University at Buffalo head football coach Craig Cirbus will not have his contract renewed after this season it was announced October 30 by Bob Arkeilpane, UB's Director of Athletics.
Cirbus, who has posted an 18-45 record in his sixth season at his alma mater, has guided the Bulls from Division I-AA to Division I-A competition in the Mid-American Conference. After an 8-3 season in 1996, the Bulls have posted a record of 7-34 over the past four seasons.
Cirbus and his staff will finish out the season with a national search for a replacement to begin immediately. Arkeilpane hopes to have a new head coach in place by early December to ensure a smooth transition and aid in recruiting for next year.
"Although this coaching staff was facing a difficult task in moving a team from Division I-AA to Division I-A, I believe this is the right move for the University as we look to the future of UB football," said Arkeilpane. "This has not been as easy decision because Craig Cirbus and his staff have served the University in a first-class manner. In the end, however, I felt as though the program needed a fresh start and a new direction with the goal of winning a MAC championship our ultimate target."
Cirbus, a Cheektowaga native and 1980 UB graduate, came to Buffalo from Penn State where he had spent 11 seasons on Joe Paterno's staff in a variety of roles -- linebacker coach, recruiting coordinator and offensive line coach.
Highlights of Cirbus' tenure at UB include a 9-6 win over defending I-AA national champion Youngstown State in 1995 and an 8-3 season in 1996 which culminated in him being named Division I-AA Independent Coach of the Year. Cirbus has also seen seven of his players sign NFL contracts with three players -- Ed Ellis, Drew Haddad and Josh Roth -- currently on NFL rosters.
Cirbus became the 22nd head football coach in UB history in December of 1994.