Randolph-Macon coach heads to Division I

More news about: Randolph-Macon

Randolph-Macon athletics file photo

Bucknell has gone the Division III route once again, picking former Bison assistant coach and current Randolph-Macon head coach Nate Davis as its next head men's basketball coach. 

Davis is the third Division III men's basketball head coach to go directly to a Division I head coaching position in the past two offeseasons.

Davis spent five years (2003-08) as the top assistant coach under Pat Flannery, himself also a former Division III head coach. Davis was on the bench for the team’s historic NCAA Tournament victories in 2005 and 2006. In 2005, 14th-seeded Bucknell upset No. 3 Kansas in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, marking the first NCAA win in school and Patriot League history. A year later, the Bison achieved the first Top 25 ranking in program history, went back to the NCAA Tournament as a No. 9 seed, and defeated Arkansas in the first round.

This past season was one of the best for Davis at his alma mater. The Yellow Jackets finished with a 28-3 record, tying the program mark for victories in a season. R-MC won 25 consecutive games, a program record. The Yellow Jackets went 16-0 in ODAC play and became the first team in conference history to go undefeated during the regular season and win the conference tournament. R-MC was ranked No. 1 in the nation, earned a first-round bye in the NCAA Tournament and reached the Elite Eight after a pair of home tourney victories. 

Davis was head coach for six seasons, compiling a 141-39 mark (.783). He joins two other former Randolph-Macon coaches in the Division I head coaching ranks, with Mike Rhoades head coach at Rice and Gregg Marshall at Wichita State. 

“I am extremely excited to be coming back to Bucknell,” said Davis. “Having worked there for five years, I know what a special place Bucknell is. It is an ideal place to coach, because you have student-athletes who are committed to excellence on and off the court. I have remained a huge fan of the Bison and followed the team closely, and I hope to continue to build on the success that Dave Paulsen and his staff have achieved over the last seven years.”

Paulsen, who coached Williams to the Division III national championship, recently left for the head coaching job at George Mason.

From D-III to D-I

The list of coaches to go directly from D-III to D-I head coaching jobs since 1999 is relatively short. Four coaches to move to D-I each have had their best years at their new school this season. 

Coach, D-III school D-I school Year Best result Current job
Glen Miller, Connecticut College Brown 1998-99 2006-07: 22-9 U.Conn assistant
Phil Rowe, Keene State New Hampshire 1998-99 2001-02: 11-17 St. Anselm assistant AD
Bo Ryan, UW-Platteville UW-Milwaukee 1998-99 2014-15: 36-4 Wisconsin
Tony Shaver, Hampden-Sydney William & Mary 2002-03 2009-10: 22-11 William & Mary
Doug Davalos, Sul Ross State Texas State 2005-06 2010-11: 16-16 HS girls' basketball coach
Don Friday, Lycoming St. Francis (Pa.) 2007-08 2009-10: 11-19 Penn St.-Harrisburg
Dave Paulsen, Williams Bucknell 2007-08 2012-13: 28-6 George Mason
Jim Hayford, Whitworth E. Washington 2010-11 2014-15: 26-9 E. Washington
Bob Walsh, Rhode Island Coll. Maine 2013-14 2014-15: 3-27 Maine
Mike Maker, Williams Marist 2013-14 2014-15: 7-25 Marist
Nate Davis, Randolph-Macon Bucknell 2014-15 TBA Bucknell