Dave Paulsen, who spent the last seven seasons at Bucknell, was hired as George Mason’s basketball coach on Tuesday, the school announced.
Paulsen, a three-time Patriot League coach of the year, will replace Paul Hewitt, who was fired earlier this month after four seasons.
“Dave Paulsen is a proven winner and an outstanding basketball mind,” George Mason athletic director Brad Edwards said in a statement. “Over the past five seasons he has led his teams to four post-season appearances, including two NCAA tournament bids. He is a well-respected recruiter and developer of talent, playing a pivotal role of the development of a dynamic current NBA player. Combine all that with his superb academic pedigree, and we have a coach who is a perfect fit to execute our vision for a sustainable elite basketball program.”
Paulsen led Bucknell to two appearances in the NCAA tournament and two appearances in the NIT during his tenure, which he ended with a 134-94 record. The Bison were the regular-season Patriot League champions, but fell to Lafayette in the semifinals and to Temple in the first round of the NIT.
Before coaching Bucknell, Paulsen spent coached for three seasons at St. Lawrence and three seasons at Le Moyne before returning to Williams, his alma mater, where he coached for eight seasons and led the Ephs to the Division III championship in 2003.
Hewitt went 66-67 during his time coaching the Patriots, who went 4-14 in the Atlantic 10 and 9-22 overall this past season.
George Mason had reportedly offered the coaching job to UC-Irvine’s Russell Turner, who led the Anteaters to their first NCAA tournament this month. Turner, a Roanoke native, declined the offer, according to the Orange County Register.