SMITHFIELD, R.I. – After guiding the Bryant University men's basketball team to one of the best turnarounds seasons in college basketball history, Tim O'Shea has signed a contract extension through June 2020 based on performance and milestone triggers. The extension reflects Bryant's commitment to excel at the Division I level in both the state and region.
"Coach O'Shea has done a remarkable job in guiding our men's basketball program through the difficult transition to Division I," said university president Ronald K. Machtley. "To have a winning season and qualify for the postseason in our first year of eligibility, speaks volumes for the type of experienced leader coach O'Shea brings to our program. As a recruiter, Tim brings high quality student-athletes to our campus who represent our institution in a first-class manner both in the classroom and on the court."
Recently completing his fifth season at the helm of the Bryant program, O'Shea not only led the Bulldogs through the arduous NCAA reclassification process, but has also produced a one-year transformation that will go down in the history books.
Following a 2-28 season a year ago, Bryant was picked 10th in the NEC Preseason Coaches' poll, but served notice to its conference foes with breakthrough non-league wins over Boston College and Lehigh on the road and finishing with a 19-11 overall record and in a tie for second place in the NEC Conference standings with a 12-6 league mark.
Armed with two impact transfers and a number of talented veterans, once the Bulldogs jumped out to a 6-0 start in NEC play, fans at the Chace Athletic Center began to take notice and a contender was born. By season's end, the Bulldogs had been ranked in the Mid-Major Top 25 for seven weeks and claimed a No. 4 seed in the NEC postseason tournament in its first year of eligibility, and berth in the CBI tournament.
"I am grateful to President Ron Machtley and Director of Athletics Bill Smith for the vote of confidence this extension represents," said O'Shea. "Working together with my outstanding staff, I look forward building upon the growth and progress achieved by our team season."
The 19-11 record marked one of the best single-season turnarounds in NCAA history and led the nation in pure win improvement, earning 17 more victories in 2012-13 than a season ago. The 17-win jump was also the biggest in NEC history, eclipsing CCSU's 15-win jump from 1997-98 to 1998-99, and the 11-win bump in NEC play was the most in league annals, one better than LIU Brooklyn's 10-win improvement from 1995-96 to 1996-97.
O'Shea came to Bryant in the spring 2008 after seven years as the head coach at Ohio University. A native of Wayland, MA and 1984 graduate of Boston College, O'Shea has been an assistant coach at Yale, the University of Rhode Island and Boston College where he helped lead the Eagles to two Big East regular season titles and four postseason tournament berths.
He and his wife Elizabeth reside in Newport, RI with their daughter Madeleine.