RETURN OF INVESTMENT
LAST 10 GAMES
NCAA Division: Division I
Conference: Patriot League (2001-present)
Past Conferences: East Coast, Colonial Athletic Association
City: Washington, D.C.
Stadium: Bender Arena
NCAA Tournaments: 3 (2008, 2009, 2014)
National Championships: None
Conference Tournament Titles: 3 (2008, 2009, 2014)
Conference Regular Season Titles: 7 (1975, 1981, 1983, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2009)
The American University Eagles are a Division I program based in Washington, D.C. American University has been a member of the Patriot League since 2001 and is coached by Mike Brennan.
American has had a relatively brief postseason history, with three trips to the NCAA Tournament. The Eagles made the tournament in 2008 and 2009, and again in 2014. Each time, the Eagles lost in the first round. The Eagles have also appeared three times in the National Invitational Tournament (1973, 1981, 1982), as well as the College.Insider.com Tournament in 2012. Again, in each case the Eagles were one and done.
In fact, the Eagles’ only postseason victories of any kind came at the Division II level. In 1958, the Eagles beat Buffalo and Wagner before losing in the Division II Elite Eight to Evansville. They returned to the Elite Eight each of the following two seasons, falling to North Carolina A&T and Evansville, respectively.
American also appeared in the NAIA Tournament in 1950 and 1951. ‘
Brennan and the Twenty Wins
Brennan, a former assistant at Princeton — where he played from 1991-94 — American and Georgetown, became the Eagles’ coach prior to the 2013-14 campaign. In his first season, Brennan guided them to 20 wins, a Patriot League Tournament title and an NCAA Tournament appearance after they were picked to finish ninth in the preseason. As a reward for helping to overcome those odds, Brennan was named Patriot League Coach of the Year.
American’s previous two trips to the tournament came under Brennan’s predecessor, Jeff Jones. Jones — who oversaw the move from the Colonial Athletic Association in 2001 — won a school-record 211 games over 13 seasons before leaving for Old Dominion following the 2012-13 season. Jones won four Patriot League regular season titles, including back-to-back in 2008 and 2009, and was twice named the conference’s top coach.
In the league’s 2022-23 preseason poll, American was picked to finish seventh.
o Sa’eed Nelson: 2,116
o Russell Bowers: 2,056
o Brian Gilgeous: 2,013
o Kermit Washington: 1,478
o Stephen Lumpkins: 884
o Art Beatty: 848
o Gordon Austin: 691
o Derrick Mercer: 524
o Sa’eed Nelson: 521
What’s American University’s best season in school history?
That’s debatable, as the Eagles have yet to win a Division I postseason game. For now, we’ll look at the 2008-09 team, which went 13-1 in Patriot League play and 24-8 overall to tie the school record for wins in a season. The Eagles swept the Patriot League regular season and tournament titles and returned to the NCAA Tournament, losing in the first round to No. 3 seed Villanova.
Who holds American University’s single-season scoring record?
Russell Bowers scored a school-record 726 points in 1979-80, surpassing the previous mark of 683 set by Frank Ross in 1986-87.
What’s American University’s most recent 20-win season?
The 2013-14 Eagles went 20-13 overall, winning their third Patriot League Tournament title in the process. That qualified them for the NCAA Tournament, where they were beaten in the first round by second-seeded Wisconsin.