The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Bill Bowman

January 2, 2012

Former Bison returns home


There they can find out that Courtney scored 1,499 points in his four-year career under Woollum, a total that still ranks eighth all-time in program history. The 619 points he scored as a junior during the 1990-91 season is still the Bucknell single-season record, and his 14.6 career scoring average ranks 10th all-time. He is also still the school record-holder for career free throws made (400).

"I didn't know (they were going to introduce me). That was very nice," Courtney said after Saturday's game. "I tried to block that kind of stuff out and tried to get the guys to stay focused on the game."

Not only did Courtney, a two-time captain, put up great numbers individually at Bucknell, his teams were also successful. The Bison won 77 games in his four years, went to the NCAA tournament once and lost in the Patriot League final in his senior year.

The Cornell job is Courtney's first gig as a head coach. He took over last season when Steve Donahue bolted for Boston College after leading the Big Red to the Sweet 16 in 2010. Courtney's first roster was absent four starters from that team. He led Cornell to a 10-18 mark, but did win six of the final nine.

While the Cornell job is his first, he has certainly been around the block. He spent 15 very successful years as an assistant coach in some of the best conferences in the nation, including the ACC and the Big East. Since 2005, he has been an assistant at Providence, Virginia and Virginia Tech before moving to Ithaca last winter.

The Big Red is 4-8 in his second year -- and 14-26 in a season and a half under Courtney -- and things won't get any easier with a trip to Maryland tonight. But Courtney has won everywhere he's ever been, and he will win at Cornell. The Bucknell faithful will be pulling for him. Well, except for one night a year.

n Sports editor Bill Bowman covers college basketball for The Daily Item. E-mail comments to Follow him at

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