His angry, blue visage is one of the most recognizable mugs on campus, but Victor E. Bull hasn’t always looked so fierce. UB’s mascot has undergone a few facelifts over the years, along with several name changes.
Before Victor, there was Buster, a live bull that actress Elizabeth Taylor’s then-husband, Mike Todd, presented to UB in 1957. The mascot (or one of five succeeding Busters) graced the sidelines until 1970, when the university took a break from NCAA Division I football. Vintage black-and-white snapshots show Buster sporting a nose ring—just like Victor today.
Sure! It’s our school color, after all. According to Jill Rexinger-Kuhn, director of community relations and fan experience for UB Athletics, the mascot has been blue since 1997, when Victor replaced a brown bull named Wooly Bully. Yes, as in the song. “It used to be played every time we scored,” says Rexinger-Kuhn.
Victor charmed fans with a cartoonish smile until 2005, when he got a makeover that included muscles and a game-day grimace. One fan at the time said she found the new look “creepy,” but others thought the fiercer Victor better exemplified the toughness of UB’s athletes.