Men's Basketball Coaching Staff

Jon Furbush '05

Head Coach

Phone: (207) 786-6343 | Email:

Jon Furbush '05 enters his 12th season as head coach of the Bates College men’s basketball team in 2019-20, with a 138-138 overall record and seven NESCAC Championship tournament appearances through 11 seasons, including three appearances in the NESCAC semifinals.

In the 2014-15 season, Furbush led the Bobcats to their most victories in program history (21) and their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament (second overall, after the 1960-61 NCAA College Division Tournament team). The Bobcats were 19-5 in the regular season while playing the second most competitive schedule in Division III, in terms of opponents' aggregate winning percentage. They finished in third place in the NESCAC with a 7-3 conference record. Furbush was named 2014-15 Maine Coach of the Year by the Maine Men's Basketball Coaches and Writers Association.

Furbush has produced three 1,000 point scorers (Graham Safford '15, Mike Boornazian '16, Marcus Delpeche '17). Two players (Marcus and Malcolm Delpeche '17) have signed pro contracts in Germany.

In his first season, during which Furbush was the youngest head men’s basketball coach in the NCAA, the Bobcats posted a 13-12 campaign and made an appearance in the quarterfinals of the 2009 NESCAC Championships. In his second year, Furbush led Bates to a 14-12 record, and the Bobcats advanced to the semifinals of the 2010 NESCAC Championships.

Furbush was named the new men’s basketball coach at Bates after the 2007-08 season, succeeding his former coach, Joe Reilly. Furbush, a 2005 Bates graduate and native of South Portland, Maine, became the college’s 21st head men’s basketball coach.

Furbush was an assistant men’s basketball coach at Springfield College in 2007-08 and held the same position for two seasons at Bates after graduating with a degree in American cultural studies. Furbush has a masters degree in Athletic Administration and Coaching from Concordia University Irvine. He currently resides in South Portland with his wife, Rachael, and two children Anabelle and Jonathan.  

“I strive to use basketball as an extension of the classroom, preparing our student-athletes for the next step in life,” says Furbush. “The players in my program will all be respectful and valuable members of the Bates community and will take pride in striving towards excellence on the court and in the classroom.”

Sam Leal

Assistant Coach


Sam Leal just completed two seasons with the Springfield College Pride. In his first season, the Pride went on to reach the 2018 Final Four before falling in overtime to eventual NCAA Champion Nebraska Wesleyan. The 22 wins were the most for Springfield College since the 2004-2005 season. Sam was responsible for all aspects of the team's recruiting, scouting reports, and player development. Meanwhile at Springfield, Sam earned his Master of Science degree in Sport and Exercise Psychology.

Prior to Springfield College, Sam spent two years as a high school math teacher at Greely High School and one season as an assistant coach for University of Southern Maine. A graduate of University of Maine at Farmington in 2014, Leal was a two-year captain and helped lead his team to a regular season conference championship during the 2012-2013 campaign as the squad racked up 21 wins. As a senior in 2013-2014, Leal guided UMF to the North Atlantic Conference championship game. Leal has also been the Director of Oceanside Hoop Camp in York, Maine for four years.




Graham Safford '15

Assistant Coach

A Bates men's basketball legend, Safford enters his first year on the Bates coaching staff in 2019-20.

A two-year captain on the Bates men's basketball team, Safford was a guiding force in the Bobcats’ stellar 2014-15 season, which resulted in the most victories in program history (21-7), the Bobcats’ first berth in the NCAA Division III tournament and advancement to the Sweet Sixteen. Safford led the team in scoring (15.9 points per game), assists (6.2), steals (1.8), and free-throw shooting (.805), ranking among the NESCAC’s top 10 players in all four categories.

He finished his career with the 10th-most points in team history (1,252). Among his post season accolades were NESCAC First-Team All-Conference honors, a First Team selection on the ECAC Division III New England Men’s Basketball All-Star Team, and Player of the Year honors from the Maine Men’s Basketball Coaches and Writers Association.

Safford was named the 2014-15 Bates Male Athlete of the Year.