Football's turnaround season
The UB football Bulls enjoyed a turnaround season in their second year under Coach Craig Cirbus,
B.S. ¹80, who has been named NCAA I-AA Independent Football Coach of the Year.
After combining for only seven wins during the previous three years, the Bulls finished 8-3 in 1996,
giving UB its first winning season in football in a decade. The Bulls moved into the top 25 in national
rankings for the first time, following a dramatic, season-ending win over Maine, the Yankee Conference
New England Division champion, on November 16.
"I think when you look at this season, it starts with the players," Cirbus said. "They made the
sacrifices, they did the things necessary for us to have the kind of year we had. These players,
especially the seniors, are the reason we're in this position today."
New sports logo
The Division of Athletics has introduced a new logo for all sports. "This new symbol, like our
athletic program over the past decade," said UB athletic director Nelson Townsend, "is proud,
aggressive and poised for the future."
Wow, what a game!
In men's basketball, the UB Bulls got off to a rousing start in a season that had its share of
heartbreaking-and often heart-stopping-finales. The women's basketball Royals, meanwhile, enjoyed their
best start in UB history, with a 16-3 record at press time.
In the debut of Big 4 competition at the new Marine Midland Arena, the Bulls swept the competition
with exciting, Hollywood-like finishes. In the December 7 match with St. Bonaventure, the Bulls were
down by one point with just 5.1 seconds remaining, when junior guard Rasaun Young went the length of
the floor to score a three-pointer, resulting in a 69-67 victory for the Bulls.
During one week of Big 4 competition, in fact, UB beat Canisius, Niagara and the Bonnies by a combined
five points; each game came down to the final seconds.
Despite this auspicious beginning, the Bulls had a bruising reality check following the December 10
game against Syracuse. The Bulls bowed 79-45 to the Orangemen, who made it to the 1996 NCAA championship
only to lose to the Kentucky Wildcats.
At this writing, the Bulls were on the rebound with a 12-8 record. The Royals have received votes in
weekly top 25 rankings by the Associated Press and USA Today.