FELISHA LEGETTE-JACK | HEAD COACH
Felisha Legette-Jack is entering her sixth season at the helm of the Bulls after being named the 12th head coach in UB women’s basketball history on June 14, 2012. Legette-Jack has accumulated a 90-70 overall record at Buffalo, second most wins in program history by a head coach.
Legette-Jack has led UB to four straight winning seasons for the first time since the Bulls joined the MAC in 1998-99. The Bulls have also accumulated back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since 1995-96 and 1996-97. Buffalo has notched at least 17 wins in Legette-Jack’s last four seasons at the helm for the first time since joining the MAC.
The 2016-17 season turned out to be one of the best in program history as the Bulls were able to record a 22-10 record on the season while going 10-8 in MAC play. The Bulls were able to notch 13 victories at Alumni Arena, most in a season since 1995-96.
UB set a program record with a 10-0 start to the season while the 22 wins ranked 2nd most in program history and most in a season since 1995-96 when the Bulls won 23 games. The Bulls were able to collect a MAC quarterfinals victory over Ball State to advance to their second straight MAC semifinal, first time the Bulls have advanced that far in back-to-back seasons.
Following the 2016-17 campaign, the Bulls earned multiple All-MAC honors as JoAnna Smith was named Second Team All-MAC, Stephanie Reid earned MAC All-Defensive team honors and Summer Hemphill earned a spot on the All-Freshman team. Legette-Jack has now placed at least one player on an All-MAC squad in each of her five seasons at the helm of the program.
Academically, Legette-Jack has continued to hold her team to high standards as the Bulls produced a program record 3.3326 team GPA during the 2016-17 campaign. UB also had four players earn Academic All-MAC honors, a program record, as Katherine Ups, Liisa Ups and Mariah Suchan each earned a place on the squad for the second straight season while Ayoleka Sodade made her first appearance on the team.
Legette-Jack also was honored by Buffalo Business First Magazine in their annual Power 100 list in 2017. Members of the Power 100 list are the 100 most influential women in Western New York and Legette-Jack came in at #75 on the list.
2015-16 was the most historic season in program history as Legette-Jack helped lead the Bulls to their first MAC Championship and NCAA Tournament berth as they closed out the season with a 20-14 record, the first 20-win season since 1996-97. The Bulls season came to an end with a loss to #3 Ohio State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
After closing out the regular season with four wins in their final five games, the Bulls entered the conference tournament as the eight-seed. After collecting a first round victory over Bowling Green, the Bulls proceeded to knock off the previous three MAC Champions en route to their first-ever MAC title. The Bulls were able to dispatch of top-seeded Ohio, fifth-seeded Akron and second-seeded Central Michigan. As the eight-seed, the Bulls became the lowest seeded team to ever win a MAC Championship.
Under Legette-Jack's watchful eye, junior Joanna Smith blossomed into one of the best players in the MAC in 2015-16 as she became just the fourth UB player in program history to earn first team All-MAC honors after averaging 18.3 points and 6.1 rebounds while also setting the program record for three-pointers made in a season (100). Stephanie Reid joined Smith on the All-MAC squads as she earned third team honors after a great sophomore campaign. Legette-Jack has now placed at least one player on an All-MAC squad in each of her four seasons at the helm of the Bulls.
The Syracuse legend also earned a personal milestone victory during the 2015-16 campaign as she collected her 200th career victory in the Bulls 51-43 victory over previously unbeaten Ohio at Alumni Arena on Feb. 3, 2016.
Not only have the Bulls performed on the court but also in the classroom as the team earned a combined 3.22 GPA last semester, marking the seventh straight semester under Legette-Jack that the team has earned over a 3.0 GPA.
In 2014-15, Legette-Jack's Bulls made program history receiving an invitation to the Women's National Invitation Tournament – UB's second postseason tournament appearance in program history. UB's 19-win season, matching the most victories in a season since 1996-97, ended in the WNIT First Round against eventual WNIT runner-up, West Virginia.
For the second straight season, the Bulls locked in the four seed to the Mid-American Conference Tournament, their highest in program history. UB then clinched its second-ever trip to the MAC semifinals with a 63-60 victory over fifth-seeded Western Michigan. The Bulls bowed out to eventual champion, Ohio, 63-55, in the semifinals. Legette-Jack coached Christa Baccas to MAC Defensive Player of the Year and Mackenzie Loesing to Sixth Player of the Year, while Kristen Sharkey joined them in garnering All-MAC honors.
UB saw major improvements in Legette-Jack's second season. The Bulls increased their 2012-13 win output by five, culminating with the team's highest-ever seed for the MAC tournament at number four overall.
The offense saw a boost in scoring production, improving from 61.2 points to 68.5 points per game, the highest scoring average by a team since 2000-01. Three Bulls were honored by the MAC on postseason teams. Loesing was named to the second team, Sharkey earned third-team honors and Alexus Malone secured the all-freshman team recognition.
In her first season patrolling the sidelines of Alumni Arena, UB went 8-8 in the MAC and advanced to the quarterfinals of the MAC Tournament. Loesing made the all-freshman team and was joined by Baccas in earning All-MAC Honorable Mention.
A New York native with 13 years of Division I head coaching experience, Legette-Jack spent six years as head coach at Indiana University before coming to Buffalo. She led the Hoosiers to three postseason appearances, winning 18 or more games in each of those years. In 2008-09, Indiana won a program record-tying 21 games. While in Bloomington, Legette-Jack knew how to get the most out of her players, both on the court and in the classroom, as evident by her 21 Academic All-Big Ten selections in six seasons. On the basketball floor, the Hoosiers won five games over nationally-ranked opponents, including a victory over fourth-ranked Ohio State in 2010.
Prior to taking the reins at Indiana, Legette-Jack led Hofstra University to unprecedented levels of success. She guided Hofstra to one of its best seasons in school history in 2005-06. The Pride's 19 victories stood as the second-most in school history, and the 12 league triumphs tied a school record. In addition to the team success, Hofstra ranked among the CAA's top three in scoring offense (69.5 ppg), field goal percentage defense (.379), rebounding offense (43.0), rebounding margin (+3.9), assists (16.0), steals (11.03), offensive rebounds (16.73), defensive rebounds (26.27) and three-point field goals per game (5.37).
Legette-Jack arrived at Hofstra after two years as an assistant to Joanne P. McCallie at Michigan State. Legette-Jack served as the Spartans' recruiting coordinator, supervised the team's academic progress and preseason and postseason conditioning programs and helped sign the nation's 14th-best recruiting class in 2001-02. Legette-Jack helped orchestrate one of the nation's top turnarounds from 2000-01 to 2001-02. In 2000-01, MSU was 10-18 overall, but the Spartans responded by posting a 19-13 record in 2001-02, capped by a WNIT semifinal appearance. The 19 wins included three victories over nationally-ranked opponents. She recruited the nucleus of the Spartans' 2005 national finalist club.
Outside of the college ranks, Legette-Jack has also had success with USA Basketball, serving on two different coaching staffs where the United States won gold medals. In 2005, she helped coach the Americans to gold at the U19 World Championships and in the summer of 2003, Legette-Jack served as an assistant when Team USA won gold at the FIBA World Championships in Sibenik, Croatia. That team featured the top two players in the 2004 WNBA Draft.
Legette-Jack worked as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at her alma mater, Syracuse University, from 1993-2000. In addition to handling team travel, tape exchange and overseeing the conditioning program, Legette-Jack recruited two Gatorade Players of the Year to the Orange. Syracuse also boasted a 100-percent graduation rate during her tenure.
A 1989 Syracuse graduate with a double major in child and family studies and psychology, Legette-Jack scored 1,526 points and grabbed 927 rebounds. Legette-Jack graduated as the all-time leading scorer and rebounder in program history, and now ranks fifth and third. She won 1985 Big East Rookie of the Year honors and earned all-league laurels three times in her career. An inductee into the Greater Syracuse Hall of Fame, the Syracuse Urban League Hall of Fame and the Syracuse University Orange Plus Hall of Fame, Legette-Jack was one of 15 players named to the Big East Conference Silver Anniversary Team in 2004.
After graduation from Syracuse, Legette-Jack became head girl's basketball coach at Westhill High School in Syracuse. She posted a 26-13 ledger in two seasons there, and five of her players earned Division I scholarships. Legette-Jack then spent two years as an assistant coach at Boston College, where the Golden Eagles recorded a 100-percent graduation rate during her tenure.
Born Sept. 4, 1966, in Syracuse, Legette-Jack and her husband, David, have a 17-year-old son, David Maceo.