Muscala Named Team MVP for Third Straight Year
Paulsen Led Bison to School Record 28 Wins, Patriot League Title in 2012-13
Bison Mentor Has Led Team to Three Straight Postseason Appearances
Banquet is Apr. 13, Golf outing May 10
Bison Hold Final Practice Before Thursday's NCAA Second-Round Matchup with Butler
Bucknell Men's Basketball vs. Butler (NCAA)
Bucknell vs. Butler - AP Photos
Dave Paulsen completed his fifth year as head coach at Bucknell in 2012-13, and he has led the Bison through one of the greatest three-year stretches in the history of the program.
The Bison won a school-record 28 games (28-6) this past season and became the first team in Patriot League history to record three straight outright regular-season titles. The 78 wins over the last three seasons is also a program mark, and in that span Bucknell won two Patriot League Tournament titles (2011, 2013) and made two trips to the NCAA Tournament and another to the second round of the NIT (2012).
In 2013 Bucknell was awarded a No. 11 seed at the NCAA Tournament, the second-highest seed in program history.
Paulsen won the 2011 and 2012 Patriot League Coach of the Year awards, making him only the third coach in league history to receive the honor in consecutive years. he was also named the 2013 NABC Co-District 13 Coach of the Year alongside Harvard's Tommy Amaker.
Paulsen, a two-time National Coach of the Year who led Williams College to the 2003 Division III national championship, was named the head men's basketball coach at Bucknell on May 20, 2008. In his five years at Bucknell, Paulsen has a 99-65 (.604) record. The 99 wins are fourth-most in program history, while the .604 winning percentage is second-best among those who have coached for at least three years. Including eight seasons at Williams and three each at Le Moyne and St. Lawrence, Paulsen's career record is now 361-185 (.661).
Paulsen's initial Bucknell recruiting class resulted in a record three Patriot League All-Rookie honorees in Bryson Johnson, Mike Muscala and Joe Willman. Muscala developed into a two-time Patriot League Player of the Year and the program's all-time leading scorer, and he is now an NBA prospect. Johnson, Willman and junior Cameron Ayers all became 1,000-point scorers and Patriot League all-stars.
Paulsen, a 1987 Williams graduate and a Phi Beta Kappa scholar, has coached at every level of college basketball over the last two decades, has won better than 66 percent of his games as a head coach, and is considered a highly sought-after consultant on the principles of the motion offense.
Paulsen came to Bucknell as its 20th head basketball coach after leading Williams to the top of the Division III ranks. In eight years at Williams, he guided the Ephs to a 170-53 (.762) record, including a combined 61-3 mark in 2002-03 and 2003-04. His team captured the 2003 national championship and was the national runner-up in 2004. The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Coach of the Year in both 2003 and 2004, Paulsen's teams won three NESCAC championships (2003, 2004, 2007) and made four NCAA Tournament appearances (2002, 2003, 2004, 2007). He was a three-time NESCAC Coach of the Year and two-time New England Coach of the Year.
Prior to his tenure at Williams, Paulsen served as head coach at Le Moyne from 1997-2000 and at St. Lawrence from 1994-97. He compiled a three-year record of 42-39 at Le Moyne, while also serving as the school's director of NCAA compliance. At St. Lawrence, he posted a 50-28 record in three seasons, including the 1995-96 and 1996-97 campaigns in which the Saints made back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, and he was twice named the Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association Coach of the Year.
In 1989-90, Paulsen served as the graduate assistant coach on Steve Fisher's staff at Michigan while completing his master's degree in history. Paulsen was part of a Wolverines program that went 23-8 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, and he had the opportunity to coach six players who would later become NBA draft picks.
From 1990-94, Paulsen was the senior assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Cleveland State, helping the Vikings to a 64-50 record in four seasons, including a 22-6 record (15-1 Mid-Continent Conference) in 1992-93.
Paulsen graduated from Williams cum laude with departmental honors in history. He was also a member of the Ephs' varsity basketball team. In 1987, his squad captured the ECAC New England Division III championship.
Upon his return to Williams as head coach, Paulsen also served as an assistant professor of physical education, which is fitting since he is widely regarded as one of college basketball's most accomplished teachers.
Known as an offensive innovator, Paulsen has produced four acclaimed instructional videos, entitled "Ten Offensive Principles for the Adaptable Motion Offense," "Motion Offense for Beginners," "Developing Explosive Perimeter Players," and "Principles of Effective Post Play."
Paulsen has been a featured clinician at more than 50 developmental camps and coaches conventions throughout the nation, including the prestigious Nike Championship Basketball Clinics. He was even asked to participate in a pair of clinics in Portugal.
Paulsen has been chosen to serve on the NCAA Division I Regional Advisory Committee, where he will provide input on the selection of the NCAA Tournament field. He is a member of the NABC Congress, and in 2011-12 he became a voter in the USA Today Top-25 Coaches' Poll.
Paulsen and his wife, Kathy, have three daughters: Claire (18), Sara (14) and Molly (11).