Sunday, September 10, 2006

Buffalo University Athletics Skyward Bound - Racial Diversity in NCAA Division I-A Athletic Administration and Coaching

This posting is especially geared to all of our friends in Waterloo and the Finger Lakes District of New York State. Great football is coming your direction. "Husker" football has arrived.

In our opinion, Buffalo University has hit the jackpot with their new football coach.

The University of Buffalo recently hired former Nebraska Cornhusker quarterback and former NU assistant coach Turner Gill as the head coach of the Buffalo Bulls, who went 1-10 in 2005. Gill came to Buffalo directly from the Green Bay Packers. In addition the Bulls will have Brian Mohnsen (University of Nebraska 1991 graduate) as coach of the linebackers.

Under Gill's tutelage, Buffalo started this year out with a thrilling overtime win over Temple (also rebuilding with new coach Al Golden), and just lost a thrilling three overtime heartbreaker to a certainly more talented Bowling Green team.

Overtime means battle.

The Falcons put up more than twice as much total offense as the Bulls did, but were still lucky to win. That shows top coaching on the Buffalo side. Even a poor coach can win with top talent. A good coach should win with equal talent. But a great coach has the capacity to compete against superior talent while coaching a theoretically weaker team.

The personable Gill is known as a great recruiter and judged by the hearty performance of the Bulls against the Falcons, where such a performance always shows strong team motivation and excellent coaching, the Buffalo fortunes are surely on a strong upswing for this and future years.

Buffalo has now become a unique NCAA Division I-A university in terms of racial diversity at the level of athletic administration. As written by the Associated Press (AP) at ESPN:

"The University at Buffalo has emerged as the nation's athletic model for racial diversity: the first Division I-A program to have blacks holding three high-profile posts. Gill joins athletic director, Warde Manuel, the former Michigan athletic administrator who was hired a year ago, and Reggie Witherspoon, who has turned around a struggling men's basketball program since being named coach in 1999."

In our opinion, that kind of a constellation is going to bring in a lot of athletic talent, you better believe it. When you add Gill's recruiting skills to the picture, you have a winner. We look for the Buffalo football team to become a MAC AND national championship contender within the coming seasons. It could only happen in "blizzardy" Buffalo - which, we have discovered, has a much maligned reputation, having more sun and less rain than much of the rest of New York State.

Of interest is that Gill is coaching in the same MAC (Mid-American Conference) division as former Nebraska coach Frank Solich, who coaches Ohio. The two teams meet this year in Ohio on October 21.

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