clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Buffalo Bulls Football 1939

Before we kick off the 2014 football seasons Bull Run is going to take a look back at the 100 seasons which have already been played and the players who will make Season 101 special.

Fr. Baker's passing was one of a number of disappointments for Buffalonians in 1939.

Greg Lis - #39 - 1939



  • Position - Linebacker
  • Class - Freshman
  • Hometown - Lincoln Park, New Jersey
  • High School - Depaul Catholic
  • Size  6-0 • 219

Another member of a talented incoming class of linebackers to UB, projecting as an inside linebacker in the Bulls’ 3-4 scheme. Coming from Lincoln Park, NJ, Lis won two conference championships at DePaul Catholic High School. A team captain for DePaul, Lis had 193 tackes, seven sacks and an interception in his final two seasons and made the All-County and All-Northern New Jersey First Teams.

About 1939:


Now that the pain of the 1970 season and subsequent disbanding of the football program is behind us, we turn to 1939, the first of several winless seasons in school history. The Bulls would score just seven points in their seven games, the lone touchdown coming in a 25-7 loss to Connecticut.

Unsurprisingly, a zero-win season on the eve of World War II doesn't provide many notable highlights, and the 1939 team can only thank the powers that effected the (temporary) end of UB Football in the 1970s for keeping them out of the top spot. In fact, 1939 only appears in the Bulls' media guide in two sections - each of which detail every season in school history. Otherwise, even the school itself has next to nothing to say about 1939.

As mentioned above, UB scored just one touchdown on the season and lost most of their games by a roughly 20 point deficit, and the season opener, a 6-0 loss to Susquehanna, remained the closest brush with victory the team would get all year.

Coach - Jim Peele

Jim Peele won two Big-10 Championships as Quarterback of Purdue and also played baseball for the Boilermakers.

After his playing career, Peele signed on as an assistant for the Bulls Football team. In his two years under George Van Bibber, UB only won four games. In 1936 Peele took the head coaching job, and immediately equaled his predecessors win total. Peele would retired as UB's all-time winningest coach and would not be surpassed for over two decades.

Gov- Herbert H. Lehman

Herbert Lehman entered politics in 1920 and by 1928 had become so committed to public service that he had completely disassociated himself from the family business; the investment banking firm Lehman Brothers. During his time as Governor, Lehman would establish many programs similar to Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal efforts.

He would go on to serve seven years in the US Senate, representing New York from 1950 to 1957. Upon his passing in 1963, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Lehman Hall on the North Campus is named after the four-time Governor.

In The News News

1939... really wasn't a good year for anyone, anywhere. A sampling:

-Lou Gehrig ends his consecutive games-played streak andr retires later in the summer after being diagnosed with the disease that would bear his name.

-Fr. Nelson Baker, who needs no introduction, dies at the age of 95.

-WWII begins, and pretty much dominates the headlines for a few years.

-James Naismith, the Canadian inventor of basketball, passes away.

-Batman makes his first appearance in comic books. You may argue this is a good thing, but I think the Caped Crusader's life is a sad look into the perils of untreated childhood trauma.

What Year is Next? Our next season comes from a year when the Queen City made it to the silver screen - in name, at least.