A member of the East Division of the Mid-American Conference (MAC), Buffalo sponsors teams in ten men's and ten women's NCAA sanctioned sports..Notes
The Buffalo Bulls men's basketball team has been a member of Division I since the mid-1990s after dropping to the Division III level for the 1977–1978 season.
In their 2004–2005 campaign, led by senior guard Turner Battle, (who was hired as a Buffalo assistant head coach in 2007) the Bulls went on a run to the Mid-American Conference Championship game, beating Western Michigan in the semi-finals at Gund Arena in Cleveland. In the MAC final, despite leading by 17 at the half, the Bulls lost in overtime to Ohio University on a tip-in by Leon Williams with 0.5 seconds remaining. The Bulls failed to clinch the automatic bid to the 2005 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, and were not chosen by the selection committee on Selection Sunday. They then went to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). During that season, the Bulls were led by Coach Reggie Witherspoon, and ended the season with a school record of 23 wins.
In 2008, the men's basketball team that included Greg Gamble, Andy Robinson, Rondey Pierce, Calvin Betts, Mitchell Watt, Titus Robinson, John Boyer, Byron Mulkey, Brain Addison, Max Boudreau, Jawann Alston, Sean Smiley, Dave Barnett, Adekambi Laleye, and Vadim Fedotov went into the MAC Championship game, but lost to Akron. The Bulls head coach in his first year is Bobby Hurley, replacing Reggie Witherspoon.
Under coach Bobby Hurley, the Bulls men's basketball team clinched its first conference championship and thus its first trip to the Division I tournament in the school's history in 2015. In 2016 under coach Nate Oats, the Bulls men's basketball team won the MAC championship game again, making their second trip in a row to the NCAA Tournament.
Sam Pellom has played in the NBA with the Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks. He also played for the Washington Generals, and in a game against the Harlem Globetrotters before making it to the NBA.
During UB's hosting of the MAC championships in 2012, Zach Ahart took ninth place, being the men's top finisher in a field of 12 teams. In that event, UB's men's team placed fifth, overall.
At the 2013 Princeton Invitational, the men placed 13th in a field of 25 schools. Ahart captured top honors in that meet, placing 12th by securing a time of 24:13. Cameron Bruce ran the race in a time of 24:44, finishing in 39th place. Additional UB runners also participated in the event.
The Buffalo Bulls football team is a relatively new member of the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision, having joined in 1998. Despite its brief history, and disappointing recent performances in the Football Bowl Subdivision, the Bulls football program has a rich tradition, to which it has returned.
In 2003, the Bulls were 6-39 since going to Division I-A. At that time, they were ranked 117, and were coached by Jim Hofher. The Bulls averaged just under 11,250 fans per game in 2003. On September 9, 2007, the Bulls broke a four-game losing streak by defeating Temple University with a score of 42-7. The Bulls accumulated 414 offensive yards in the game. Sophomore tailback Mario Henry, and the Bull's defense, were credited in the MAC win. In 2008, the Buffalo Bulls routed the previously ranked and unbeaten Ball State Cardinals 42-24, capturing their first Mid-American Conference Championship. In that game, two fumbles were returned for touchdowns. The final game of the 2008–2009 campaign was against the University of Connecticut in the 2009 International Bowl on January 3, 2009 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario. In that game, the Bulls lost with a score of 38-20.
Jamey Richard, a 2008 UB graduate, plays in the National Football League, and was selected by the Indianapolis Colts in the 7th round, with the 236 pick of the 2008 NFL Draft. Trevor Scott, 2008 graduate of the University of Buffalo, plays in the NFL, and was selected by the Oakland Raiders. Quarterback Drew Willy, a 2009 graduate of the University of Buffalo, originally signed with the Baltimore Ravens, and later the practice squad of the Indianapolis Colts. He was on the active roster for the Colts for one game, and was with the team for Super Bowl XLIV. He is currently on the roster of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. James Starks (6th round, 193rd overall) now plays with the Green Bay Packers. Naaman Roosevelt (undrafted, started off as a player on the practice squad, but moved to the big club later on) played for the Buffalo Bills. Former Bulls starting quarterback Randall Secky, class of 2004, also briefly played professional football as the starting quarterback for the indoor Erie Freeze in 2007.
In 2014, outside linebacker Khalil Mack was drafted by the Oakland Raiders fifth overall in the 2014 NFL Draft making him the highest selected Bulls player ever. Previously, the highest selected player was Gerry Philbin in 1964. Mack holds the all-time NCAA record for forced fumbles and is also tied for career tackles for loss in the NCAA. Leading up to the draft, Mack was projected as a high first round pick in many mock drafts. In 2015, Mack became the first first-team All-Pro in NFL history to be elected in two different positions in the same year, as a defensive end and outside linebacker. Mack was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year for the 2016 season.
Andrae Clarke, a young standout, trialed with the Chicago Fire in 2007, while former goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth signed for the New England Revolution in 2009. Shuttleworth is in his fifth year with the Revolution as of 2014. In 2010, Martin John, a young full back, successfully passed a trial at Cardiff City, gaining a one-year contract. John, a native of Ontario, Canada, made his debut there in a 4-1 win over Burton Albion on August 11, 2010.
In 2013, the UB men's swimming and diving team was ranked third in preseason polls completed by MAC coaches. The men completed the previous season, in 2013, achieving third place in the MAC Championships. Senior Mike Dugan leads the men's team. In the 2013 MAC Championships, Dugan earned two individual titles, and competed in three winning relay teams. He then went on to compete in the first-team all-Mac squad.
The current Men's tennis coach is Lee Nickell who was appointed in June 2009. As head coach the Bulls have posted winning records in five of their six seasons. He has achieved a 69-54 overall record. Nickel has been selected as MAC Coach of the Year twice, the first during his first season as the Bulls head coach in 2009 and also in 2015 when the Bulls advanced to NCAA tournament for the first time in history.
Men's track and field includes an outdoor and indoor season. In 2015 UB's men track and field star, Jonathan Jones, became the first national champion in UB's Division I history when he won the shot put at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
The current UB women's basketball coach is Felisha Legette-Jack.
In 2016 the women's basketball team won the MAC tournament and made their first trip to the NCAA Tournament in program history.
In 2012, UB hosted the MAC championships. The team placed seventh out of 12 teams. They will also be hosting the NCAA Regional meet in the 2017 season.
Sandy Calfo was named head coach in 2012 after the retirement of longtime head coach Rudy Wieler. Under Wieler, the UB women's rowing team had become one of the best performing groups within the Buffalo Athletics Department.
Because the Mid-American Conference does not include rowing as a sport, the Buffalo Bulls rowing team competes in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). The Bulls won the CAA title in rowing in 2010 by one point against Northeastern, and finished a close second in 2011. The Bulls were also the 2012 IRA National Championships bronze medalists, and were the 2008, 2009 and 2010 Dad Vail Regatta Champions. The Bulls finished third in both the Varsity and Junior Varsity 8 in the 2015 Colonial Athletic Association championship.
UB annually hosts the Harvey Cup. The Cup is named in recognition and in memory of former Associate Athletic Director and Senior Administrator Nan Harvey, who died in September 2003 after battling cancer for more than three years. The Cup was held by Eastern Michigan University, the only other MAC institution that supports rowing, from its inception until 2006 when the Bulls first claimed the Cup. Buffalo then won the Harvey Cup in 2006 through 2014, a run of 9 straight years. They were edged out by Eastern Michigan in 2015.
The UB women's soccer team won a regular season MAC title in 2000.
In 2013, the UB women's swimming and diving team was ranked fourth in preseason polls completed by MAC coaches. At the 2013 MAC Championships, the team finished in fifth place. Brittney Kuras and Mallory Morrell led the team. Kuras was named Outstanding Swimmer of the MAC during the past two seasons. She won three individual titles while also maintaining top league status in each race, including the 100- and 200-yard freestyles, and the 200-yard individual medley. She also swam on the team's winning 200-, 400-, and 800-yard freestyle relay teams.
Morrell was the first UB women's swimmer to earn Honorable Mention in the NCAA when she completed the 50-yard freestyle in 22.46, finishing 13th. She earned this honor at the national meet, held in Indianapolis. Morrell set league and school records of 22.24 by grabbing the MAC title in the 50-yard freestyle. She swam on UB's winning 200- and 400-yard freestyle relay teams; and she also swam a season best time of 49.47 in the 100-yard freestyle by finishing second. Morrell raced to 50.17 in the 100-yard freestyle, finishing 59th at the NCAA Championships.
The UB women's tennis team reached the MAC Championship from 2005 to 2008, losing to Western Michigan during the first two efforts. In 2008, the Bulls secured their first MAC title, defeating Western Michigan, 4-3. The Bulls then went on to their first NCAA Tournament, where they played the eventual NCAA Champion, UCLA.
The current Bulls head coach is Kristen Ortman Maines. She is an alumna of the University at Buffalo and a former college tennis player who graduated with records in career wins in singles and doubles.
Women's track and field includes an outdoor and an indoor season. Some women participate in both indoor and outdoor track and field.
In 2010, the UB women's volleyball team opened their season with a 3-0 win against Youngstown State University at the West Virginia University Mountaineer Classic. In that win, the Lady Bulls won three straight sets with scores of 26-24, 25-20, and 25-16 after a slow start in the first set. Several UB players in the game scored more than 7 kills each, with Kristin Bignell making 9 kills.
A UB Bull in women's volleyball who turned professional is Lizaiha Garcia (2007) for Puerto Rico.Buffalo Bulls baseball
Buffalo Bulls softball
Buffalo Bulls wrestling
Cheerleading at UB includes a co-ed cheerleading team for men's football and basketball. The squad originally included women only. In the past 20 years, the cheerleading team has placed in the top ten, nationally, on at least seven occasions, including being named the national champion in 1994 and runner-up in 1995.
Founded in 1966, the University at Buffalo Rugby Football Club competes in Division 1 of the New York State Rugby Conference. In the fall of 2007 the UBRFC started a Division 3 team playing in the Excelsior West Division of the New York State Rugby Conference. UB rugby has won four championships of the NYSRC Upstate Division 1 Tournament. The UBRFC Mad Turtles play all of their home games at the "Rugby Pitch" located at the Ellicott Complex on the UB's North Campus.
The following student athletes at UB received the 2013 Chancellor's Scholar Athletic Award:
These athletes maintain a high grade point average (GPA) while also participating in their sport.
As of 2007, the official student organization that supports Buffalo athletics is True Blue. The prominent faces of the organization include a group of at least ten students who paint themselves to spell out, "GO BULLS" for every home football game, and selected basketball games for both men and women. With more than 6,000 members, True Blue is the largest organization on campus.
True Blue also organizes selected road trips to support the Bulls. On September 3, 2011, True Blue took three buses full of students to Pittsburgh, PA for the season opening game against the University of Pittsburgh.
True Blue is run by an executive board of four members, and a Board of Directors of 10 members. They organize tailgate parties, road trips, events, and programs; and they help promote sports spirit and tradition throughout the university. The organization hopes to become "the most feared student section in the MAC [Mid-American Conference]." True Blue has been featured on major television networks such as ESPN, CBS, and NBC.
The Thunder of the East is the student marching band.
UB also maintains a student pep band, known as the Blue Noise Pep Band.
Fight songs of the bands include "Victory March," "Go for a Touchdown," and "Buffalo Fight Song."
The mission of the Block B Letter Winners Association at UB is to connect former student-athletes and sustain UB's athletic tradition. The Association is open to all former UB student-athletes, coaches, managers, trainers, and cheerleaders who have participated and/or served in athletics for at least one year. As of 2014, there is a membership fee of $75 that is required to join the Association; and many benefits of membership are offered.
The UB Athletics Hall of Fame is sponsored by the UB Alumni Association. One member of the Hall of Fame is UB's late president, Bill Greiner, who brought the university back to Division I status.