Team preview: Buffalo

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(All information as of July 1, 2006)


Turner Gill doesn't hesitate when asked to describe his first priority as head coach at Buffalo.

"Building relationships," said Gill, who took over the Bulls in December. "We have to build relationships with these young men, find out where they are from and figure out how they are best going to develop as student-athletes. We are going to teach them how to be positive and create an environment where we build each other up."

Relationships aren't the only thing Gill, who starred as a quarterback at Nebraska from 1981-83, will be building.

Buffalo is just 10-69 since returning to Division I-A in 1999 and Jim Hofher, the man Gill replaced, went only 8-49 in five seasons. The Bulls' lone victory last season, a 10-6 triumph at Kent State, was their first conference win away from home in their seven-year association with the MAC and snapped a 22-game road losing streak dating to 2002.
Not that Gill is overly concerned with the past. He admits he knew very little about either UB or the city of Buffalo when contacted about the job last fall, and he is focused on moving forward in his first head coaching position.

Gill comes to Buffalo after one season as player development director and an offensive assistant with the Green Bay Packers. Before that, he spent 14 seasons as an assistant at Nebraska -- a period in which the Cornhuskers won three national championships.

He will implement many of the things he learned at Nebraska, where he was a finalist for the Frank Broyles Award as the nation's top assistant coach in 2002, with the Bulls.
"We are going to be a physical football team offensively and defensively and we want speed," Gill said. "We want to be the most physical team on the football field each and every down."