RICHMOND, Ky. – Following one of the most successful seasons in program history, Eastern Kentucky University and head men’s basketball coach Jeff Neubauer have agreed in principle to a contract extension through 2018.
Under Neubauer’s guidance in 2013-14, the Colonels won the program’s sixth Ohio Valley Conference Tournament Championship and made their eighth NCAA Tournament appearance. Eastern nearly upset No. 2 seed Kansas in the Big Dance, leading the Jayhawks with 8:55 left in the game and trailing by only five with 2:28 to go.
“I am very proud of coach Neubauer and his staff, and the superb job they have done in recruiting the right kind of student-athlete to EKU,” Eastern Kentucky University President Michael Benson said. “As stellar as Jeff’s win-loss record is, we should all be even more pleased by the fact that the program graduates more than 90 percent of the student-athletes that have exhausted their eligibility during Jeff’s tenure. That is the most important statistic.”
Before giving Kansas all it could handle in the NCAA Tournament, Neubauer led the Colonels on a methodical march through the OVC Tournament. Eastern won three games in three days and trailed for only 41 seconds during the entire tourney.
EKU finished the season with a 24-10 record, the second most wins in program history. Along the way, the Colonels set new program records for the winningest 2-year, 3-year and 4-year periods in program history. Neubauer led the team to a school record 25 victories in 2012-13, giving the team 49 wins the last two years combined.
Eastern finished 2013-14, the ninth season for Neubauer on the Eastern Kentucky bench, ranked 19th in the Mid-Major Top 25 and with an RPI of 97.
In recognition of a spectacular season, Neubauer was one of 15 finalists for the 2014 Hugh Durham Award, which is given annually to the nation’s top mid-major coach.
Eastern finished second in the nation in turnover margin, fifth in the nation in three-point field goals per game and sixth in steals. Eastern Kentucky has now led the OVC in three-pointers five of the last six years. The Colonels are one of only two teams to qualify for each of the last 12 OVC Tournaments.
Neubauer is the second winningest coach in program history. He will enter the 2014-15 season 47 wins away from tying legend Paul S. McBrayer. In 2012-13, Neubauer became the first EKU coach to lead the program to three 20-win seasons. He extended that mark to four 20-win campaigns this year. Out of 18 head coaches in program history, Neubauer is one of only three to lead the Colonels to five or more winning seasons.
Individually, Marcus Lewis won the Denny”s Slam Dunk Championship at the 2014 Final Four. Corey Walden was the OVC Tournament MVP, the 2014 OVC Defensive Player of the Year and selected as a Lefty Driesell Defensive All-American. Glenn Cosey was chosen as a Lou Henson All-American and first team all-conference.
In addition, Cosey broke the school record for three-pointers in a game when he knocked down 10 at Eastern Illinois and the mark for three’s in a season with 115. One of those three-pointers came from 35 feet away with 0.4 seconds left to give Eastern a 79-78 victory over Southeast Missouri. The shot earned the No. 1 spot on SportsCenter’s Top-10 Plays.