April 18, 2008
AUDIO OF FLANNERY'S COMMENTS FROM TODAY'S PRESS CONFERENCE
LEWISBURG, Pa. -- Bucknell University President Brian C. Mitchell announced this morning that Bison men's basketball head coach Pat Flannery has decided that effective July 1, 2008, he will retire as coach and will assume a new fundraising position within the University's Office of Development and Alumni Relations. Flannery, a graduate of Bucknell, has been the most successful coach in Patriot League history.
"Coach Flannery's decision to retire as head coach is a tremendous loss to our basketball program," President Mitchell said. "At the same time, the national respect he has earned as a coach, as a leader, and as an alumnus of the University will be an extraordinary asset to his alma mater. When I learned of Pat's decision, my thoughts as president immediately turned to the impact he could have as part of this campaign. He has earned national stature as a coach, as a leader, as an alumnus of the University, and as a friend to so many. I therefore was pleased to offer to Pat the opportunity to become a vital member of our fundraising program. To my considerable appreciation, he accepted. I have no doubt he will be a major figure in the largest fundraising effort in the history of Bucknell."
"It has been an honor and a privilege to have had the opportunity to coach outstanding young scholar-athletes here at my alma mater for 14 years," Flannery said. "I am grateful to my wife and children for the support they have given me throughout this time, and the understanding they have shown for the long hours and extensive travel that being a head coach at this level requires. With them in mind and after much reflection, I have decided it is time to move on to a new phase in my life. I am deeply grateful to President Mitchell and Bucknell for offering me this exciting new opportunity to serve this great institution I love, and look forward to doing what I can to support Bucknell and building on the commitment that I know Bucknellians around our country have for the University as this campaign goes forward."
"Coach Flannery has been an important figure in establishing the national reputation of Bison athletics as a leader in the scholar-athlete model," said Director of Athletics and Recreation John Hardt. "Pat has not only experienced tremendous success on the hardwood, he has won the right way, with young men of class and accomplishment. All of us in the athletics department are happy to know that we will still be able to call Pat a Bucknell colleague, and we have no doubt that he will continue to provide significant leadership and service to his alma mater in his new role within the University's fundraising campaign."
Hardt indicated that he had already begun putting together a national search process, and that the University is determined to bring in a new head coach who will continue in the Bison tradition of excellence in the Patriot League and at the national level.
Flannery earned his bachelor's degree in economics and political science in 1980 and his master's degree in college administration in 1983. Both degrees are from Bucknell. He became Bucknell's head basketball coach in 1994. In 2005 and 2006, his teams captured Patriot League championships and went on to win first-round games in the NCAA tournament, the first two tournament wins in Bucknell and Patriot League history. His overall record at Bucknell is 234-178, and his career record is 329-221. His 125 conference wins at Bucknell are a Patriot League record.
On July 1, Flannery will assume his new role as a fundraiser within the University's Office of Development and Alumni Relations. Bucknell recently initiated the largest fundraising campaign in its history, with an initial goal of $400 million.
Comment from Patriot League Executive Director Carolyn Schlie Femovich
"Pat has won more games than any other coach in the history of the Patriot League, and he has been a key component in the rise of the League visibility, thanks in large part to a pair of NCAA Tournament victories. However, more importantly, his passion for the game of basketball and his commitment to the personal development of his student-athletes are two trademarks that will always be associated with Coach Flannery. "
Notes: Flannery coached 14 seasons in the Patriot League, more than any other coach in the 18 years of the League. In addition, he has more League victories (125) and Patriot League Tournament wins (29) than any other coach in Patriot League annals. Bucknell won two Patriot League Championships during Flannery's career (2005, 2006), and also won the first two NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament games in League history (2005 - Kansas, 2006 - Arkansas). The three-time Patriot League Coach of the Year (1995, 1997, 2006) coached eight Patriot League Men's Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year recipients.