By William Bowman
The Daily Item
LEWISBURG — The only thing Dave Paulsen ever wanted to be was a Division I basketball coach, and Friday he was rewarded for a tremendous start to that career.
Paulsen, who led Bucknell to the Patriot League title and an NCAA berth in his third season, agreed to a multi-year extension with the Bison, Bucknell athletic director John Hardt announced. Terms of the deal were not released.
"I am honored and humbled to be given the opportunity to continue my coaching career at such a special institution," said Paulsen. "I believe that Bucknell is unique among Division I institutions in its commitment to excellence both academically and athletically."
Paulsen led Bucknell to a 25-9 mark this winter. The Bison won 21 of their final 23 games — going 16-1 against Patriot League foes — before their season ended in the opening round of the NCAA tournament with a loss to eventual champion Connecticut.
"I have never had more fun coaching a group of young men than I did this season because of their relentless work ethic, tremendous focus and inspiring unselfishness," said Paulsen. "We are proud of the accomplishments of this year's team, but also hungry to constantly improve and carry on the tradition of great basketball teams that have characterized Bucknell."
Paulsen was named the Patriot League Coach of the Year, and he was one of 16 finalists for the Hugh Durham Award, presented to the national Mid-Major Coach of the Year. Paulsen reached the 300-win mark for his career in his 17th season as a head coach.