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A Century of Bull: 1897

1897 was the year that UB football took huge strides forward and became the preeminent program in New York State. The wheels started moving when UB took on their first coach, C.W. Dibble

In 1897 Buffalo football would intrude players who would become the core of UB's success over the next several years. Players like Turk Gordon was the star fullback who would later become a UB coach. The New Buffalo center, Thomas, would anchor the line for the next three seasons where he would be joined by White who played every position on the field except Quarterback, or Fullback.


The most unexpected new face was Buffalo's first official coach, C.W. Dibble. Dibble, who towered over his own players, took a very unlikely path from promising football star to head coach.

In 1896 Dibble was the left half back for Williams College and was considered one of the most promising backs in the country. But his career would effectively end early in his first season when Dibble suffered a serious head injury which caused an Abscess on the Brain.

He was unable to play and suffered from bouts dementia in the weeks following the injury. Dibble reportedly would stop mid conversation and start talking as if he was in a football game.

After a year of recovery Dibble was one of several new students at UB who tried out for the football team. Dibble along with Clark, also a Williams man, joined Voorhees of Princeton as tryouts.

Vorhees and Clark ended up on the Roster and Dibble took on the role of UB's first coach.

Buffalo scheduled seven intercollegiate games in 1897, including a home and home match with Syracuse. UB Also scheduled two exhibition games against the All-Buffalo football team, a collection of the best club players from every squad in and around Buffalo.

Date Score
10/2/1897 UB 0 All Stars 6
10/08/1897 UB 16 Hamilton College 6
UB 32 Niagara 0
10/24/1997 UB 16 Union 0
UB 16 Western Reserve 4
11/6/1897 UB 16 vs Syracuse 0
11/13/1897 UB 10 @ Syracuse 0
UB 36 All Stars 0
11/26/1897 UB 28 Hobart 0

After a close loss in their exhibition tune up game against the All-Stars UB took on Hamilton College.

Buffalo scored three first half touchdowns, one each by Pilkey, Baggerly, and White. After each score Gordon connected on the try goal to move UB out to a 16 to 0 lead. Hamilton would score late in the game to ruin the shutout but Dibble's squad was 1-0.

The highlight of the season, 100 football years later, was back to back wins against the eleven from Syracuse.

After a successful trip to Syracuse UB took on the Buffalo all stars in a rematch from their pre season outing.

This time, a practiced UB team, took apart the all stars downing the squad 36-0.

Finally Buffalo took on Hobart for a thanks giving day contest in which the Bulls blew out the Collegians 28-0.


Player Position
Alpart T
Baggerly HB
Bott QB / E
Cohen Sub
Cowper QB
Crane Sub
Fan Sub
Gordon FB
Katameyer T
Kruse G
Laborn HB
Lomslkoy Sub
Meyer C / G
Pilkey E
Sominsky Sub
Story E / HB
Thomas C / G
Vorhees QB / E
White HB / E / T