Bulls Extend Witherspoon Through 2012

Western New York native receives three-year extension on contract

By Paul Vecchio

Release Date: May 25, 2006

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- University at Buffalo men's basketball coach Reggie Witherspoon, whose teams have won 59 games over the past three seasons, has received a three-year contract extension from Director of Athletics Warde Manuel. Due to university policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

The extension keeps Witherspoon, a Western New York fixture who has coached at nearby Sweet Home High School and Erie Community College before taking over at UB early in the 1999-2000 season, on the Bulls' sidelines through 2012.

"I am very happy to be able to extend Reggie's contract and to show the kind of commitment to him that reflects his accomplishments here at UB," said Manuel. "Through the diligence of Reggie and his staff, the Buffalo basketball program has risen from the bottom of the conference to become a highly respected Division I program that is in position to contend for a Mid-American Conference championship on an annual basis."

UB President John B. Simpson echoed Manuel's comments by saying, "Coach Witherspoon has been a tremendous representative of our university both on and off the court. He has become an integral part of the university community, recently serving as our campus SEFA (State Employee Federated Appeal) United Way chairperson, and he has continued to build pride in our men's basketball program throughout Western New York and, indeed, wherever UB alumni reside."

Witherspoon, the 2003-04 Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year, recently was named a bench coach for the USA Basketball Under-18 team trials this summer, and has led Buffalo to its best three-year period in its Division I history.

In 2003-04, the Bulls improved by 12 wins, one of the biggest turnarounds in the nation, going from five victories to a 17-12 mark and advancing to the MAC quarterfinals for the first time. Witherspoon also was honored as the men's Division I Co-Coach of the Year by the Basketball Coaches Association of New York, sharing the award with Manhattan's Bobby Gonzalez, as well as the midmajor.com national Coach of the Year.

In 2004-05, the Bulls won a school-record 23 games, advanced to the MAC Championship game and earned the school's first-ever postseason bid, winning one round in the National Invitation Tournament before losing to eventual runner-up St. Joseph's. He earned National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) District Co-Coach of the Year, sharing the award with Syracuse's Jim Boeheim, following the Bulls' record-breaking season.

This past season, Buffalo began the season with a school-best 11-1 start, earning votes in the Associated Press Top 25 for the first time in school history, before finishing with a 19-13 record and again advancing to the MAC quarters before losing to eventual champion Kent State.

Witherspoon has an overall mark of 93-120 at Buffalo, 59-35 since the Bulls came off of NCAA probation after the 2002-03 season from sanctions prior to his arrival.

"I am honored to receive this kind of commitment from both President Simpson and Warde, and privileged to continue to serve a university that means a great deal to both my family and myself," said Witherspoon. "I am excited about both the future of the Buffalo basketball program, as well as the entire athletic department. I believe this opportunity afforded me is another example of the commitment being made by President Simpson and Warde Manuel to the future success of UB Athletics."