20 academic campaign for the Purple Eagles which started with the team earning a 3.4 GPA in the summer of 2019. The Purple Eagles followed with a then-record 3.18 GPA in the fall semester. The spring semester welcomed another record-setting GPA as the Purple Eagles posted a 3.42 GPA with 11 student-athletes earning a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Eight Purple Eagles earned 2019-20 MAAC Academic Honor Roll accolades for having a cumulative grade-point average of 3.2 or higher.  Justin Roberts and Steven Levnaic garnered MAAC All-Academic Team honors at the end of the season. 

The program was recognized for its outstanding academic year with the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Team Academic Excellence Award. The award honors programs that had a grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher for the 2019-20 season; the Purple Eagles finished with a 3.3 GPA.

Paulus, who started at point guard for legendary basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski at Duke University from 2005-09, previously served on the coaching staff at George Washington, Louisville, Ohio State, and Navy.

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