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The Latest Athletic News from the Bulls

A leader in women’s sports

Warde Manuel accepts award for “standout” gender equity achievement from Women’s Sports Foundation founder and tennis legend Billie Jean King.

Ever since Title IX was signed into law in 1972, gender equity has been a goal of university athletic departments across the nation. This past spring, UB was recognized for its efforts in achieving this goal by the Women’s Sports Foundation and its founder, tennis great Billie Jean King.

Director of athletics Warde Manuel accepted the award at HBO Studios in New York City on June 5. UB was honored as the Northeast recipient of the Opportunity Award—one of four “standout” colleges and universities in the nation for making significant strides in providing equitable athletic opportunities for its female student athletes.

The awards were presented in conjunction with the release of the foundation’s “Who’s Playing College Sports?” research report issued to honor Title IX’s 35th anniversary. UB received a grade of “A” on the report card and was chosen to be an award recipient for having less than a 2 percent proportionality gap between the percentage of undergraduates who are female and the percentage of student athletes who are female.

“We are delighted to have received this kind of recognition from one of the nation’s most influential and respected organizations in the athletic domain—a group that includes many of the true trailblazers in women’s sports,” Manuel says.

Thunder on the roll

Thunder of the East, the university’s marching band, will perform in New York City’s 2007 Columbus Day Parade.

On September 15, UB’s marching band is set to perform at Beaver Stadium, when the football Bulls face the Penn State Nittany Lions, playing in a 107,282-seat facility—the largest venue ever for a UB football team.

As if playing in front of more than 100,000 spectators at Beaver Stadium isn’t enough, the Thunder of the East is going to take on the Big Apple. On October 8, the band will march on to New York City, where it will perform in the Columbus Day Parade under the direction of James Mauck.

Battle is back—Idbihi in Germany

Battle

Just two years after completing an impressive collegiate career in a Blue and White number 11 jersey, Turner Battle is back with the Bulls. The on-the-court leader of UB’s winningest men’s basketball team in school history (2004–05) has been hired by head coach Reggie Witherspoon as an assistant basketball coach.

“Turner has some of the finest leadership skills I have ever seen in a young man,” Witherspoon says. “As he applies those skills with his basketball acumen, he has the ability to be a tremendous coach.”

Idbihi

Battle was named Mid-American Conference Player of the Year after his senior season in 2005 and went on to play professionally in Estonia, France and Sweden before returning this past season to coach at Sweet Home High School in Amherst, NY.

Meanwhile, another recent UB great, Yassin Idbihi, the 6'10" center who completed his UB career this past March, also is furthering his career on the court. Idbihi, who played his high school basketball in Germany, was selected to play for the German national team at the World University Games, August 8–18, 2007, in Bangkok, Thailand.

From top: Bell, Vance, Villa and Godin

Classroom and athletic stars

Four of UB’s best athletes have been nationally recognized for their dedication to excellence both in their respective sport and in their academic performance.

For the second year in a row, Dan Bell of the men’s soccer team was named an Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine. A 2007 political science graduate with a 3.66 GPA, Bell also earned the Clifford C. Furnas Award, which recognizes outstanding undergraduate scholarship as combined with athletic prowess. Bell recorded eight shutouts in his final season as a Bull and became the university’s all-time wins leader with 33 victories.

Sarah Vance, a graduate student in early childhood education, was honored as the Female Athlete of the Year for her accomplishments as a thrower on UB’s track teams, including trips to both the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor National Championships this past spring. She was then named to the 2007 U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic team.

Senior thrower Tina Villa and junior high-jumper Caitlin Godin joined their track teammate on the USTFCCCA All-Academic team. Both Villa and Godin qualified for the NCAA East Regionals, where Godin finished 17th.

Drafting days in Buffalo

One Bull is on his path toward becoming a St. Louis Cardinal, while another Bull will become a Montreal Alouette in the near future.

Folli and Judges

After a stellar junior season on the UB baseball team, Mike Folli was selected in the 42nd round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Cardinals. He began his professional career this summer by playing for the independent Outer Banks Daredevils of Kill Devil Hills, NC, in the Coastal Plains League, and after leading the team in batting average, was promoted to the Johnson City Cardinals, a rookie league team based in Johnson City, TN. The Cardinals are affiliated with the St. Louis Cardinals organization and play in the Appalachian League.

Senior defensive lineman James Judges also was selected in a draft during his junior year. The Alouettes of the Canadian Football League (CFL) selected Judges in the fourth round of the draft, although Judges, a native of Pickering, ON, had planned to complete his career at UB. Judges’ father, Gordon, played 13 seasons in Montreal, during which time the Alouettes won three Grey Cup championships. (The Grey Cup is the CFL equivalent of the Super Bowl.)

New faces on campus

The UB Division of Athletics welcomed two new administrators to the Buffalo Bulls family over the summer.

Sanders and Reed

Anucha Browne Sanders was named associate athletics director for marketing and senior woman administrator. Browne Sanders comes to UB after working for the past six years as senior vice president for marketing and business operations for the New York Knicks. At UB, she will be in charge of corporate marketing, events management, ticket sales and games promotions. She also will serve as the administrator for women’s basketball, softball and volleyball.

Donald Reed has been named associate athletic director for academic services. Reed spent the past seven years at Iowa State, where he was in charge of academic support, and personal and career development for student athletes.

Compiled by Jennifer Gillan, BA ’07, who is spending the 2007–2008 academic year as sports information intern for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL.