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Episode 60- Nate Oats on Embracing Your Leadership Journey

March 21, 2019 • Athletes & Coaches
Nate Oats

Less than six years ago, University of Buffalo men’s basketball coach Nate Oats was teaching math and coaching high school basketball in Detroit. Fast forward to today and he is one of the hottest coaches in college basketball, leading the Buffalo Bulls to three NCAA tournament appearances in four seasons as head coach. On this episode, we talk about his unconventional rise to the top of the coaching world, managing the expectations that come with success, and how he’s built a winning culture at Buffalo rooted in the core values of max effort, continuous growth and selfless love.

Follow Nate: Twitter

Show Notes

  • Nate’s unconventional route to Division I college basketball coach and how coaching high school basketball prepared him differently (1:30)
  • How success in the NCAA Tournament has prepared the Buffalo Bulls for March and validated the program (5:30)
  • The mentality it takes going from underdog to favorite (7:38)
  • How his leadership philosophy has evolved over his coaching career (8:51)
  • Buffalo’s culture playbook and core values: max effort, continuous growth and selfless love (15:21)
  • Defining the “above the line” behavior- focused, productive, and driven (21:15)
  • Cultivating the blue-collar mentality in every player (22:48)
  • His recruiting pitch to prospective student-athletes (25:12)
  • How his wife’s battle with cancer changed him as a person and a coach (29:16)
  • The most important leadership lesson he has learned in the last 5 years (32:29)


Resources / People Mentioned

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