Bulldogs Highlights

General Information

NCAA Division: Division I
Conference: Southern Conference
Past Conferences: Trans America Athletic Conference, Atlantic Sun Conference, Ohio Valley Conference
City: Homewood, Alabama
Arena: Pete Hanna Center
NCAA Tournaments: 2 (1999, 2000)


National Championships: 0
Conference Titles: 3 (1996, 1997, 1999)

Team History

The Samford Bulldogs first took to the court in the 1901-02 season, but not a whole lot is known about the team’s early years. Even Samford University’s website lists “Coach Unknown” for the team’s first four seasons, which did include wins over Vanderbilt and Auburn.

The Bulldogs’ first season with NCAA affiliation was the 1971-72 season and Samford became a Division I school the following season. The Bulldogs played as an independent for their first six seasons, before joining the Trans America Athletic Conference in 1978-79. The Bulldogs also spent five years in the Ohio Valley Conference before joining the Southern Conference for the 2008-09 season.

Samford captured conference tournaments in 1999 and 2000, which earned the Bulldogs their only two NCAA Tournament appearances to date. Samford also competed in the 2017 CIT, defeating Canisius in the first round and losing to Liberty in its next game.

Samford Bulldogs All-Time Records

Points Scored

Craig Beard, 1,925
Steve Barker, 1,902
Jonathan Pixley, 1,826


Dwayne Barnette, 1,008
Jerry Thomas, 800
Marc Salyers, 662


Josh Sharkey, 756
Christen Cunningham, 514
Jerry Smith, 433

Samford Bulldogs FAQs

Have Any Samford Players Ever Been Drafted?

The Bulldogs have seen two players drafted, although neither of them ever played a regular-season NBA game. Lyman Williamson was taken in the 12th round of the 1973 draft by the Phoenix Suns. Craig Beard was selected in the fourth round of the 1985 draft by the Chicago Bulls.

What Is the Highest-Scoring Game Samford Has Played In?

On Feb. 9, 2017, the Bulldogs traveled to Wofford for a Southern Conference game that looked to be mundane when Samford led 39-33 at halftime. Wofford outscored Samford 45-39 in the second half to send the game to overtime. Samford couldn’t make a 102-97 lead with 18 seconds left in the second overtime hold up, and Wofford ended up winning 131-127 in four overtimes.

Who Was Samford’s Most Successful Coach?

Jimmy Tillette is the only Samford coach to win more than 100 games, as the Bulldogs went 229-219 with him at the helm between 1997–98 and 2011–12. The Bulldogs’ two NCAA Tournament appearances came under Tillette, but three consecutive dismal seasons between 2009-10 and 2011-2012 led to his being fired.

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