The many faces of the UB mascot

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.

Victor today

The Real Deal

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.

A Blue Buffalo?

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.

So Long to Cute

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.