Former Cornell head coach has also served at Tennessee, North Carolina and Syracuse
BUFFALO, NY -- Jim Hofher, who has 22 years of collegiate coaching
experience - including eight as a head coach - was named the 23rd football coach in school history on November 30, 2000.
Hofher, who spent eight seasons as the head coach at Cornell and is the winningest coach in the Big Red1s Ivy League history, has also been an
assistant coach at Wake Forest, Miami (OH), Tennessee, North Carolina
Syracuse. A native of Xavier, CT, the 43-year-old Hofher signed a
contract to lead the Bulls1 football program, which begins its third
at the Division I-A level and the Mid-American Conference in 2001.
"When this process began, we outlined that we were looking for someone
major college experience, who had preferably been a head coach before,
ties to the region for recruiting purposes, and was familiar with the
Mid-American Conference; in Jim Hofher we are getting all of that and
more," said Director of Athletics Bob Arkeilpane. "I'm truly excited
the attributes that Coach Hofher brings to our football program and our
During his collegiate coaching career, Hofher has coached in five bowl
games (Cotton, Sugar, Hall of Fame, Las Vegas and Tangerine) and has a
combined record of 139-98-2 on staffs where he was either the head coach
an assistant coach.
Hofher rejoined the Syracuse coaching staff this past season as
quarterbacks coach after spending two years (1987-88) with the Orange as
running backs and special teams coach. Prior to rejoining the Syracuse
staff, Hofher spent two seasons as the passing game coordinator at the
University of North Carolina where he mentored Las Vegas Bowl MVP Ronald
Curry and three-year starter Oscar Davenport.
Hofher was the head coach at Cornell University from 1990-97 and left
Big Red with a career record of 44-36, including a 35-25 record in Ivy
League games. The 35 league victories are the most of any Cornell head
in their long and storied history. His Ivy League win percentage is also
best in Cornell history.
During his tenure as head coach, the Big Red played for two league
winning one, and set 170 team or individual records for game, season and
career standards at Cornell. In addition, he had two players selected in
NFL draft (including current Jacksonville Jaguar starter Seth Payne) and
NFL free agents.
Hofher was the quarterbacks coach at Tennessee in 1989 when the
won the Cotton Bowl and were SEC tri-champions. He mentored former NFL
quarterback Andy Kelly while at Tennessee. Prior to his stint at UT, he
served three seasons as running backs coach at Wake Forest from 1983-86
prior to his first appointment at Syracuse.
Hofher1s first full-time collegiate coaching experience was at Miami
of the Mid-American Conference, where he served as the quarterbacks and
receivers coach from 1981-82. He was a graduate assistant at Wake Forest
1979-80, where he coached the tight ends.
A three-year letterwinner at Cornell, Hofher was the starting
and led the team in passing yardage from 1976-78. He played two years
current Carolina Panthers and two-time Super Bowl champion head coach
Seifert. A 1979 graduate of Cornell1s College of Human Ecology, Hofher graduated
with a bachelor1s degree in Consumer Economics and Public Policy. An
All-ECAC player for the Big Red, he also earned academic scholarships
through Cornell, Psi Upsilon and the Sphinxhead Honorary Society.
He was selected to the Xavier (CT) High School Hall of Honor in 1992
the Middletown (CT) Sports Hall of Fame in 1998.
Hofher1s wife, Cathy, is past president of the American Football
Wives Association. She is a graphic designer and illustrator and has
recently published two children1s books. The couple have three
Tara (16), Shannon (13) and Molly (10).
Hofher takes over the UB head coaching reins from Craig Cirbus who
in that role from 1995-2000. The Bulls finished the 2000 season 2-9 and
(fourth place) in the Mid-American Conference East Division.
"Jim Hofher is an energetic, bright young coach who has dedicated
himself to this profession. We have known each other since I recruited him to
Cornell University, and he has always represented himself in a first-class
o George Seifert, Head coach, Carolina Panthers and two-time Super Bowl winning coach with San Francisco 49ers
"Jim Hofher is as well-rounded as any coach that I have ever had work
with me. He is a man of impeccable character, unquestionable loyalty and a
terrific family man."
o Johnny Majors, Former head coach at Iowa State, Tennessee and Pittsburgh, 1976 National
"Jim Hofher is one of the finest football coaches I have ever had the
pleasure to be associated with. He has outstanding organizational
skills, is a master at the X and O part of the game, and yet the best thing about
him is he is a great person."
o Phil Fulmer, Head coach, Tennessee, 1998 National Champions
"I would put Jim Hofher in the same category as Bob Pruett (Marshall)
and Gary Darnell (Western Michigan), two of the best coaches in the
Mid-American Conference. We all worked together at Wake Forest and have the same
Beliefs on how to set standards to run a program and deal with
o Al Groh, Head coach, New York Jets
"When I was at Syracuse I was really struggling and Jim Hofher came in
and made football fun again. If it weren1t for him, I know I wouldn1t be in
the position I am today. He1s the one coach I stay in contact with more than
any other. His overall knowledge of the game on the offensive side is
tremendous and perhaps his strongest asset is his people skills. He's the kind of
guy that parents will want their sons to go play for. In Jim Hofher, Buffalo
got the complete package."
o Daryl 'Moose' Johnston, Three-time Super Bowl champion with Dallas Cowboys (1989-99), current
"Having known and covered Jim for the better part of the last 15 years,
I can't think of a guy who's a better fit at this time in UB's football
progress to take the program to a new and higher level. As good a coach
as he is, Western New York is lucky to get someone who is a better person
than his X and O ability."
o Mike Tirico, ESPN/ABC
"I hold Coach Hofher and his family in very high regard. It was my
pleasure to hire him at Cornell University where he elevated our program and won
an Ivy League Championship. I believe that he is the perfect match for the
University at Buffalo."
o Laing Kennedy, Former AD at Cornell and current AD at MAC member Kent State
"I first worked with Jim Hofher when he was a graduate assistant at Wake
Forest. Even at that time you could see he had all the attributes to
someday become a successful head coach. Great presence, tremendous demeanor, and
an outstanding ability to deal with people. I deserve some credit for his
success, however, since afterall I was the one who introduced him to his
o Jim McNally, UB ('66) Athletic Hall of Fame member, New York Giants Offensive Line Coach
"Jim Hofher has everything you1re looking for in a head coach.
leadership and presentational skills, a great network and the ability to hire quality assistant coaches. There is no doubt in my mind that Jim
represent the University at Buffalo in a first-class way."
Former AD at Wake Forest
Director of Champs/Life Skills Program and Division I-A Athletic Director's Association