"We're looking forward to Coach Bartow guiding our program for a number of years to come," Mullins said. "He has taken our program to a level of national recognition with multiple trips to postseason tournaments including two trips to the NCAAs, and he has reached a level of consistent success that we believe should be rewarded. As our team showed with its play in the NCAAs against No. 1-seeded Pittsburgh, Coach Bartow has recruited the type of skilled players that can allow our program to compete against the nation's elite teams."
Bartow said he is pleased and grateful for the opportunity to coach the Buccaneers into the next decade.
"I want to thank Coach Mullins and Dr. Stanton for their support of our program and having confidence in the direction we are going," Bartow said. "My family and I love East Tennessee State and over the last six years we have come to consider this area home. As for our coaching staff and our program, we've had a lot of great years here and won a lot of games, but we want to keep building and keep improving. There is still more we can do."
Bartow has certainly built a strong resume in his previous six seasons on the ETSU bench, averaging nearly 20 wins a season and currently leading the Bucs' all-time coaching list with a .621 (118-72) winning percentage. He has led the Bucs to conference championships in 2004, 2007 and 2009, along with trips to the NCAA Tournament in 2004 and 2009, and a berth in the NIT in 2007.
A Coach of the Year recipient in 2004 and 2007, Bartow was also praised by Mullins for recruiting quality individuals into the program, his efforts to increase ETSU's exposure in the college basketball world, and his support of ETSU athletics as a whole.
"Coach Bartow's connections around the nation and his networking skills have helped us reach another level of exposure in college basketball circles," Mullins said. "And it's those contacts that have also helped us recruit players that succeed both on the floor and in the classroom. Coach Bartow's teams have shown a dedication to academic success, as well as a priority to be involved in community service efforts. He has also been an example to our coaches when it comes to supporting department initiatives that benefit ETSU athletics as a whole."
Bartow said stability in his coaching staff, quality players, the support of ETSU's fan base, and a strong administrative support system, have come together to make for a winning formula.
"Our coaching staff has stayed together since we came here, and that has been a big key to our success," Bartow said. "I think at programs like ETSU, there is a perception around college basketball that you have a couple of good years and move on. But I don't feel that way. There are a lot of things to like about ETSU and a lot of potential for what can be done here. I think we have a lot to look forward to."
For more on ETSU men's basketball throughout the offseason, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men's basketball link.