LEWISBURG, Pa. – Head coach Aaron Roussell has led the Bucknell women’s basketball team to an unprecedented run of success during his six seasons in Lewisburg, including one Patriot League Tournament title, two regular-season titles, and an impressive 48-6 record in league play over the past three seasons. Now the two-time Patriot League Coach of the Year has agreed to a multi-year contract extension with the University. Terms of the deal will not be disclosed.
“My family, staff, and I are incredibly excited about the future at Bucknell,” said Roussell. “We love this university, the Lewisburg community, and the people that make up our program. We have been fortunate to have some special players who have helped build this, and we are equally pumped about the players that will shape the future of Bucknell Basketball. I am very grateful for the leadership of John Hardt, Tim Pavlechko and Maisha Kelly and look forward to continuing to build our program with Jermaine Truax, Tim and Maisha in the years ahead.”
“We are excited that Aaron Roussell will continue to serve as our head women's basketball coach for the foreseeable future,” said Kelly, who is a senior associate director of athletics and the sport administrator for the Bison women’s basketball program. “Aaron’s leadership has positioned Bucknell Women’s Basketball into a place of prominence within the Patriot League and the landscape of mid-major women’s basketball. We look forward to contending for a Patriot League championship each year and having a presence in the postseason, which has become commonplace throughout Aaron’s tenure.”
“I was well-aware of the success of the Bison women’s basketball team prior to coming to Bucknell,” said Truax, who assumed his duties as Director of Athletics and Recreation on July 1. “Aaron Roussell has done an outstanding job building the program back to a championship level, and I am absolutely thrilled he will be leading us forward. The women’s basketball program’s future is extremely bright under Aaron’s guidance.”
Roussell is 123-66 overall and 74-30 in the Patriot League as head coach of the Bison. Under his guidance, the team has garnered a Patriot League Player of the Year award, three Patriot League Rookie of the Year honors, and 13 All-Patriot League accolades. The Bison have played in a national postseason tournament in each of the past three seasons, making the NCAA Tournament in 2017 and the WNIT in 2016 and 2018.
Bucknell has been the top team in the Patriot League over the past three seasons, as evidenced by its phenomenal record in league play. The six losses in the conference look even more impressive considering that every other team in the league has lost at least nine conference games in a single season at some point during that stretch.
Roussell has good reason to believe the Bison can continue that pattern of winning as it heads into the 2018-19 season. Bucknell returns four starters and all but one letterwinner from a team that went 22-10 overall, 15-3 in the league, and went on to play West Virginia in the WNIT. The season was highlighted by a program-record tying 12-game winning streak.
Each of the past two graduating classes have left as the winningest in program history. The team’s current seniors – Rachel Dumiak, Kyi English, Maegan Mikkelsen, Kaitlyn Slagus, and Kate Walker – have played an integral part in that success and have a chance to become the third straight class to set the record. The group has combined for four All-Patriot League awards and has a 74-24 record through its first three seasons.
The Bison have also excelled academically under Roussell, earning six Academic All-Patriot League honors. They have totaled 13 players on the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll in each of the past two seasons.
Including eight seasons as head coach at the University of Chicago, Roussell has compiled a career record of 284-116. He has totaled five Coach of the Year awards in addition to two regional honors.