CLEVELAND, OH – Third-year head coach Nate Oats earned one of the league's top honors on Wednesday morning as he was named the 2018 Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year. Oats becomes just the second UB head coach to win the award and the first since 2004.
Oats earned 21 first place votes, by far the most in the league, while he earned 78 points overall in the voting that was conducted by the league's media and head coaches. Toledo's Tod Kowalczyk finished second with 45 points and four first place votes.
Oats led the Bulls to one of their best seasons in school history as UB enters the MAC Tournament with a 23-8 record and a 15-3 mark in conference play, winning the MAC Regular Season Title outright for the first time in school history. The 15 MAC wins are a school record, while the 23 overall victories tie the program mark for wins.
He is a guiding a potent Buffalo offense that is averaging 85.2 points per game, which is currently fifth nationally. The Bulls lead the entire nation in 80-point games with 24. UB has hit the century mark four times this year, which is the most by a UB team since 1964-65.
The Bulls placed a league-high five players on All-MAC Teams led by CJ Massinburg and Nick Perkins, who were named to the All-MAC First Team, the first time since 2011-12 that Buffalo has placed two on the first team. Perkins was also named the MAC Sixth Man of the Year for the second straight season.
In their first seasons in a UB uniform, Oats also helped coach junior Jeremy Harris on to the All-MAC Second Team and Wes Clark on to the All-MAC Third Team. Sophomore Davonta Jordan became the third straight Buffalo player, all under Oats, to be named to the All-MAC Defensive Team.
Oats is in his third year as head coach at Buffalo where he enters the MAC Tournament with a 60-38 career record. He already is seventh in school history in wins and he is the fastest coach in school history to 60 victories, doing so in just under three seasons.
The top-seeded Bulls will open up MAC Tournament play on Thursday afternoon when the Bulls face #8 Central Michigan at the Quicken Loans Arena. Tip off is at 12:00pm. It will also air live on ESPN3.