|East Tennessee State Buccaneers|
|University||East Tennessee State University|
|All-time record||1,256-1,010 (.554)|
|Head coach||Steve Forbes (4th season)|
|Location||Johnson City, Tennessee|
|Arena||Freedom Hall Civic Center |
|Colors||Navy Blue and Gold|
|NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen|
|NCAA Tournament Round of 32|
|NCAA Tournament Appearances|
|1968, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 2003, 2004, 2009, 2010, 2017|
|Conference Tournament Champions|
|1968, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 2003, 2004, 2009, 2010, 2017|
|Conference Regular Season Champions|
|1968, 1990, 1991, 1992, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2017|
The East Tennessee State Buccaneers are the men's basketball team that represents East Tennessee State University (ETSU) in Johnson City, Tennessee. ETSU currently competes in the Southern Conference as of July 1, 2014. The team last played in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament in 2017.
ETSU has been playing Division I basketball since the 1958-59 season when they joined the Ohio Valley Conference. In the 1979-1980 season ETSU joined the Southern Conference and after the 2004-2005 season they left the Southern Conference for the Atlantic Sun Conference. On July 1, 2014, they re-joined the Southern Conference.
|Madison Brooks (1948-1973)|
|1967-1968||Madison Brooks||19-8||10-4||1st||NCAA Sweet 16|
|Leroy Fisher (1973-1976)|
|Sonny Smith (1976-1978)|
|Jim Halihan (1978-1982)|
|Barry Dowd (1982-1985)|
|1982-1983||Barry Dowd||22-9||12-4||3rd||NIT 1st Round|
|Les Robinson (1985-1990)|
|1988-1989||Les Robinson||20-11||7-7||4th||NCAA 1st Round|
|1989-1990||Les Robinson||27-7||12-2||1st||NCAA 1st Round|
|Alan LeForce (1990-1996)|
|1990-1991||Alan LeForce||28-5||11-3||1st||NCAA 1st Round|
|1991-1992||Alan LeForce||24-7||12-2||1st||NCAA 2nd Round|
|1994-1995||Alan LeForce||14-14||9-5||2nd (North)|
|1995-1996||Alan LeForce||7-20||3-11||T-5th (North)|
|Ed DeChellis (1996-2003)|
|1996-1997||Ed DeChellis||7-20||2-11||5th (North)||-|
|1998-1999||Ed DeChellis||17-11||9-7||3rd (North)||-|
|1999-2000||Ed DeChellis||14-15||8-8||4th (North)||-|
|2000-2001||Ed DeChellis||18-10||13-3||1st (North)||-|
|2001-2002||Ed DeChellis||18-10||11-5||T-1st (North)||-|
|2002-2003||Ed DeChellis||20-11||11-5||T-1st (North)||NCAA 1st Round|
|Murry Bartow (2003-2015)|
|2003-2004||Murry Bartow||27-6||15-1||1st (North)||NCAA 1st Round|
|2004-2005||Murry Bartow||10-19||4-12||5th (North)|
|2006-2007||Murry Bartow||24-10||16-2||1st||NIT 1st Round|
|2008-2009||Murry Bartow||23-10||14-6||T-2nd||NCAA 1st Round|
|2009-2010||Murry Bartow||20-15||13-7||T-2nd||NCAA 1st Round|
|2010-2011||Murry Bartow||24-12||16-4||2nd||CIT Semifinals|
|2013-14||Murry Bartow||19-16||10-8||4th||CIT 2nd Round|
|Steve Forbes (2015-present)|
|2016-17||Steve Forbes||27-8||14-4||T-1st||NCAA 1st Round|
|2018-19||Steve Forbes||24-10||13-5||T-3rd||CIT 1st Round|
Postseason invitational champion
Commonly referred to as "The Glory Days" of ETSU basketball, between 1989 and 1992, ETSU won 4 straight Southern Conference titles while compiling 99 wins. During this 4-year period ETSU had wins over prestigious programs such as Arizona, NC State (3 times), Wake Forest, Cincinnati, BYU, Xavier, Mississippi State, Southern Miss, Tennessee (twice) and Memphis. ETSU also suffered their most famous loss when they lost by 1 point to top ranked Oklahoma as a 16th seed in the 1989 NCAA Tournament.
When Les Robinson left for NC State after the 1990 season, longtime assistant Alan Leforce took over a veteran team led by Senior Keith "Mister" Jennings. The team was ranked as high as 10th in the nation during the 1991 season and finished the year 17th in the AP poll and 15th in the Coaches poll. In the 1992 NCAA Tournament ETSU upset the Arizona Wildcats in the opening round, but eventually fell in the second round to the Michigan Wolverines and the Fab Five.
The Buccaneers went into steep decline after that, bottoming out with a 7-20 record in 1995-96. LeForce resigned after the season.
In 1996 Ed Dechellis replaced Alan Leforce who resigned after the 1995-1996 season. In 2001 Dechellis led ETSU to their first regular season conference title since the 91-92 season. In 2003 Dechellis helped ETSU win their first Southern Conference Tournament title and first NCAA berth since 1992. ETSU faced Wake Forest University in the first round where they lost in the final seconds 73-76 after having a chance to win the game with the last shot. After the 2003 season Dechellis left for Penn State.
Dechellis complied 105-93 record at ETSU but is mostly remembered for bringing prominence back to the ETSU basketball program that had struggled after the 1993 season.
In 2003 ETSU hired Murry Bartow after Ed Dechellis took the head coaching position at Penn State. Bartow took over a senior led team that won 27 games and nearly went undefeated in conference play in his first season; additionally, ETSU won their second straight Southern Conference Tournament and headed back to the NCAA tournament for the second straight year. ETSU had another close call in the 2004 NCAA Tournament when they lost to Cincinnati 77-80 in the closing seconds, much like the Wake Forest game the previous year.
In the 2005-2006 season ETSU left the Southern Conference to join the Atlantic Sun Conference after the school dropped football. During his time in the Atlantic Sun ETSU has received 4 postseason bids. Back to Back NCAA tournaments in 2009 and 2010, the NIT in 2007 and the CIT in 2011. The Buccaneers rejoined the Southern Conference as part of reinstating football in 2016. After 12 years, an overall record of 224-169 (with a record of 16-14, 8-10 in SoCon play in the 2014-15 season), and three NCAA appearances at East Tennessee State, Bartow was fired due a five-season tournament drought with declining team performance, and the addition of a new athletic director and school president two years prior.
After Murry Bartow was fired, Steve Forbes became the 16th head coach in ETSU's 95-year history on March 30, 2015. He served two seasons as an assistant coach at Wichita State Shockers men's basketball where he helped take the Shockers to the Sweet 16 the past season before taking the ETSU job. Forbes' recruiting ties and his extensive background as an assistant coach at the NCAA Division I level - which included a five-year stop at the University of Tennessee - made him a perfect fit for ETSU, according to ETSU Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Richard Sander.
The Buccaneers have appeared in the NCAA Division I Tournament ten times. Their combined record is 2-11.
Regional 3rd Place Game
|1989||#16||First Round||#1 Oklahoma||L 71-72|
|1990||#13||First Round||#4 Georgia Tech||L 83-99|
|1991||#10||First Round||#7 Iowa||L 73-76|
|2003||#15||First Round||#2 Wake Forest||L 73-76|
|2004||#13||First Round||#4 Cincinnati||L 77-80|
|2009||#16||First Round||#1 Pittsburgh||L 62-72|
|2010||#16||First Round||#1 Kentucky||L 71-100|
|2017||#13||First Round||#4 Florida||L 65-80|
The Buccaneers have appeared in the NCAA Division II Tournament one time. Their record is 1-1.
The Buccaneers have appeared in the NAIA Tournament three times. Their combined record is 0-3.
|1953||First Round||Arizona State||L 79-81|
|1954||First Round||Southwest Missouri State||L 72-77|
|1956||First Round||Gustavus Adolphus||L 60-80|
The Buccaneers have appeared in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) two times. Their combined record is 0-2.
The Buccaneers have appeared in the Vegas 16 one time. Their record is 1-1.
The Buccaneers have appeared in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT) three times. Their combined record is 3-3.
|2019||First Round||Green Bay||L 94-102|
|Career scoring leaders|
|1987-91||Keith "Mister" Jennings||1,988|
|1967-69||Harley "Skeeter" Swift||1,367|
|Career rebound leaders|
|Career Assist Leaders|
|1987-91||Keith "Mister" Jennings||983|
|Career Steals Leaders|
|1987-91||Keith "Mister" Jennings||334|
|Career Blocks Leaders|
|Career FG% Leaders (min 200 Made)|
|1987-91||Keith "Mister" Jennings||.549|
|Most Points in a game|
|2/5/1961||Tom Chilton||52||Austin Peay|
|2/24/1961||Tom Chilton||47||Western Kentucky|
|2/16/2002||Dimeco Childress||42||Western Carolina|
|2/26/1960||Tom Chilton||42||Middle Tennessee|
|2/26/2005||Tim Smith||41||Georgia Southern|
|Most Rebounds in a game|
|1964-65||Tommy Woods||38||Middle Tennessee|
|1964-65||Tommy Woods||32||East Carolina|
|1956-57||Herb Weaver||31||Kentucky Wesleyan|
|1954-55||Dick Creech||30||Middle Tennessee|
|Most Assists in a game|
|1990-91||Keith "Mister" Jennings||19||Appalachian State|
|1990-91||Keith "Mister" Jennings||18||The Citadel|
|1990-91||Keith "Mister" Jennings||16||VMI|
|1990-91||Keith "Mister" Jennings||15||Chattanooga|
Top 8 all-time home crowds to attend an ETSU basketball game in Johnson City.
|1||12,884||Chattanooga vs. ETSU||Feb. 4, 1991|
|2||12,240||NC State vs. ETSU||Dec. 29, 1990|
|3||12,208||VMI vs. ETSU||Feb. 25, 1991|
|4||11,341||Southern Mississippi vs. ETSU||Dec. 7, 1991|
|5||11,189||Appalachian State vs. ETSU||Feb. 1, 1992|
|6||10,727||Chattanooga vs. ETSU||Jan. 20, 1992|
|7||10,607||Appalachian State vs. ETSU||Jan. 5, 1991|
|8||10,475||Appalachian State vs. ETSU||Feb. 17, 1990|