Ex-Nebraska star Gill hired as Buffalo head coach

Updated: December 16, 2005, 11:34 AM ET
Associated Press

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Former Nebraska quarterback Turner Gill was hired Thursday as Buffalo's head football coach, taking over a program that has never had a winning season at the Division I-A level.

Gill accepted the job a day after he interviewed on campus and will be introduced during a news conference Friday evening, athletic department spokesman Paul Vecchio said.

Gill was in his first year as the Green Bay Packers' director of player development after spending 13 years as a Nebraska assistant coach.

Gill replaces Jim Hofher, who was fired with two games left in the season. Hofher was allowed to complete the year and the Bulls finished 1-10. He had an 8-49 record in five seasons at Buffalo.

The program has not had a winning season and gone 10-69 since making the jump to the Division I-A level by joining the Mid-American Conference in 1999.

The 43-year-old Gill has never been a head coach but Buffalo is hoping his high-profile background will bolster the program's image nationally, something athletic director Warde Manuel considered a priority after he dismissed Hofher.

During Gill's tenure as an assistant at Nebraska, the Cornhuskers won three national championships and he coached Eric Crouch, who won the Heisman Trophy in 2001.

Gill was a three-year starter in college and a Heisman finalist in 1983, his senior year.

Playing under coach Tom Osborne, Gill was one of the most popular players ever at Nebraska, going 28-2 as the starter.

Gill becomes the fifth black head football coach in Division I-A, and second hired this month after Kansas State hired Ron Prince to replace the retiring Bill Snyder.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press