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Texas Tech vs. Duquesne in Buffalo, NY

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Texas Tech in Dramatic Win Over DuquesneOn Saturday, August 30, 2014, the U.B. Bulls take on the Duquesne Dukes football team at UB Stadium.  The Duquesne Dukes football program currently competes in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision. But from 1933 to 1942, Duquesne was among the elite college football teams in the United States.

In fact, on Friday, September 30, 1938, Texas Tech came to Buffalo to play Duquesne at the then recently opened Buffalo Civic Stadium.  The game was originally scheduled to be played in Pittsburgh, PA but was shifted to Buffalo, NY because it was thought that the city of Pittsburgh would be consumed with World Series fever in late September with the Pirates on the verge of winning the National League pennant.

Over 12,000 college football fans watched Texas Tech come back in the second half to nip Duquesne University 7 to 6.  Several interesting facts about the event include:

Aviation History - Texas Tech made the 2,000-mile journey from Lubbock, TX to Buffalo, NY by airplane. It was the first time a football team relied exclusively on air transportation.

First Night Game – It was the first college football game played under the newly installed lights at Civic Stadium.

Stadium Dedicated – The Buffalo Civic Stadium was formally dedicated before the game.


For more information on football in Buffalo, consult the Buffalo Evening News and visit the UB Sports History Collection website.

Bob Holmes of Texas Tech runs for 15 yards in Buffalo, NY. Regis Lhoest - guard for the Duquesne University. Geno Onder of Duquesne is tackled in Buffalo, NY.

Texas Tech vs. Duquesne University in Buffalo, NY at Civic Stadium on September 30, 1938

Babe Ruth Returns to Buffalo – August 26, 1914

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1914 Providence Grays with Babe Ruth100 Years Ago

On August 26, 1914, Babe Ruth returned to Buffalo, NY with the Providence Grays to pitch against the Buffalo Bisons of the International League.

The Buffalo Bisons defeated 19 year old Babe Ruth and the Grays, 8 to 2. (see “Babe Ruth Hoodoo Rudely Shattered by Hitting Herd” Buffalo Courier, 27 August 1914.)

Buffalo faced Ruth earlier in the season, including their home opener, when he was a pitcher with the Baltimore Orioles before he was sold to the Boston Red Sox. Ruth was sent down to the minor league Providence Grays on August 18, 1914.

Future Yankees manager Joe McCarthy, 27 years old and playing second base for the Bisons, hit a triple off of Babe Ruth who he would manage 17 years later with New York.

For more information on baseball in Buffalo, consult the Buffalo Evening News and visit the UB Sports History Collection website.


“Flash” Gilhooley Leads Onslaught and Clams Help by Tossing Ball Around – In His Best Form.


Down from the lofty pedestal upon which he has roosted majestically all summer long, the puissant Bambino Ruth, Oriole and Red Sox that was, Providence Clamdigger that is, and Lord knows what that will be, toppled and fell yesterday when Gilhooley, Vaughn et al. slammed aforesaid pedestal out from under him with their bats. Score, 8 to 2.

This made it three out of four for the Bisons in the “serious” with Wild Wilyum Donovan’s first place inhabitants. Apparently the pennant bee in Bill Clymer’s bonnet is making honey.

It stands in the books that for a long, long time. Bambino Ruth, big for his size, and young for his age, has been one terrible hoodoo for the herd. In fact, any time Jack Dunn in the days when he had a ball team, wanted to beat the Bisons on festive occasions like opening day, he just sent Babe Ruth into pitch. When Dunn while converting his valuable assets into cash sold the Bambino to the Boston Americans, there was joy in the Bison camp. When J. J. Lannin, owner of the Red Sox bought the Grays and sent Babe Ruth to help Wild Wilyum Donovan cop the pennant, the Bisons made up their minds to break the hoodoo or bust and they did—break the hoodoo.

‘Twas Not Babe’s Day.

Eleven times they tapped the pill safely on Big Babe, starting in at the third inning with four in a row, including a double by Flash Gilhooley and a triple by Joe McCarthy, that settled the spell the name of Babe Ruth held for the Ferry Streeters. From then on they treated him like an ordinary pitcher, until the one run lead of the Grays faded into innocuous nothingness.

The Clamdiggers proved to be a different brand of teammates for Babe than the Orioles were. To add to the worries of Babe’s young life they threw the ball in untamed fashion until the Big Bambino got the fever himself and contribute in a wild heave that cost a run when he allowed Gilhooley to get to first on a walk, deciding that a base on balls was cheaper than a two or three-bagger. In trying to catch the Flash off first the Big Bambino heaved through Ed Onslow’s legs toward the cash customers, and Gil scrambled to third. Vaughn worked the Big Bambino for a pass and as everyone fully expected and anticipated started to steal second. Likewise Gil started for home. Jack Onslow, foolish youth that he sometimes be, pegged the ball to Dave Shean to head off Bobby, and Shean threw back to stop Gilhooley. It looked as if Flash were caught, but he bobbed around and finally as Patrick Bauman threw the ball to Onslow, Gil made a dive over the catcher’s hip and landed safely on the plate before he could be tagged.

Clean Hitting Wins it.

But long before the wild heaving started the Bisons had sewed the game up on clean, unpolluted walloping begun by that famous beginner of things doing, Frank Gilhooley. He slammed for two bags. Bobby Vaughn followed with a bunt too difficult for the Big Bambino to handle and Gil of course went to third. Channell sent a grounder to Shean, and the great shrimp started for home, but the ball go there first and here Gil displayed an abundant, supply of that rare commodity known as baseball brains (plural). Instead of rushing in and being tagged he checked himself and went back. Then with the whole Providence infield lined up fore and aft he bobbed back and forth twixt third and home until Vaughn was safely on third and Channell on second. Then, he submitted to being tagged.

And then along came Lehr – King Lehr, recently sent out of Ann Arbor, Mich., with a helpmeet and the degree of bachelor of laws from the venerable Prexy Angell’s knowledge shop located one mile from Joe Parker’s and the Orient. King popped up in a Bison uniform without warning, which is just like Bill Clymer. Some day he’ll get Walter Johnson, Larry Cheney, Dave Robertson and Maranville in exchange for Gilhooley and Vaughn and say nothing about it. King hasn’t been seen in a Bison uniform this year. He was sold to the Skeeters while getting measured for his cap and gown in a deal that brought Jimmy Eschen and Verbout to Buffalo. The Bisons came home from the last trip without Eschen and Verbout, who have been sent back to the Skeeters.

When Roxey Beach was given a rest for his share in Monday’s mixup, a hurry call was sent for King Lehr and here he is with us. He started to play first base but when Carlstrom was taken ill, he was shifted to third and Long George McConnell was pressed into service as a first-sacker.

Beebe Good All the Way

Anyway, King came along at this stage of the proceedings and showed what a highly useful member of the bunch he could be by uncorking a single that brought the Great Shrimp and Vaughn home. Joe McCarthy’s triple scored Lehr.

So things went on with Babe Ruth’s greatness’ dwindling steadily as the game progressed. By the time it was over there wasn’t much left of the Big Bambino’s bigness.

Throughout the bombardment Fred Beebe pitched a steady article that gave the Gray’s little chance of staging any thing like a comeback. Three of the eight hits they got off Fred came in the fifth inning and totaled only one run. The support was with him all the time. Vaughn starring with red hot stops and throws.

Buffalo Courier, August 27, 1914

1964-1965 Buffalo Bulls Basketball

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1964-1965 Buffalo Bulls BasketballThe 1964-1965 Buffalo Bulls basketball season was Len Serfustini’s 9th year as head coach of the basketball Bulls. The team had a wonderful record going 19-3, the best during Serfustini’s tenure.

The Bulls opened the season with five straight wins snapped at Knoxville, Tennessee against at powerful University of Tennessee Volunteers team.

Season highlights included coach Serfustini’s 200th coaching triumph in the form of a 71-46 shellacking of American University and a 14 game winning streak with a season sweep of crosstown rival Buffalo State.

Dan Bazzani co-captained the 1964-65 squad, which also included Harvey Poe (791 career points) and Norb Baschnagel (member of the UB Athletic Hall of Fame). Dan Bazzani would later become Buffalo’s head coach for ten years (1983-1993).

The U.B. team was awarded a berth in the 1965 NCAA College Division Tournament and played in the Mid-East Regional in Akron, Ohio. The NCAA invitation was Buffalo’s 6th in Len Serfustini’s nine-year tenure as coach of the basketball Bulls. (see “Bulls Accept Tourney Bid” Buffalo Courier-Express, 24 February 1965)

Although Buffalo lost in the regional final to the host team University of Akron (playing essentially a home game), the season was still considered a huge success. The 1964-1965 team did so well that coach Serfustini and Athletic Director Jim Peelle initiated steps to beef up the 1965-1966 schedule. Syracuse, Penn State, and Kent State, schools with “major” basketball classification, were added to the schedule.

For more information on basketball at the University at Buffalo, visit the UB Sports History Collection website.

Buffalo's Bill Barth and Dick Smith defend against Red Robbins of Tennessee. Buffalo's Bill Barto scores against Ithaca College. Buffalo's Norb Basehnagel puts up a shot against Niagara. Buffalo's Bill Barth grabs a rebound against Buffalo State. Buffalo's John Karaszewski dribbles past an Akron defender.

1964-1965 Buffalo Bulls Basketball Season

Date Home Team Score Visiting Team W-L-T Location
12/1/19641 Brockport State  61 – 84 Buffalo W Brockport, NY
12/3/19642 Buffalo  71 – 46 American University W Buffalo, NY
12/9/19643 Buffalo  115 – 71 University of Windsor W Buffalo, NY
12/12/19644 Buffalo  89 – 65 Albany State W Buffalo, NY
12/16/19645 Buffalo  132 – 67 Western Ontario W Buffalo, NY
12/19/19646 University of Tennessee  79 – 54 Buffalo L Knoxville, TN
12/29/19647 St. Michael’s College (Vermont)  93 – 86 Buffalo L Syracuse, NY*
12/30/19648 Oswego State  59 – 88 Buffalo W Syracuse, NY*
1/16/19659 Buffalo  92 – 66 Buffalo State W Buffalo, NY
1/23/196510 Buffalo  87 – 64 Ithaca College W Buffalo, NY
1/27/196511 Buffalo  105 – 63 University of Toronto W Buffalo, NY
1/30/196512 Buffalo  79 – 53 College of Steubenville (Ohio) W Buffalo, NY#
2/6/196513 Buffalo  106 – 71 Wayne State W Buffalo, NY
2/9/196514 Buffalo  74 – 63 Niagara University W Buffalo, NY#
2/13/196515 Colgate University  59 – 75 Buffalo W Hamilton, NY
2/20/196516 Albany State  58 – 69 Buffalo W Albany, NY
2/24/196517 Buffalo  88 – 69 University of Rochester W Buffalo, NY
2/27/196518 Buffalo  62 – 59 LeMoyne College W Buffalo, NY#
3/1/196519 Buffalo State  47 – 62 Buffalo W Buffalo, NY
3/3/196520 Buffalo  108 – 73 Alfred University W Buffalo, NY

NCAA College Division Tournament –
Mid-East Regional at Akron, Ohio
3/5/196521 Randolph-Macon College (Virginia)  69 – 81 Buffalo W Akron, OH
3/6/196522 University of Akron  69 – 58 Buffalo L Akron, OH

Home Court: Clark Memorial Gymnasium
Coach: Len Serfustini
 *LeMoyne College Christmas Tournament in Syracuse, NY
#Game played at Buffalo Memorial Auditorium

  • 1 – “UB Whips Brockport In OpenerBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 2 December 1964.
  • 2 – “UB Whips American, 71-46, For Serfustini’s 200th WinBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 4 December 1964.
  • 3 – “Records Fall as UB Rips Windsor, 115-71Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 10 December 1964.
  • 4 – “Unbeaten UB Defeats Albany State, 89-65Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 13 December 1964.
  • 5 – “Bulls Set Records In 132-67 VictoryBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 17 December 1964.
  • 6 – “Unbeaten Tennessee Hands UB Quint First Loss, 79-54Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 20 December 1964.
  • 7 – “St. Michael’s Jolts UB, 93-86Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 30 December 1964.
  • 8 – “UB Tips Oswego, 88-59, Takes 3rdBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 31 December 1964.
  • 9 – “Bulls Halt Buffalo State’s Streak with 92-66 TriumphBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 17 January 1965.
  • 10 – “UB Blasts Ithaca For 87-64 WinBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 24 January 1965.
  • 11 – “Bulls Complete Maple Leaf Sweep; Toronto Bows, 105-63Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 28 January 1965.
  • 12 – “Bulls Romp Past Barons, 79 to 53Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 31 January 1965.
  • 13 – “Bulls Wallop Wayne StateBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 7 February 1965.
  • 14 – “Bulls’ Late Splurge Sinks Niagara, 74-63Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 10 February 1965.
  • 15 - “Bulls Spurt Clips Red Raiders For 13th Win, 75 to 59Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 14 February 1965.
  • 16 – “Bulls Clip Albany For Ninth Straight As Poe Sets PaceBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 21 February 1965.
  • 17 – “Bulls Belt Jackets, 88-69Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 25 February 1965.
  • 18 – “Bulls Turn Back LeMoyne, Extend Skein to 11 GamesBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 28 February 1965.
  • 19 – “Bulls Whip State for 12th Straight, 62-47Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 2 March 1965.
  • 20 – “UB Trounces Alfred, 108-73Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 4 March 1965.
  • 21 – “UB Cagers Defeat Randolph-Macon, 81-69Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 6 March 1965.
  • 22 – “Akron Outscores Scrappy Bulls In Title Duel, 69-58Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 7 March 1965.

Bulls Accept Tourney BidNCAA Event in Akron

Bulls Accept Tourney Bid

The University of Buffalo basketball team gained its objective Thursday morning — a berth in the 1965 NCAA College Division Tournament. The NCAA invitation is UB’s sixth in Len Serfustini’s nine-year tenure as coach of the basketball Bulls.

The Bulls will compete in the Mid-East Regional, set for Akron, Ohio, March 5-6. The Mid-East winner, and seven other regional champions, will qualify for the tournament proper at Evansville, Ind.

Ed Steitz, Springfield College athletic director and chairman of a regional selection committee, tendered the invitation by telephone. The telephone in UB athletic director Jim Peelle’s office rang only once. Peelle, who had been anticipating the call, picked it up and accepted the invitation with alacrity.

The only other team already in the four-team Mid-East Regional field is Steubenville, which the Bulls rubbed out by an authoritative 79-53 three weeks ago in Memorial Auditorium. One of the other Mid-East spots will be filled by the Ohio Conference champion — either Akron or Wittenberg. Those teams meet for the Conference crown, and the Mid-East berth, Tuesday night.

Youngstown a Possibility

Youngstown is considered a possibility for the fourth Mid-East position. The Bulls have won one regional title in five tries—in 1957, when they defeated Capital and Evansville in the Eastern Regional in Clark Gym. This advanced the Bulls to the tournament proper in Evansville where they dropped a 72-68 decision to Kentucky Western in the quarter finals.

Serfustini sent his jubilant  athletes through a light drill Thursday afternoon, in preparation for their engagement with streaking LeMoyne Saturday night in the opener of  the Memorial double bill. UB will beat full strength for LeMoyne. Dick Smith, the 6-5center who missed the last two games with a sprained ankle, will be ready for action.

Buffalo Courier-Express, February 24, 1965

1940 Buffalo Bulls Football

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1940 Buffalo FootballAfter going win-less in 1939, University officials and head football coach Jim Peelle dedicated themselves to an improved football team in 1940. Peelle led a small squad of 24 Buffalo players.

In an era long before fancy indoor practice facilities, improvisation was needed to practice in the cold, wet early spring weather.  Using what was available to him, head coach Jim Peelle held spring training in an excavation, known as the ‘pit’, dug out for the future swimming pool in the Clark gym.

In early September, a two-week preseason training session was held near Crystal Beach in Canada. It was made possible by the generosity of William C. Baird, an enthusiastic U.B. booster.

Although Buffalo lost their first game, U.B. fans finally had something to cheer about for the first time in almost two years when the final whistle blew in the Drexel game as Buffalo won 20-13 at Rotary Field. Drexel was coached by Walter Halas, brother of George Halas, the owner-coach of the Chicago Bears. It was the first time the University at Buffalo had ever paired off against a Drexel team in any sport.

The signature win of the year came against the University of Connecticut in a game played at Storrs, CT. UConn was undefeated going into the 1940 game. Experts gave U.B. no chance of victory. But Buffalo upset the heavily favored Huskies as Vince Bonerb came off the bench to lead Buffalo to victory. (see “U.B. Wins From Connecticut” Buffalo Courier-Express, 27 October 1940)

The 3 win, 5 lost season was a huge improvement over the previous year.  And with Buffalo’s best players, Dom Grossi, Gene Nuwer, and Al Trybuszewski, only a sophomores, the future looked bright.

For more information on football at the University at Buffalo, visit the UB Sports History Collection website.

Head coach Jim Peelle at spring training in the 'pit', an excavation in the Clark gym for the future swimming pool. U.B. players off to training camp at Crystal Beach in Canada in 1940.

U.B. end Dominic Grossi scores on a 50-yard pass against Drexel. U.B. back Vince Bonerb (#30) breaks free on 28-yard run against C.C.N.Y. U.B. repels Wayne State on a frozen Rotary Field.

1940 Buffalo Football Season

Date Home Team Score Visiting Team W-L-T Location
Sat, 9/28/19401 Susquehanna University 20 – 6 Buffalo L Selinsgrove, PA
Sat, 10/5/19402 Buffalo 20 – 13 Drexel Institute of Technology W Buffalo, NY
Sat, 10/12/19403 Williams College 27 – 0 Buffalo L Williamstown, MA
Sat, 10/19/19404 Alfred University 19 – 0 Buffalo L Alfred, NY
Sat, 10/25/19405 University of Connecticut 6 – 7 Buffalo W Storrs, CT
Sat, 11/2/19406 Buffalo 7 – 6 City College of New York W Buffalo, NY
Sat, 11/9/19407 Buffalo 7 - 19 Hobart College L Buffalo, NY
Sat, 11/16/19408 Buffalo 0 - 6 Wayne State L Buffalo, NY


Home: Rotary Field, Bailey and Winspear Avenues
Coach: James Peelle

  • 1 – “Susquehanna in 20-6 Triumph Over BuffaloBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 29 September 1940.
  • 2 – “Trybuszewski, Grossi Star in Bulls VictoryBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 6 October 1940.
  • 3 – “Buffalo Bows Before Rivals by 27-0 ScoreBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 13 October 1940.
  • 4 – “Saxons Defeat Buffalo, 19-0 in 4th Period Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 20 October 1940.
  • 5 – “Vince Bonerb Sparks Bulls to 7-6 VictoryBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 27 October 1940.
  • 6 – “Bowers, Grossi Lead Buffalo to Narrow WinBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 3 November 1940.
  • 7 – “Popalisky Has Field Day as Hobart ScoresBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 10 November 1940.
  • 8 – “Wayne Downs U.B., 6-0, On Frozen FieldBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 17 November 1940.



Substitute halfback runs, passes Buffalo eleven to winning score late in contest

Storrs, Conn., Oct. 26—It was a battle of individual stars as Buffalo and Connecticut universities met on Gardner Dow Field this afternoon, with the Bison warriors finding their champion in Vince Bonerb who didn’t even start, but paced the Blue and White striped visitors to an upset 7-6 win over the hitherto unbeaten Conn gridmen.

Nutmegger Bob Donnelly and Buffalo’s Gene Nuwer had a virtual monopoly of the ball handling during the first half as they passed, kicked, and did some spectacular running for their respective outfits, while Bonerb did not make his presence known until late in the game. Until the final drive that meant victory, he was just one of the five substitutes, all the visitors used.

First Loss for Nutmeggers

Cocky as a result of their unblemished record, the Connecticut gridmen found the going rather easy in the first two periods, as the Bisons were only able to tread on the Nutmeg side of the 50 yard line for one play—and that play resulted in a two yard loss. Meanwhile, Fred Mitchell climaxed a two period drive of 70 yards by plunging over from center.

Nuwer’s Pass Starts Drive

Third period started the same way. Buffalo being forced backward relentlessly until Donnelly booted a punt outside on their coffin corner. Then Nuwer completed a pass to Trybuszewski to start the first Buffalo drive that carried to the Connecticut 35.

Buffalo got to the bell in the fourth period and continued it attack. Bonerb made himself evident by throwing two passes in rapid succession to Rambath and Small, then skirted Connecticut’s end to score from the sixteen yard line. Grossi then proceeded to place-kick the conversion. A Nutmeg drive of 80 yards after that was halted and an attempted field goal blocked.

Connecticut’s place-kick artist, Ed Waltman, out with a stomach ailment, watched from the bench as Moe Paine missed the conversion that meant the difference between tie and loss.


Buffalo Courier-Express, October 27, 1940