NATE OATS | HEAD COACH
Nate Oats will begin his second season as head coach of the UB men's basketball program after completing the best season in a school history by a first-year coach. Oats led the Bulls to a 20-win season and their second straight trip to the NCAA Tournament after a thrilling run through the Mid-American Conference Tournament, which culminated in the Bulls cutting down the nets in Cleveland.
In his first season, Oats placed two members on the All-MAC Third Team, one one on the All-MAC Freshman Team and one on the newly created All-MAC Defensive Team. The Bulls won the league thanks to a balanced scoring attack that saw four players average at least 11.0 points per game. UB also set single-season records for games played in 2015-16, as well as offensive records for field goals, three pointers, and free throws made and attempted.
Oats was named head coach of the UB men's program on April 11, 2015 after spending two seasons as the top assistant and recruiting coordinator for the Bulls. He comes to Buffalo from Romulus High School in Michigan, where he taught and coached one of the top high school basketball programs in the region.
“After hours of conversations with Nate, it became very clear to me that the best candidate to lead our men’s basketball team was already on campus,” said former athletic director Danny White. “Nate has tremendous experience as one of the finest coaches in America at both the collegiate and high school levels, and played an absolutely critical role in elevating our program to the NCAA Tournament, for the first time ever, in just two years. I am extremely confident that UB men’s basketball will continue to grow and reach new heights under Nate’s leadership. To be sure, Alumni Arena will be an electric environment again next year as these talented student-athletes fight to defend their Mid-American Conference Championship!”
In his two seasons as an assistant coach under Bobby Hurley, Oats helped lead the Bulls to a 42-20 record, back-to-back MAC East Titles, a MAC Regular Season Title, a MAC Tournament Title and UB’s first ever trip to the NCAA Tournament. Oats was also responsible for recruiting Justin Moss, the 2014-15 MAC Player of the Year.
“I want to thank President Tripathi, Danny White and our entire administration for giving me this opportunity to lead the men’s basketball program,” said Oats. “I also want to thank Coach Hurley for giving me this opportunity two years ago and the players for helping me get to this current position. I have witnessed the potential of not only our team, but the entire athletic department over the last two years and I can’t wait to continue to coach these young men. We are starting to establish a great tradition of success here and I am extremely excited about getting to work with the coaching staff and players in order to focus on carrying that tradition forward into the future.”
Prior to joining the Bulls, Oats completed 11 seasons as head coach at Romulus High School in Michigan, winning the school’s first state title in 27 years in 2012-13 and finished the season 27-1. He was named the 2013 Detroit News State Coach of the Year, the Detroit Free Press State Coach of the Year, and BCAM State Coach of the Year.
Prior honors include 2009 Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan Class A Coach of the Year, the 2008 Detroit Free Press Metro Detroit Coach of the Year, and the 2005 Detroit News Metro Detroit Coach of the Year & Detroit Free Press Metro West Coach of the Year.
In his time as head coach, he led the team to a 222-52 overall record and seven straight conference championships while going undefeated in conference play in the past four consecutive seasons. The team was ranked in the top 25 nationally on three different occasions (2010, 2011, 2013) and made the Michigan Class A Final Four five times. More importantly, he oversaw a program that had a 100 percent graduation rate and 40 of his 42 seniors at Romulus continuing on to college.
Before coaching at Romulus, he played college basketball at Maranatha Baptist University in Wisconsin where was a captain and All-Conference performer, while earning his bachelor’s degree in Math Education. Oats went on to become an assistant coach at Maranatha from 1997 to 2000. After that, he moved on to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater from 2000-02.
Nate and his wife Crystal are the proud parents of three girls – Lexie, Jocie and Brielle.