Below is an article on the Buffalo Bulls football team that first appeared in the Buffalo Courier-Express on February 18, 1966. For more information on football at the University at Buffalo, visit the UB Sports History Collection website.
Urich, New UB Coach,
Likes to ‘Throw Ball’
Richard W. (Doc) Urich made his debut as the University of Buffalo’s head football coach Thursday at a press conference in the Park Lane and appeared to come off with his first conquest. The former assistant at university of Notre Dame faced a battery of lights and cameras and handled a barrage of reporters questions with the poise of a “big-timer.”
“I’m very pleased to be in Buffalo and to have been afforded the opportunity and challenge as the University of Buffalo’s head football coach.” “The University is a growing institution and I’m sure the football the program will grow with it.” he said in his opening remarks. For nearly 90 minutes the 37-year-old former aide to Ara Parseghian mingled with reporters and UB officials and was impressive in his response to hundreds of questions. Here’s how he handled some of them:
SYSTEM – “I believe in throwing the ball. If we are gifted with a quarterback who can throw and even one receiver, we’ll try to run a wide-open offense. I believe that today you have to throw the ball to win.”
STAFF – “I have several people in mind and have contacted some of them about the possibility of their joining me. I believe it is of principal importance for a football coach to surround himself with a top level staff. I’m not going to rush into this, however, I want people that Buffalo wants and who want Buffalo.”
STUDENT SUPPORT – “I don’t know the situation at UB, but if there is any student apathy I certainly will do everything I can to resolve it. I am for a very close relationship between the athletic program and the student body. I’ll make myself and my staff available whenever possible to bring this about.”
PEP TALKS – “Sure, I believe in pep talks. It is a part of coaching winning football. There is more to winning football than just getting ready physically and mechanically for a game. Motivation plays a big role in this game. And I believe that signs that remind a player of his responsibilities are useful when strategically located in and around the football area.”
PRIME NECESSITY – “Speed! That’s the first thing I look for in a football player. It makes all the difference in the world. Then, too, there is the coaching task of determining the correct alignment of personnel. It sometimes becomes a frustrating process, for the coach and the player, but getting the player in the best place where his best suited for the team is all-important.”
RECRUITING – “We’ll be a little late in our program this year. It might have to suffer a little, but that doesn’t mean we’ll forget about it. There are just so many other things that have to come first. But when I think about that 1967 schedule, I really worry. We should be recruiting for that season right now.”
SPRING PRACTICE – “That’s where you really get your football team started; where you find out what you are going to be able to do. It will especially be important this year and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Urich, who was with Parseghian for 16 seasons, starting in 1951 at Miami of Ohio –their alma mater– is enthusiastic about his new assignment and he left his interviewers with that impression.
UB President Clifford C. Furnas did not attend the conference. Dr. Anthony S. Gugino, chairman of the Faculty Committee on Athletics and Athletic Policy which recommended Urich to the president, was the ranking UB official. Athletic Director James E. Peelle ushered the new coach through the introductions.
Returns to South Bend
Urich returned to South Bend shortly after the confab to “clean up my business there.” He said his wife, Patricia, and two children, Cynthia. 13, and Danny, 10, would move to Buffalo “as soon as we can sell our house.” The new coach said he was hopeful he could be back in Buffalo by Saturday to begin “a lot of hard work.”
He said one of his first tasks would be to review movies of UB football games, picking out those players who will be eligible for the 1966 season. He’ll meet with his squad “at least before the first of next month.”
As of today, Coach Urich has 211 days before he puts his product on the line. The opening game of UB’s 1966 schedule is set for Sept. 17 at Kent State. “That’s a tough one to start with,” he said with a statement ending whistle.
—Buffalo Courier-Express, 18 February 1966