BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The University at Buffalo has seen many years of success in both the men’s and women’s basketball programs, and on Thursday, the school announced contract extensions for both men’s basketball head coach Jim Whitesell and women’s basketball head coach Felisha Legette-Jack.
“We are excited about the future of our men’s basketball program under Jim Whitesell’s leadership,” UB Athletic Director Mark Alnutt said. “I am pleased with the trajectory of the program and I look forward to working with Jim for many years to come.”
Whitesell’s contract extension keeps him as the bench boss of the Bulls through the 2025 season.
UB added one year to Legette-Jack’s contract with this extension to keep her in charge of the women’s basketball team through the 2025 season as well.
“We believe in Coach Jack and the future is very bright for our UB women’s basketball program,” Alnutt said. “This extension represents the stability and commitment needed to execute the long-term vision that Felisha and I share.”
Both the men’s and women’s teams found success in the pandemic-shortened 2020-21 college basketball season.
In Whitesell’s second season, the UB men advanced to the MAC Championship game for the first time since the 2018-19 season, and earned a berth to the 2021 NIT Tournament for just the second time in school history. He has led the Bulls to 36 wins, and has guided back-to-back MAC Defensive Players of the Year and the 2020 MAC Sixth Man of the Year.
“I am extremely grateful for the support and the confidence in me shown by Mark Alnutt and Dr. Tripathi,” Jim Whitesell said. “We have a fantastic group of young men and I am honored to work with them each day. We have an outstanding group that has the chance to do something special and we can’t wait for the fans and student body to be back in the stands at Alumni Arena cheering us on. Finally, I’d like to thank my staff whose dedication and hard work has been paramount.”
The UB women finished the season with a 15-9 record before falling to Bowling Green in the MAC semifinals. In a season unlike any other, the Bulls continued to dominate defensively, leading the MAC and ranking 13th in the nation in rebounds per game with 43.2, while also leading the league in offensive rebounds per game with 16.1. Legette-Jack has accumulated a 177-107 record in her nine seasons with the Bulls, and became the winningest coach in program history in January 2020.
“I am excited about this opportunity that our administration has given to me to continue to build upon our successes both on and off the court,” Felisha Legette-Jack said. “To have longevity is very important when it comes to recruiting the next level of future Bulls and we are excited to grow this program to newfound heights.”