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Mount Rushmore of UB Football Coaches

I'd say UB's "Mount Coachmore" is three quarters complete.

Turner Gill

Gill is going to be the coach with whom most UB fans are familiar. He came to a moribund program in 2006 and turned it to a MAC Champion two seasons later. Gills exploits at an underfunded oft helpless football program first made many Buffalo fans believe that winning was not only possible but something that should be expected.

Gill was a third string Quarterback at Nebraska when the huskers found themselves on the wrong end of a 3-0 score to Auburn at the half.  Their season was on the verge of slipping away so Osborne inserted Gill into the game. The Huskers pulled out a 17-3 victory, and Gill was given the starting job the following week.

Overall, Gill finished with a 28-2 record in his three years as a starter, winning three consecutive outright Big Eight championships with a perfect 20-0 mark in conference play. He went to the CFL and had been putting together a great career when he suffered three concussions, two of them coming in back-to-back game. The Alouettes parted ways with Gill who then tried minor league baseball.

After playing sports Gill started coaching at Nebraska and then with Green Bay.

Gill agreed to a five-year contract to become the 23rd head football coach at the University at Buffalo on December 16, 2005. At the time UB was considered one of the three or four worst FBS programs in the nation. For three seasons the Bulls improved each of the first three seasons, winning the Mid-American Conference championship in 2008.


Second in recognition but first in accomplishments is Richard "Dick" Offenhamer. He was a product of Bennett High School in Buffalo. He was a star athlete who went on to play football at Colgate, graduating in 1936.

Offenhamer returned to Buffalo and took up a post as an English teacher and the head football coach at Kenmore High School. From 1936 through 1946, his Kenmore teams compiling an outstanding record of 50-7 capturing Niagara Frontier League Championships in 1943, 1944 and 1945.

Back in those days many colleges had "freshman teams" and Offenhamer returned to Colgate to coach that team from 1946 until 1955.

In 1955 he was recruited by University of Buffalo (U.B.) President and former Olympian Dr. Clifford C. Furnas to revive the school’s football team. From 1955 to 1965 he put up a record of 58-37-5 wno the Lambert Cup, secured a bowl invitation and put the school on a trajectory which, if not for the unrest of the late 60's, would have put the school among the big names in college sports.

Dick Offenhamer’s program at U.B. produced Gerry Philbin, a member of the NY Jets 1968 Super Bowl champions, and Buddy Ryan who was on Offenhamer staff as the defensive line coach.

C.W. Dibble

Gill did it most recently, Offenhamer did it best, but C.W. Dibble did it first while tripping into the job.

Dibble was born in Perry New York on October 23, 1876. He starred in football as a halfback at Lawrenceville prep school in New Jersey, and briefly for Williams College.

In the fall of 1896, Dibble entered Williams College. In an October 3, 1896 game against Harvard University, Dibble was the recipient of a violent kick in the head. The injury was so severe that Dibble was considered to be incurably insane. Dibble recovered but suffered from strange bouts of memory loss including the inability to remember anyone, outside of immediate family, from his home town. His medical situation made national news.

Dibble was treated by a Buffalo, NY doctor and recovered by the summer of 1897. That June he enrolled at the University of Buffalo. Although still wanting to continue to play football, he wisely agreed to coach instead. The Buffalo team finished the season undefeated at 7-0.

Why only three?

While there have been some other coaches who did right by the University nobody comes close to the accomplishments and career records Dibble, Gill, and Offenhamer. Am I wrong? Who would you set up as number for or what should the bar be for future coaches?