The Buffalo Bulls and Athletic Director Allen Greene have wasted little time extending the contract of UB basketball coach Nate Oats. In his first year as a college head coach Oats led the UB to their second straight conference title and a trip to the NCAA tournament.
Oats took over when Bobby Hurley left Buffalo to take over the program at Arizona State after being hired to Hurley's staff at Buffalo when the former Duke star took over for Reggie Witherspoon in 2013.
In his first season, Oats faced numerous hurdles. When Bobby Hurley went to Arizona State, UB's best young player, Shannon Evans, followed along. Several recruits and transfers who had committed to Hurley also left the program. Towards the end of the summer, the biggest remaining piece of the puzzle was taken away from Oats when Justin Moss, the reigning Mid-American Conference Player of the Year, was expelled from the University.
Off the court, Oats and the entire UB family have also dealt with the challenges surrounding Nate's wife Crystal's battle with double-hit lymphoma.
Despite the turmoil, Oats found high-value contributors in JUCO transfers and true freshman while fielding a team that, similar to Hurley's, excelled at creating high-percentage shots close to the basket. Oats placed himself alongside Hurley and Len Serfustini as one of the most successful first-year coaches in program history, and was named a finalist for the Joe B. Hall Award, which recognizes the nation's most outstanding first-year head coach.
The coming summer and 2016-17 season should see much more stability, as the team only graduates two seniors and returns all other major contributors.
Prior to this extension, Oats' base salary was $250,000, with a host of incentives: 1/12th of his salary for a MAC regular season championship, another 1/12th for a MAC Tournament title, 1/12th for an NCAA at-large or NIT bid, 1/12th for Sweet 16 and Elite 8 berths, 1/6th for a Final Four appearance, a 100% bonus for an NCAA title, 10K for MAC Coach of the Year, 10K for Regional Coach of the Year, 25K for National Coach of Year, and 25% of ticket revenue over 500K.
These incentives are nearly identical to those in Bobby Hurley's contract, and will likely make an appearance in the new agreement as well.
Barring the desires of a richer school and all the factors therein, it certainly appears like UB and Greene have locked in a promising coach for a substantial span, as Oats' contract now lasts to the 2020-2021 season.