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Shaffner Named New Head Football Coach
Buffalo State named Paul Shaffner its newest head football coach in May, the fourth in team history. Shaffner was previously head coach of Division II Glenville State in West Virginia.
A West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletics Conference Coach of the Year, Shaffner led the Pioneers to a championship just two years after he began as coach of Glenville in 2000. Off the field, he helped establish academic integrity as the team's overall grade point average rose from 1.9 to above 2.5.
"We're very excited to have Paul as our new football coach and excited about the future of Buffalo State football," said Jerry Boyes, director of intercollegiate athletics. "He has a proven record of success and has demonstrated a vested interest in his student-athletes on and off the field."
Active in college football for more than 20 years, Shaffner served as the defensive coordinator at Division III Maine Maritime Academy from 1983 through 1985. He spent the next two years as a graduate assistant coach on Joe Paterno's staff at Pennsylvania State University and enjoyed a Division I National Championship in his first season with a Fiesta Bowl victory over the University of Miami.
Shaffner served as an assistant coach and defensive coordinator at Division I-AA Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, from 1988 to 1999, where he guided his team to two Patriot League championships and a Colonial League title.
Shaffner earned both his bachelor and master of science degrees in physical education from Ithaca College. During his college football career for the Bombers, he served as a co-captain at center and played on the 1979 NCAA Division III National Championship team and the 1980 national runner-up squad. His senior year, he won the Sebring Memorial Award as the top scholar-athlete.
"I'm delighted to be returning to Buffalo and Western New York," said Shaffner, a Lancaster native. "But I'm most excited about the opportunity to take a football program, one that I have great respect for, and begin its climb back as an elite Division III program."
Scoring Big for Buffalo State: 2003-2004 Team and Individual Achievements
Way to go, Bengals! Outstanding Buffalo State student-athletes and coaches distinguished themselves throughout the academic year.
Defensive end Michael Holbok, the 15th Bengal to earn All-America honors, was a consensus third-team pick who led the nation in tackles for losses.
The women's team made its 21st consecutive appearance in the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) playoffs, while the men advanced to the quarterfinals. Surpassing their 1,000-point career marks were Joshua Becker (1,202) and Monique Hanks (1,100).
Head coach Meg Stevens was named SUNYAC Coach of the Year by her peers.
Stevens guided the Bengals to their best-ever record and first playoff berth in the program's 10-year history. Buffalo State finished with a 10-4 record, breaking nine team and several individual records. The Bengals shattered school records for goals in a season with 144, for wins in a season with 10, for least goals in a season with 121, and for lowest goals against average in a season with 8.58.
Under Stevens's stewardship, the Bengals also enjoyed the team's longest unbeaten streak, with a stretch of five games that included wins over the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), Elmira, Medaille, Fredonia, and Allegheny.
In its 11th 20-win season, the team finished second in the regular season, losing to champion Oneonta in the semifinals by a score of 1-0 in 16 innings. SUNYAC First-Year Player of the Year Lauren Mruk led five players on the All-SUNYAC team.
Outdoor Track and Field
As Buffalo State's first track and field All-American since 1986, sophomore Justin Muise advanced to the NCAA Division III National Championships, held in Decatur, Illinois, May 27-29, finishing sixth in the 400-meter dash with a time of 47.90. He won this event in the New York State Collegiate Track Conference (NYSCTC) at Brockport, capturing Runner of the Meet honors. Muise also won SUNYAC championships in the 400-meter dash and 400-meter hurdles.
Also at the NYSCTC event, Ken Ciolek was named Rookie of the Meet after winning the javelin competition and placing among the top three in three other events. Ciolek also won SUNYAC championships in the javelin and triple-jump competitions. Mercedez Roper won the conference title in the 100-meter dash.
Indoor Track and Field
Muise and Roper advanced to national championship play at Wisconsin-Whitewater. Muise captured SUNYAC and state championships in the 400-meter dash. Roper won a SUNYAC championship in the 55-meter dash.
Ice Arena Renovated
Buffalo State's Ice Arena, part of the college's 70,000-square-foot Sports Complex, recently received a nearly $1 million state-funded upgrade, including a new refrigeration system, boards, and glass.
The Ice Arena, with its 200-by-85-foot ice surface and seating for 1,800, is the home rink for Buffalo State men's and women's varsity hockey programs, as well as the Canisius and Erie Community College men's hockey teams.
The arena serves as a practice facility for the Buffalo Sabres and is the site of the National Junior College Athletic Association championships. Various community groups use the facility as well, including the Buffalo Skating Club and several youth and senior hockey leagues.
In addition, the arena offers open skating, Skate-n-Shoot, and Learn to Skate programs, including skate rental, to the campus community and the general public. Call (716) 878-4198 for the weekly schedule.