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Photos by Paul Hokanson
Danny White has high aims for UB.
A new era in UB Bulls athletics began May 8 when New Orleans native and former Notre Dame basketball standout Daniel J. “Danny” White was named UB’s athletic director during a press conference in the Center for the Arts Screening Room.
“I tell myself every day I’m going to be UB’s first national champion.”Rob Golabek
White, 32, is the youngest athletic director in the Football Bowl Subdivision. He succeeds Warde Manuel, who was named AD at the University of Connecticut in February. Manuel expressed his confidence in White, saying, “He’ll do an unbelievable job at Buffalo, and I look forward to watching the growth of UB’s athletic program under Danny’s leadership and direction.”
“I am thrilled to serve as director of athletics at such a world-class institution,” White said. “I am excited about the vision of excellence UB is pursuing under President Tripathi’s leadership and I am energized by the prospect of helping to advance that vision by leading the next chapter of UB athletics.”
White came to UB from the University of Mississippi, where he served as senior associate athletic director and executive director of the UMAA Foundation.
“Obviously, I’ve been working very hard to rise to the director’s chair and I wanted to align myself with a world-class academic institution,” White said. “Because of that institutional profile, there is no limit to how high we can take UB athletics.” Other UB coaches seem to agree that White will take UB to new athletic heights. “Certainly, our Department of Athletics is going to benefit from his focus and passion and determination,” says Bulls head football coach Jeff Quinn.
Adds head men’s basketball coach Reggie Witherspoon, “He’s had some experience in the MAC. He’s had experience in a similar conference [at Fresno State] and then he’s had some experience in the [Southeastern Conference]. I think his having a broad-based background is really good.”
In addition to White, Allen Greene has joined the UB athletics staff as senior associate AD. He also comes to UB from Ole Miss, where he was assistant athletic director for development and priority seating.
Mitchell Watt was named MAC Player of the Year and earned an invite to the Portsmouth Invitational in Virginia, a tournament that features the best college players in the nation, after leading the Bulls to another record-setting season on the hardwood.
Watt’s three-game shot block total (13) set an invitational record, garnering the Goodyear, Ariz., native a mention on NBA.com.
Watt keyed coach Reggie Witherspoon’s Bulls to their second-straight 20-win season, concluding with a 20-11 overall record and a program-best 12-4 mark in MAC action. UB fell to Ohio University in the MAC tournament semifinals. Following the MAC tournament, UB earned an invite to the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. The Bulls’ season ended with an 84-76 loss to Oakland in the tournament’s second round after defeating American University in their tournament opener.
In June, Titus Robinson signed a contract to play for the SB Tigers of the Thailand Professional Basketball League.
The women’s varsity four boat won the gold medal and the team placed third overall at the Colonial Athletic Association Championships at Sandy Run Regional Park in Virginia on April 29.
The varsity four boat of coxswain Katherine Evely, Margaret Lawn, Julia Hahn, Katie Coffin and Cornelia Willis edged Boston University by a tenth of a second. The two boats exchanged leads five times before the Bulls held off the Terriers for the win, finishing in 7 minutes, 47.5 seconds. The same group won the bronze medal in June at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships, finishing in 7:25.44. It was UB’s first appearance in the event.
Rowing program coach Randy Wieler announced he would retire at the end of the season, completing an 11-year tenure during which he helped propel the Bulls to national prominence, including multiple wins at the prestigious Dad Vail Regatta.
The 2012 season will be one to remember in the annals of UB Bulls baseball. The Bulls won their first MAC tournament game in program history on May 24, defeating Ohio 6-5 on a 10th-inning double by Alex Baldock.
The next day, UB eliminated Western Michigan before falling to top-seeded Kent State in the MAC semifinals. In that game, junior catcher Tom Murphy cranked his 13th home run of the season, setting a Bulls single-season record.
“I told the team after the game that this is something to be proud of; we put Buffalo on the map and hopefully every single team going forward will strive to match what we did here this week,” Murphy says.
The great news continued for Murphy, who was taken by the Colorado Rockies in the third round (105th overall) of the Major League Baseball first-year player draft. “For Murph, it wasn’t about stats. It was about the team and getting to where we wanted to be,” says head coach Ron Torgalski. “Our goal was to make the MAC tournament and now he is able to move on having met that goal.”
David J. Hill is a staff writer in UB’s Office of University Communications.
“Through his gift, Jack ensures the team will live on in perpetuity in the hope and expectation that future players and teams will carry on the team’s noteworthy legacy: teammate loyalty in the face of injustice.” Fred Kogut, EdM ’65 & BA ’60, 1958 Bulls football team member, on teammate John “Bear” Dempsey’s significant estate gift in support of the 1958 Lambert Cup Team Football Endowed Scholarship.
Fred Kogut, EdM ’65 & BA ’60, 1958 Bulls football team member, on teammate John “Bear” Dempsey’s significant estate gift in support of the 1958 Lambert Cup Team Football Endowed Scholarship.
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Former Senior Associate Athletic Director Paul Vecchio was named director of athletics at Alfred University, his alma mater. Vecchio began his appointment at Alfred in July.
New York City native Felisha Legette-Jack was named head women’s basketball coach on June 14. She succeeds Linda Hill-MacDonald, who guided the Bulls for seven seasons. Legette-Jack joins UB from Indiana University, where she spent the past six seasons as head coach, guiding the Hoosiers to a program record-tying 21 wins in 2008-09.
Wide receiver and Lackawanna, N.Y., native Marcus Rivers signed a free agent deal in April with the Green Bay Packers, joining former Bulls teammate and Super Bowl champion James Starks, BA ’10.
Junior Asia Henry set a new school record in the 800 meters while finishing 14th at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. The Rochester, N.Y., native finished fourth in her heat with a time of 2:04.65. Also competing in the championships, Rob Golabek, BA ’12, placed 12th in the shot put with a throw of 61-0.25 feet to earn second–team All-American honors. The Hamburg, N.Y., native caps his outstanding career as a four-time All-American and UB record holder in both indoor and outdoor shot put.