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Buffalo Bulls Best of 2013

I hate "listicles" but the end of the year is a special time...

This post is incomplete. I will update this with more explanation in the morning. For now, it's up before the end of 2013, and I will get to New Year's Eve Plans in time.

Top Firings (Danny White Edition)

The story of the year for UB was new Athletic Director Danny White. Unfortunately for him, his biggest impact was not the marketing push behind #NYBI, but the demands that it placed on the coaches.

1. Reggie Witherspoon - Men's Basketball: I feel like I could make comparisons between Reggie Witherspoon and Lindy Ruff for days, and here is no different. Just like Sabres fans and Ruff, UB fans had been going around for several years, with there being no clear winner between the two camps. Ultimately, Danny White pulled the trigger in a move that was always going to be difficult for Bulls fans to try and give the program a spark during Javon McCrea's senior year.

Regardless of where you stood on Reggie, all we can do now is root for the team in front of us rather than play the what if game. Danny White's move to give Bobby Hurley his first chance as a head coach brought so much publicity to Amherst that it almost felt staged.

As for me? I'm still bummed we didn't get Jonas Jerebko onto campus after he committed.

2. Todd Kress - Volleyball: The firing that set of one of the most popular posts of December saw four year head coach Todd Kress lose his job after one of the better seasons in UB's D-1 volleyball history. A 12-0 start gave way to a 6-10 MAC record in a disappointing finish. UB saw record breaking performances from Kelly Svoboda and Tahlia Bishop as the Bulls put together their best season since their MAC tournament appearance in Coach Kress' first year.

We learned in the comment that there might have been more than meets the eye to the firing, but ultimately all we know is that White will go into the New Year looking for a new volleyball coach that can help UB continue it's upward trajectory.

3. Jim Beichner - Wrestling: To say the least, the turnover in the Wrestling program was overshadowed by the Reggie news, but it was almost more shocking. When Jim Beichner took the reins 18 years ago in 1995 (Read that again: Nineteen. Ninety. Five.), UB had only won 6 dual meets in its previous four years. Over time, Beichner built the program up into one that was routinely grabbing respected recruiting classes and sending student-athletes to national competitions. I'll let Tim's post from late March take the rest:

By releasing the second "face of the program" coach at UB Danny white has signaled that he intends to drive programs which fall short of what he thinks they should be. While wrestling is a Niche sport it's one in which the Mid American Conference is a powerhouse. There is a lot of opportunity for Buffalo to make a name, nationally, in their conference if the right man is in charge of the program.

That man very well could have been Beichner, who like Witherspoon was living his dream and doing it in a community which was in his blood. White seems to be a guy who sets his sights high and takes his shot. When I talked about Whites Big Gamble with Witherspoon the obvious point was when you go all in you look like a genius or you end up looking like a goat. White is going to own the success of Basketball and Wrestling.

4: Michael Thomas - Women's Soccer: This one wasn't too surprising. A few years ago the soccer teams seemed to be the class of UB's nonrevenue sports, but for the women it turned out to be a blip in the radar rather than signs of a new strength. A holdover from the Warde Manuel days, coming off a 6-9-3 season, and boasting only a 31-67-16 career record at UB, Coach Michael Thomas was unsurprisingly relieved of his duties by White.

5: Jen Teague - Softball: This one didn't even move the Bull Run-o-meter at the end of May, but the longtime bench boss was yet another Warde Manuel hire with a losing career record and bad 2013 season, as a 16-32 spring showed no hope to Danny White that Teague would improve upon her career record of 88-159. Teague was replaced by former LSU All-American Treena Peel, who will look this spring to build a new era on the basepaths.

Top Firings (Quinn Reaper Edition)

1. Ron English - EMU

2. Paul Pasqualoni - UConn

3. Charley Molnar - UMass (Quinn Reaper: Slow Release)

4. Don Treadwell - Miami (Quinn Reaper: Early Action)

Top UB Athletes

1a. Brittney Kuras - Swimming: I can't bump Khalil off the #1 line, but Brittany Kuras could be more dominant in her sport and in her conference than the All-American Linebacker. I'll just link to her bio, where you'll find a more concise summary of her awards than I can provide here. I can't verify it right now, but there's a strong bet she hasn't lost an individual race this season.

1b. Khalil Mack - Football

2. Javon McCrea - Men's Basketball

3. Jason Kanzler - Baseball

4. Kelly Svoboda - Volleyball

5. Zach Ahart - Cross Country

Best Teams

1. Club Hockey

2. Football

3. Baseball

4. Women's Basketball

Top Games (Regular Season Edition)

1. Baseball vs Kent State (3 Game Series)

2. Football v UConn

3. Mens' Basketball v #24 Akron

4. Volleyball v Akron (10/3)

5. WBB v Pitt

HM. Mens Soccer v Akron

HM. MBB v Drexel

Top Games (Postseason Edition)

1. Club Hockey Championship v Niagara

2. Women's Basketball Postseason Run

3. Baseball v Northern Illinois

4. Men's Basketball v Ball State

Top Individual Performances (Single Game)

1. Khalil Mack - Football v Miami

2. Will Regan - Men's Basketball v Ball State

3. Kelly Svoboda - Volleyball v Toledo

4. Tahleia Bishop - Volleyball v Akron

5. Zach Ahart - Cross Country at the MAC Championships