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Roving reporter Jennifer Gillan, BA ’07, offers a quick take on athletics at UB

Photos by Paul Hokanson

Facelift for UB Athletics

New logo

The UB Bulls will now be represented by a new athletic mark—a boldly designed, charging blue bull, Director of Athletics Warde J. Manuel announced in July. The new look, which began to appear on apparel within days of its unveiling and is the first new logo for the Bulls since 1996, was created by the Bulls’ communication and marketing departments, in conjunction with UB’s Office of Marketing and Creative Services.

“Our new logo [represents] the strength, the fearless attitude and the combative spirit that our athletic department will need to achieve our goals,” Manuel says.

The football uniforms and helmets also got a preseason makeover. The bullhorns that formerly emblazoned the side of the gridiron headgear have been replaced with an interlocking UB. “It is my belief that a football helmet needs to have a traditional and consistent look,” Manuel says. Meanwhile, the word “Buffalo” has been added to the front of the newly designed uniforms, while the individual names have been removed from the back to reiterate the importance of team unity.

New era with New Era

Coach Gill with a New Era cap.

Coach Gill with a New Era cap. (Photo: Paul Hokanson)

Even before he called his first play into action August 31, Coach Turner Gill was sending out a strong signal that a new era is beginning for Bulls football. UB Athletics announced in July that it had signed a three-year deal with locally based New Era Cap Company to create a line of signature hats. The Turner Gill Sideline Collection, unique to the university, includes five caps, a knit toque and a visor.

New Era Cap Company, the largest sports-licensed headwear company in the United States, is the premier provider for major league baseball, as well as for a number of NBA and NHL franchises and major collegiate athletics programs. “We are proud to support a first-class and emerging program like UB Athletics,” says John DeWaal, New Era’s vice president of global marketing.

For his part, Gill says he looks forward “to a long relationship with New Era, and I applaud what they are doing in Western New York with their highly successful company.”

The caps are available on and on game days. The company is also sponsoring the “Turner Gill Bobblehead,” which will be handed out to the first 2,500 fans attending UB’s Homecoming game vs. Ball State on October 7.

Newbies to UB

Buffalo added a few names to its staff roster over the summer, including Charles “Buddy” Morris, Douglas Gnodtke and Joe Hesketh.

Morris was named the director of sports performance in early June. Morris brings to UB 18 years of strength and conditioning experience in both collegiate and professional football. Most recently, he worked as the head strength and conditioning coach for the Cleveland Browns. At UB, he will work directly with the football program.

UB gained an additional assistant athletics director with the hiring of Gnodtke, who formerly worked with UB Athletics Director Warde J. Manuel when he was at the University of Michigan. Gnodtke’s most recent roles at Michigan included administrative services coordinator and administrative specialist. He will oversee UB’s football and men’s basketball programs, as well as strength and conditioning programs.

Hesketh manned the mound for the Bulls from 1978 to 1980 and now returns to the Blue and White as the baseball team’s pitching coach. The UB and Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Famer spent 11 years playing major league baseball for such teams as the Montreal Expos, Cincinnati Reds and Boston Red Sox. Hesketh is returning to his roots, as he hails from nearby Hamburg, New York.

A UB communication and English major, Jennifer Gillan, BA ’07, was on the Spectrum’s editorial staff for four semesters, including two as sports editor. A volunteer Little League assistant coach in Rochester, New York, she hopes for a career in athletics communication for a collegiate sports program following graduation.