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January 23, 2018

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Nathan Davis to Lead Bucknell Men’s Basketball

LEWISBURG, Pa. – Bucknell director of athletics and recreation John Hardt announced this evening that Nathan Davis has been hired to become the 21st head coach of the Bison men’s basketball program. Davis will be formally introduced at a press conference this Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. in Sojka Pavilion. The press conference will be streamed live on Bison Vision on the Patriot League Network.

Davis will be a familiar face to Bucknell fans, as he spent five years (2003-08) as the top assistant coach under Pat Flannery and was on the bench for the team’s historic NCAA Tournament victories in 2005 and 2006. In 2005, 14th-seeded Bucknell upset No. 3 Kansas in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, marking the first NCAA win in school and Patriot League history. A year later, the Bison achieved the first top-25 national ranking in program history, went back to the NCAA Tournament as a No. 9 seed, and then defeated Arkansas in the first round.

“I am extremely excited to be coming back to Bucknell,” said Davis. “Having worked there for five years, I know what a special place Bucknell is. It is an ideal place to coach, because you have student-athletes who are committed to excellence on and off the court. I have remained a huge fan of the Bison and followed the team closely, and I hope to continue to build on the success that Dave Paulsen and his staff have achieved over the last seven years.”

“I am excited to welcome Nathan and his family back to Bucknell,” said Hardt. “The Bison men’s basketball program achieved unprecedented success during his tenure as assistant coach, and he is intimately familiar with what it takes for our student-athletes to succeed both in the classroom and on the court. Nathan has the experience and ability to build on the program’s established foundation of success and lead our program to new heights.”

After departing Bucknell in 2008, Davis spent one year as an assistant coach at Colgate before being named the head coach at his alma mater, Randolph-Macon. Davis has achieved incredible success in his six seasons with the Yellow Jackets, posting a 141-39 (.783) record with three Old Dominion Athletic Conference championships, six NCAA Tournament berths, and a Division III Final Four appearance in 2009-10.

This past season, Davis’ squad was ranked No. 1 in the country for three weeks during the season, went undefeated in league play and 28-3 overall, and advanced to the Elite Eight. The 28 victories tied the school record, and its 25-game winning streak set a program mark.

Nathan DavisFollowing the 2014-15 campaign, Davis was selected as the ODAC Coach of the Year and the NABC South Region Coach of the Year, and he was a finalist for the Glenn Robinson National Coach of the Year Award. It was his second straight ODAC Coach of the Year honor.

Prior to his arrival at Bucknell, Davis was an assistant coach under Don DeVoe at Navy from 1998-2003. Thanks in large part to his recruiting efforts, the Midshipmen made Patriot League championship game appearances in 2000 and 2001, and the team went 80-65 in his five seasons in Annapolis.

A 1997 graduate of Randolph-Macon, Davis was a four-year letterman and two-year captain of the Yellow Jackets’ men’s basketball team. He was a two-time All-ODAC selection who finished his career with 983 points, and he was one of only five players in school history to record at least 500 rebounds, 300 assists and 100 steals.

Davis succeeds Dave Paulsen, who departed last month to take the head coaching position at George Mason. Davis will return to Lewisburg with his wife, Miki, and his four children: nine-year-old son Kieran, seven-year-old daughter Hayden, and three-year-old twins Kellen and Ryan.

Davis takes over a Bucknell program that has captured four of the last five Patriot League regular-season championships. In 2014-15, the Bison finished in first place with a 13-5 Patriot League record (19-15 overall), and the squad made its second National Invitation Tournament appearance. The team’s top six scorers are slated to return next season.

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