The University at Buffalo and head men’s basketball coach Nate Oats have agreed on a new five-year contract, Director of Athletics Allen Greene announced on Wednesday. The new deal will keep Oats on the UB sidelines through the 2020-21 season.
“Nate’s first year at the helm was an overwhelming success. The efforts of he and his staff continue to elevate our program on the national stage,” said Greene. “His teams are tenacious, gritty and full of swag. The Buffalo community and UB alums from around the world are beaming with pride and are excited about the future under Nate’s leadership.”
Oats, who was named a finalist for the Joe B. Hall Award given to the nation’s top first year head coach, led the Bulls to a 20-win season and their second straight trip to the NCAA Tournament after a thrilling run through the Mid-American Conference Tournament, which culminated in the Bulls cutting down the nets in Cleveland. He became the first UB head coach ever to win 20 games in his first season and mentored a UB squad that became the first MAC team to repeat as tournament champions since 2001 & 2002.
In his first season, Oats placed two members on the All-MAC Third Team, one on the All-MAC Freshman Team and one on the newly created All-MAC Defensive Team. The Bulls won the league thanks to a balanced scoring attack that saw four players average at least 11.0 points per game. UB also set single-season records for games played in 2015-16, as well as offensive records for field goals, three pointers, and free throws made and attempted.
The Bulls won at least 20 games for just the sixth time in program history, doing so despite a schedule that included three teams that played in the Sweet 16 this year and five teams that made it to the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament. In all, 11 opponents on the UB schedule this past season played in postseason tournaments.
“I want to thank Allen Greene, President Satish Tripathi, and the entire UB administration for the new contract and believing in what my staff and I are doing,” said Oats. “We as a staff are looking forward to continuing to build on what we’ve worked on establishing here in the three years I’ve been at UB as both an assistant and then as a head coach this past season. I’m also extremely excited because my family and I love Buffalo and the Western New York community, and we want to be here for the long term. We believe that even bigger things lie ahead for Buffalo Basketball in the future.”
Oats was named the 13th head coach in UB men’s basketball history on April 11, 2015 after being elevated from assistant coach where he spent the previous two seasons, culminating with UB’s MAC Championship season in 2014-15.
Photo Courtesy Buffalo Athletics