Hofher Named UB Football Coach

Former Cornell head coach has has also served at Tennessee, North Carolina and Syracuse

By Paul Vecchio

Release Date: December 1, 2000

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Jim Hofher, former Syracuse University quarterbacks coach, has been named UB's new head football coach.

BUFFALO, NY -- The University at Buffalo announced today that Jim Hofher, who has 22 years of collegiate coaching experience -- including eight as a head coach -- has been named the 23rd football coach in school history.

Hofher, who spent eight seasons as the head coach at Cornell and is the winningest coach in the Big Red's Ivy League history, has also been an assistant coach at Wake Forest, Miami (OH), Tennessee, North Carolina and Syracuse. A native of Xavier, CT, the 43-year-old Hofher signed a multi-year contract to lead the Bulls' football program, which begins its third season at the Division I-A level and the Mid-American Conference in 2001.

"When this process began, we outlined that we were looking for someone with major college experience, who had preferably been a head coach before, had ties to the region for recruiting purposes, and was familiar with the Mid-American Conference -- in Jim Hofher we are getting all of that and more," said Director of Athletics Bob Arkeilpane. "I'm truly excited about the attributes that Coach Hofher brings to our football program and our athletic family."

During his collegiate coaching career, Hofher has coached in five bowl games (Cotton, Sugar, Hall of Fame, Las Vegas and Tangerine) and has a combined record of 139-98-2 on staffs where he was either the head coach or an assistant coach.

Hofher rejoined the Syracuse coaching staff this past season as quarterbacks coach after spending two years (1987-88) with the Orange as running backs and special teams coach. Prior to rejoining the Syracuse staff, Hofher spent two seasons as the passing game coordinator at the University of North Carolina where he mentored Las Vegas Bowl MVP Ronald Curry and three-year starter Oscar Davenport.

Hofher was the head coach at Cornell University from 1990-97 and left the Big Red with a career record of 44-36, including a 35-25 record in Ivy League games. The 35 league victories are the most of any Cornell head coach in their long and storied history. His Ivy League win percentage is also the best in Cornell history.

During his tenure as head coach, the Big Red played for two league titles, winning one, and set 170 team or individual records for game, season and career standards at Cornell. In addition, he had two players selected in the NFL draft (including current Jacksonville Jaguar starter Seth Payne) and two NFL free agents.

Hofher was the quarterbacks coach at Tennessee in 1989 when the Volunteers won the Cotton Bowl and were SEC tri-champions. He mentored former NFL quarterback Andy Kelly while at Tennessee. Prior to his stint at UT, he served three seasons as running backs coach at Wake Forest from 1983-86 prior to his first appointment at Syracuse.

Hofher's first full-time collegiate coaching experience was at Miami (OH), of the Mid-American Conference, where he served as the quarterbacks and wide receivers coach from 1981-82. He was a graduate assistant at Wake Forest in 1979-80, where he coached the tight ends.

A three-year letterwinner at Cornell, Hofher was the starting quarterback and led the team in passing yardage from 1976-78. He played two years under current Carolina Panthers and two-time Super Bowl champion head coach George Seifert.

A 1979 graduate of Cornell's College of Human Ecology, Hofher graduated with a bachelor's degree in Consumer Economics and Public Policy. An All-ECAC player for the Big Red, he also earned academic scholarships through Cornell, Psi Upsilon and the Sphinxhead Honorary Society.

He was selected to the Xavier (CT) High School Hall of Honor in 1992 and the Middletown (CT) Sports Hall of Fame in 1998.

Hofher takes over the UB head coaching reins from Craig Cirbus who served in that role from 1995-2000. The Bulls finished the 2000 season 2-9 and 2-4 (fourth place) in the Mid-American Conference East Division.