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UB signs basketball coach Nate Oats to 5-year contract

Assistant basketball coach Nate Oats works with his team at UB's Alumni Arena on Feb. 9. (James P. McCoy/ Buffalo News)

UB basketball coach Nate Oats. (James P. McCoy/ Buffalo News)

The University at Buffalo and head men's basketball coach Nate Oats have agreed on a new five-year contract, UB Director of Athletics Allen Greene announced. The new deal extends through the 2020-21 season.

Oats took UB to a second-straight Mid-American Conference championship and an NCAA Tournament berth in his rookie season as head coach in 2015-16.

"Nate's first year at the helm was an overwhelming success," Greene said in a statement. "The efforts of he and his staff continue to elevate our program on the national stage," said Greene. "His teams are tenacious, gritty and full of swag. The Buffalo community and UB alums from around the world are beaming with pride and are excited about the future under Nate's leadership."

Oats was named a finalist for the Joe B. Hall Award given to the nation's top first year head coach after directing the Bulls to a 20-15 record and 10-8 record in the MAC. UB earned the No. 3 seed in the MAC Tournament. He became the first UB head coach ever to win 20 games in his first season. UB was the first MAC team to repeat as tournament champions since 2002.

"I want to thank Allen Greene, President Satish Tripathi, and the entire UB administration for the new contract and believing in what my staff and I are doing," said Oats. "We as a staff are looking forward to continuing to build on what we've worked on establishing here in the three years I've been at UB as both an assistant and then as a head coach this past season. I'm also extremely excited because my family and I love Buffalo and the Western New York community, and we want to be here for the long term. We believe that even bigger things lie ahead for Buffalo Basketball in the future."

The Bulls' roster looks strong for the near future. UB returns five of its top six scorers from last season and graduated only two seniors. The Bulls also signed four recruits that form what might be the school's most highly rated recruiting class ever.

Oats' initial contract with UB called for a base salary of $250,000, not counting bonuses, the same as his predecessor, Bobby Hurley.

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