FELISHA LEGETTE-JACK | HEAD COACH
Felisha Legette-Jack is in her ninth 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 162-98 overall record at Buffalo and became the all-time winningest coach in program history with the Bulls win at Kent State on January 25, 2020. She went over the 300 career win plateau with a win at Ohio on February 29, 2020 and currently owns a 303-261 career head coaching record across 18 seasons as head coach.
Legette-Jack has led UB to seven straight winning seasons for the first time since the Bulls joined the MAC in 1998-99. She helped guide the Bulls to a program record 29 wins in 2017-18 to go along with a program best 16 MAC victories. The Bulls have produced four 20+ win campaigns in the last five seasons for just the second time in school history and they are the only team in the MAC to win at least 19 games in each of the last six campaigns. Buffalo has also produced seven straight 17+ win campaigns under Legette-Jack.
The 2019-20 Bulls were the youngest team in the MAC and the youngest of any of their opponents. Despite their youth, the Bulls led the MAC and ranked 20th in the nation in rebounds per game (42.4) while also leading the league in offensive rebounds per game (15.6) and rebound margin (+4.1). Under her guidance, freshman Dyaisha Fair put together one of the best rookie campaigns in program history as she earned MAC Freshman of the Year and All-MAC Second Team honors, while finishing fourth in the nation in scoring and cementing her place in the top 10 in multiple UB single-season records. Senior Theresa Onwuka joined Fair on the All-MAC squads as she earned second team and All-Defensive team honors for the first time in her career. The Bulls also continued their success off the court as UB placed three student-athletes on the Academic All-MAC Team.
In 2018-19 Legette-Jack led the Bulls to their second MAC title and third NCAA appearance in the last four seasons. UB upset #7 Rutgers in the first round of the NCAA Tournament as the Bulls became the first MAC women’s basketball team to win an NCAA Tournament game in back-to-back years since Toledo in 1991 and 1992. Under her guidance, senior Cierra Dillard became one of the best players in the MAC as she became just the fifth player in program history to earn first team All-MAC honors after averaging 25.2 points, 5.7 assists and 4.9 rebounds while setting seven single-season program records, two MAC single-season records and setting the program’s career scoring average record. Summer Hemphill joined Dillard on the All-MAC squads as she earned second team honors after a solid junior campaign. Dillard also made history after the season as she became the first player in school history to be selected in the WNBA Draft as she was taken 20th overall by the Minnesota Lynx. Legette-Jack also received a personal honor as she was named an assistant coach for the 2019 Pan American Games Women’s Basketball Team in March. The Bulls also continued their success off the court as UB placed four student-athletes on the Academic All-MAC Team.
The 2017-18 campaign was the most memorable in Buffalo women's basketball history as the Bulls were able to earn an at-large bid, first in the MAC since 1996, and went on to advance to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in school history after collecting upsets of #6 South Florida and #3 Florida State in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, the programs first tournament victories. Buffalo closed out their historic 2017-18 season with a 29-6 overall record and a 16-2 MAC mark, both program records for wins in a season. The Bulls were also able to claim their first-ever MAC East division regular season championship under Legette-Jack's guidance while also earning the #2 seed for the MAC Tournament, highest in program history.
As an 11-seed in the 2018 NCAA Tournament, the Bulls upset sixth-seeded South Florida in the first round for the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament win. Buffalo scored 102 points in the win over USF, the most points ever scored by a double-digit seed in the history of the NCAA Tournament. The Bulls proceeded to stun third-seeded Florida State in the second round to become just the third Mid-American Conference school ever to advance to the Sweet 16. In the Sweet Sixteen, the Bulls put in a strong effort against the reigning National Champions and second-seeded South Carolina Gamecocks but they came up just short, falling 79-63 in the Albany Regional.
Off the court, the Bulls had their best year inside the classroom as under Legette-Jack's watchful eye the team posted a 3.46 cumulative GPA while also placing a program record seven student-athletes on the Academic All-MAC team. Senior Katherine Ups was also became the first UB student-athlete since 2000-01 to earn CoSIDA Academic All-District first team honors following her successful senior campaign.
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.
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).
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.
Born Sept. 4, 1966, in Syracuse, Legette-Jack and her husband, David, have a son, David Maceo.