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Coaching Staff

Dave Paulsen

Head Coach

George Mason University announced on March 30, 2015 that three-time Patriot League Coach of the Year Dave Paulsen has been hired as the 10th head men's basketball coach in program history. Paulsen begins his second season at the helm in the 2016-17 campaign.

In his first season at the helm of the Patriots during the 2015-16 season, Paulsen led Mason to the most conference wins since joining the Atlantic 10 Conference three seasons ago. Additionally, Paulsen guided the Patriots to the championship game of the 2015 Gildan Charleston Classic, uprooting Power 5 opponents Ole Miss and Oklahoma State to face nationally-ranked Virginia in the title game. Mason also knocked off NCAA Tournament participant and A-10 regular season co-champs VCU during the regular season.

Guided by a five-member freshmen class, the Patriots picked up six Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week honors between three freshmen. Freshman Otis Livingston II led the Patriots in scoring (11.9 ppg) and assists (114) during the campaign and earned A-10 All-Rookie honors while being tabbed the 2016 VaSID Rookie of the Year. Livingston led all freshmen in the A-10 in scoring and minutes per game. Paulsen also helped mentor senior Shevon Thompson to a NBA Summer League mini-camp invite with the New Orleans Pelicans.

In Paulsen’s seven-year tenure at Bucknell, the Bison became the first team in Patriot League history to record three straight regular season titles, having amassed four outright regular season championships in the last five years. He has led the Bison to four postseason berths – two NCAA appearances and two NITs – during that span.

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Dane Fischer

Assistant Coach

Dane Fischer joined the George Mason men's basketball team as an assistant coach on April 24, 2015. He begins his second season with the Patriots for the 2016-17 campaign.

Fischer joins the Patriots after seven years at Bucknell under Paulsen as an assistant coach before being promoted to associate head coach in 2011. While at Bucknell, Fischer quickly became known as a tireless recruiter and basketball tactician. His early success in both departments, including the recruitment of two-time Patriot League Player of the Year, NBA Draft pick and current Atlanta Hawk Mike Muscala, helped lead to four Patriot League regular-season titles, two NCAA Tournament appearances and two NIT berths in five years.

Not only did Bucknell succeed on the court with Fischer on staff, but in the classroom as well claiming six Academic All-Patriot League spots, four Capital One Academic All-District selections and one national Academic All-American.

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Aaron Kelly

Assistant Coach

Aaron Kelly was hired as an assistant coach for the George Mason men's basketball team on April 10, 2015. He begins his second season with the Patriots in the 2016-17 campaign.

Kelly follows coach Paulsen to Mason after recently completing his seventh year on the Bison’s men's basketball staff, his sixth as an assistant coach after serving as the program’s manager of basketball operations in 2008-09. Prior to coming to Bucknell, Kelly was assistant coach under Paulsen at Williams in 2007-08.

Kelly was involved in all aspects of the Bison program, from recruiting to scouting to on-floor coaching to summer camps and other offseason programs. Kelly was an integral part of a coaching staff that led the Bison to an record three straight outright Patriot League regular-season titles, and amassing four in the last five years. Bucknell earned four postseason berths in the last five years—two NCAAs and two NITs.

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Duane Simpkins

Assistant Coach

Duane Simpkins was hired as an assistant coach with the George Mason men's basketball team on April 24, 2015. He begins his second season with the Patriots in the 2016-17 campaign.

A former standout at Maryland and local native, Simpkins joins the Patriots after three seasons with the UNC Greensboro Spartans where he served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. In his first full season, Simpkins brought in seven newcomers for the 2013-14 season marking the first full recruiting class for head coach Wes Miller. The highly-touted recruiting class featured three All-State selections from North Carolina including Clay Byrd and Diante Baldwin.

Quickly becoming known for his recruiting efforts, Simpkins also helped recruit the Maryland Player of the Year from Baltimore, Tevon Saddler, a year removed from signing another Baltimore standout in top-returning scorer Kayel Locke.

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Ted Rawlings

Director Of Men's Basketball Operations

Ted Rawlings joined the George Mason men's basketball coaching staff as Director of Basketball Operations in June 2016. Rawlings arrived in Fairfax after spending the 2014-15 season in the same position at Brown University.

In serving as the Coordinator of Men’s Basketball Operations at Brown, Rawlings was responsible for planning all aspects of team travel as well as assisting in the daily logistics of practice, facility scheduling, film exchange and camp sessions.

Prior to his arrival at Brown, Rawlings served as a men’s basketball assistant coach for two seasons at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia under head coach David Pauley. He assisted in leading the Devils to their best mark since 2004, posting a 13-13 record and finished third in the CACC South. Rawlings started his coaching career serving as an assistant coach with Haverford College’s men’s basketball team during the 2011-12 season.

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Bryson Johnson

Graduate Manager

Bryson Johnson joined the George Mason men’s basketball staff as a graduate manager for the 2015-16 season after playing two years professionally.

Johnson was a four-year men’s basketball letterwinner and two-year captain at Bucknell University under the leadership of Dave Paulsen, helping lead the Bison to two NCAA Men’s Basketball appearances and one NIT appearance. Johnson was a member of a Bison squad that recorded three straight Patriot League regular season championships and was the winningest class at their time of graduation, posting a 92-41 record. The 11th leading scorer in Bucknell history, Johnson recorded 1,384 career points in his collegiate career, earning Second Team All-League recognition in addition to Patriot League All-Tournament Team and Patriot League All-Rookie Team honors. Johnson was a two-time recipient of the Malcolm E. Musser Award for Leadership and was presented with the John F. Zeller Award as a senior.

Following graduation, Johnson played professionally with the Fraport Skyliners in Germany and spent a year playing in the NBL Canadian Basketball league. While with the Skyliners, Johnson helped the team reach a playoff appearance.

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