Picture courtesy of Niagara University Athletics
By: Franklin Heinzmann
NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. – Greg Paulus was named the Men’s Basketball head coach on Nov. 7. While he doesn’t have any previous head coaching experience, Paulus has been molded by some of the greatest minds in sports. He played point guard at Duke under legendary college basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski from 2005-2009 and was an assistant coach at Ohio State under head coach Thad Matta from 2013-2017. Those experiences come on top of stints as an assistant coach at Louisville and George Washington in the last two seasons before he came to NU at the start of this season.
Paulus wants it to be known how enthusiastic he is about taking over as the head coach, and how eager he is to represent NU, and integrate the team with the students on campus and Purple Eagles fans everywhere.
“[I want to] let them [Purple Eagles fans] know how excited our players, and our staff, are to represent this university and our basketball program. I’m honored to lead it. It’s one that we want our campus, and student body, to be engaged in and feel like it’s their team. We would love to have their support. I think there’s going to be different opportunities over the course of time for them to get to know our players and build those relationships, and that’s important to us. Our students are important to us, our campus is important to us, and our community is important to us.”
Paulus took over as interim head coach after former head coach Patrick Beilein resigned for personal reasons. Paulus declined to say what his first message to the team was when he took over as the interim head coach, but he plans on continuing what was put in place as it’s yielded development form his players.
“We’re going to continue to build on some of the things that we’ve worked on before. I’ve seen great progress from our players individually and our team from when I got here six months ago, then three months ago, and now. We’ve made certain strides in many different areas in our program and we want to continue to build on those individual areas.”
The first time that Paulus coached at the Frank and Barbara Layden Court at the Gallagher Center is when the Purple Eagles defeated Roberts Wesleyan 72-57 on Nov. 1. Paulus saw the exhibition win as a step forward.
“I was happy for the guys. I was happy for our team. They’ve worked really hard. They’re doing what we’re asking them to do and I think for them to see the progression, and then to play against someone else, and see some of the things we’ve been working on, see that go well, I think that that was a step in the right direction for us.”
The next Purple Eagles home game is Dec. 8 when Colgate and the Purple Eagles tip off at 1 P.M.
Statistics as of Nov. 15, 2019