Lance Leipold ruined it.
Maybe that's an overstatement, because I'm sure glad to have Leipold, but UB's newest football coach and the most recent Danny White hire bucked the defining trend of Bulls coaches under White: elite playing experience.
This evening UB, White, and Kathy Twist announced the hiring of Blair Brown Lipsitz as Volleyball Head Coach. Like so many of the new UB coaches hired since White took over UB Athletics, Brown Lipsitz excelled in her chosen sport prior to joining the coaching ranks, winning four NCAA National Championships at Penn State while being named First Team All-America twice.
In particular, three aspects of Brown's resume stand out to my optimistic eyes:
National Team and International experience: Following her Penn State playing career, Blair trained with the US National Team before a three-year professional career.
Connection with the current team: Brown Lipsitz served as a volunteer assistant last spring with then-newly-hired coach Reed Sunahara and has also served as an ESPN3 analyst for the Bulls once the Mystery Magic MAC ESPN deal got rolling this fall.
Youth: It's a gamble, of course, but maybe Buffalo is getting a great coach before everyone else realizes it. Alyssa D'Errico, one of Brown's classmates at Penn State also broke into the coaching ranks this offseason, as an assistant at Louisville.
Some sources around the internet have intimated that Brown Lipsitz was not UB's first choice for the job, with that candidate declining the position. Still, it Buffalo's backup plan brings quite the pedigree to Alumni Arena. Here's hoping that it translates to wins and much-needed stability in the volleyball program.
Brown Lipsitz already lives in Amherst with her husband, Max, a WNY native who also earned All-America honors at Penn State, leading the nation in hitting percentage as a senior, so a 'Welcome to Buffalo' may not be quite appropriate. Welcome to the UB payroll, Coach!