Former Duke point guard Greg Paulus won the Joe B. Hall Award, given annually to the top first-year coach in college basketball.
Paulus played for Duke for four years, from 2005 to 2009, scoring 1,193 points with 468 assists.
After a brief flirtation with a football career as a quarterback, playing a year at Syracuse and trying out with NFL teams, Paulus began his basketball coaching career. He served one year on the Navy staff, six years with Ohio State, starting as a video assistant and working his way up to a full-time assistant job. Paulus also spent one year each with Louisville and George Washington.
Paulus began the season as an assistant at Niagara, then took over as interim head coach when Patrick Beilein resigned for personal reasons in late October. He was named the permanent coach a month later.
Paulus went 12-20 at Niagara, including a 9-11 record in the MAAC, an improvement from last season’s 6-12 conference mark. The Purple Eagles also posted a first-round win in the MAAC Tournament, beating Marist, 56-54. It was their first tournament win in three seasons.
“I am honored to have been selected as the recipient of the Joe B. Hall Award. It is a privilege to represent Niagara University as the head men's basketball coach. Niagara is a special place with passionate people. I am grateful to our players, coaching staff, and administration for their belief, hard work, and support. I am proud of our student-athletes, team and program for our growth in year one.” Paulus told Vavel.com.