BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – It’s been a whirlwind few weeks for Niagara’s Greg Paulus.
After head coach Patrick Beilein resigned for personal reasons in late October, Paulus was named the interim head coach of a program looking to return to prominence.
On Thursday, the Purple Eagles made their first move toward that goal, ditching the interim tag and promoting Paulus to head coach.
“I’d just like to start by saying that it’s a privilege and an honor to be named the head coach,” he told the media at his introductory press conference. “And, I’m really grateful for the opportunity to represent Niagara, the athletic department, the University, the campus.
“It means a great deal to my family and I. We’re looking forward to working with our student athletes, and working really hard to make a program with such rich tradition really proud.”
Niagara has had one winning season over the last six years. They finished 19-14 and 12-6 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference two years ago. They’ve been to the NIT three times since the 2000 season and haven’t advanced to the NCAA Tournament since the 2006-2007 season.
Paulus, who has served as an assistant at Ohio State and Louisville, has also had stops at Navy and George Washington.
He understands the importance of providing stability to the program.
“Well, I think with the timing, that’s the first thing on the agenda right now,” he said. “We play tomorrow, we play Sunday, and we play again a few days after that. So, with that being a quick turn around I think it’s important for us to just understand where we are. And for us, it’s trying to create an identity, trying to create a foundation — working together so we can build our program moving forward.”
Niagara opens the season on Friday when they travel to Philadelphia to battle Drexel.