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Compiled by Nick Mendola, BA ’05; photos by Paul Hokanson
The UB football Bulls ushered in a new era with the hiring of Jeff Quinn, who hopes to bring his student athletes a whole lot of “F’s.”
Some explanation is in order.
“To know Jeff Quinn, I always talk about the five F’s,” Quinn said on a Buffalo sports radio program shortly after the announcement of his appointment in December. “My faith, my family, football, fishing and having some fun.”
Buffalo is Quinn’s first head-coaching position, but his resume is packed with passing grades—and then some. The offensive-minded coach has tutored star quarterbacks Dan LeFevour and Tony Pike in a standout career as assistant coach at Grand Valley State, Central Michigan and, most recently, the University of Cincinnati, where he was offensive coordinator and line coach. He served as the Bearcats’ interim head coach for the team’s Sugar Bowl appearance against Florida on New Year’s Day. And Quinn was a finalist for the 2010 Frank Broyles Award, which is given to the nation’s top assistant football coach.
Quinn was hired to replace Turner Gill, who has been named new head coach of Big 12 power Kansas.
Former UB quarterback Drew Willy takes the snap from former UB center Jamey Richard. Both players were at Super Bowl XLIV with the Indianapolis Colts.
Football alumni Drew Willy, BA ’09, and Jamey Richard, BS ’08, represented the Indianapolis Colts in the Super Bowl—Willy on the practice roster and as the team’s third quarterback, and Richard on special teams. See more here.
The Feb. 7 match-up between Indianapolis and New Orleans was the first time in more than 40 years that Bulls alumni had played in the nation’s most-watched football tourney. The previous occasion was Super Bowl III in 1969, when Gerry Philbin, BA ’67, played for the New York Jets against the Baltimore Colts. (New York won, 16-7.)
“It’s incredible,” Richard told The Buffalo News in a Feb. 4 interview. “In my second year I never thought I’d be here. You think about it your whole life but you never know that you’re going to make it to the NFL until you actually get there. Playing for the Colts and being in the Super Bowl, I’ve just tried to take it all in.”
For his part, Willy spent the week before the game assuming Drew Brees’ role during Colts practices. “I’m just glad to be here and I’m willing to do anything I can to help the team,” Willy told The Buffalo News, adding that studying with Peyton Manning offers invaluable lessons. “We’re blessed to learn from him and it’s something we look forward to every practice.”
If Nytor Longar’s life journey could be illustrated with a phone coverage map, she’d definitely have the competition licked.
The UB women’s hoopster has spent time on three continents in her 21 years, moving about the globe in a remarkable family odyssey that closely resembles a Hollywood movie. The youngest of 11 children, Longar was born in Sudan before moving to Egypt at age three.
Three years later, the family moved stateside and went on to realize the proverbial American dream. Her brother, Longar Longar, is a 6-foot-11 center who averaged 11.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game at Big 12 power Oklahoma in 2008.
When Longar’s career took off at John Marshall High School in Rochester, Minn., and schools like Arizona, Milwaukee and Buffalo came calling, she enlisted her brother for advice on where to go for college.
“We are extremely close,” says Longar, a UB freshman psychology major. “He’d always make time for me, go to the gym and shoot around. He’s the main reason I started playing basketball. Our relationship is the greatest. We text all the time.”
Between conversing with her brother and other family members, Longar had a lot of help in deciding which college to attend. While she had the final say, the decision was nonetheless a family one, she says. In fact, members of her extended family weighed in from various points abroad, including Australia, Canada and England, in addition to the U.S.
Though Longar is trilingual (she speaks English, Arabic and Dinka), she needs precious few words to describe why she chose UB.
“I felt at home here,” she says.
Home is a loose term for Kim Brandao, the Portuguese-American soccer star who spent the fall 2009 semester as an assistant coach on the women’s soccer team. Born in New Jersey to Portuguese immigrants, Brandao has thrived on two continents with a daunting schedule that would intimidate most people.
“Since my national team debut just over two years ago, I’ve played for Portugal in various countries, including Denmark, Italy, Slovenia and Ukraine, and in World Cup-qualifying and European Cup-qualifying games,” she says. Brandao played collegiate ball at Rutgers and now enjoys a professional career that has taken her to Sweden, Spain and, most recently, Buffalo.
“All in all, I suppose you could say I’ve been lucky enough to play soccer in about eight countries so far, and this year I also have away games in Armenia and Finland to look forward to, along with playing in my third-straight Algarve Cup, the international tournament that Portugal hosts and the USA also plays in.”
Brandao also is the captain of the Buffalo Flash, the only women’s professional sports team in Western New York. The international star hopes that her world of experience will bring professional success to her UB players.
“I hope that sharing my experiences with the girls I coach can help inspire them enough to keep working hard at their game and show them that there is opportunity for women to play beyond college, although it’s obviously much harder—due to far fewer opportunities, and much less money involved—than it is for men,” she says.
Football’s Naaman Roosevelt becomes UB’s all-time leading receiver with eight receptions for 165 yards and three touchdowns in a nationally televised game vs. Ohio at UB Stadium.
Men’s cross-country earns superlative No. 13 ranking in U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches’ poll for the Northeast Region.
Women’s volleyball team beats Kent State to reach first-ever Mid-American Conference quarterfinals.
Men’s and women’s swimming teams break multiple tournament records, while finishing second at Akron’s Zippy Invitational.
Senior wrestler Dan Bishop and sophomore grappler Kevin Smith lead UB to massive upset of No. 12 Nebraska at NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals held at the University of Northern Iowa.
You may have noticed a change in our UB mascot, Victor E. Bull. Victor spent last summer working out in the Morris Center on the North Campus, with the goal of becoming stronger, harder and faster for the 2009 football season. Victor comments on his recent transformation, “I did it for the team and the fans!”