Summer of change within Athletic Department appears to be over


Yomira Meregildo/The Record

Athletic Director Jerry Boyes has stepped down as head coach of the football team.

Francis Boeck, Managing/Sports Editor

The fall is always a busy time of the year for SUNY Buffalo State Athletic Director Jerry Boyes.

But this fall, it’s been a little more hectic for Boyes, who also serves as head coach of the football team, and the entire Buffalo State Athletic Department.

Over the past couple weeks, Boyes and his department have filled three head coaching positions; Cross Country, Women’s Hockey and Women’s Basketball.

The hirings appear to bring to an end what’s been a crazy couple of months at the Houston Gym offices, which saw changes to six positions within the department since July.

“It was uncharacteristic,” Boyes said. “One of the things that we’ve been able to brag about over the years is the consistency on our staff. But we got zinged this year.”

But it’s not doom and gloom for Bengals, as many of the departures show the success the Bengals have had in many sports over the past few years.

Boyes made it clear he has no ill-will for anyone who left Buffalo State, noting they all were either for advancement or familial reasons.

“I’m delighted for those that moved on to other positions,” Boyes said. “I’m also excited the people we have coming in.”

Earlier this week, the Cross Country and Track and Field teams got a new coach as Nicole Mehlman-Davidow was promoted to as interim head coach for the 2018-19 seasons. She takes over for Ray Shadowens who is now an assistant coach at Division II University of Alaska Anchorage.

Last week, two winter sports teams finally got head coaches, as the upcoming season is set to start in a little over a month.

Jim Fowler was named as Head Women’s Ice Hockey coach for the 2018-19 season on last Wednesday morning.

Fowler is not unfamiliar to Buffalo State, also serving as the department’s budget manager and the manager of the Buffalo State Ice Arena since 2005. Before that, he was the head coach of the Men’s Hockey team for nine seasons.

The position was vacated by Jennifer Wilson, who left the program after one season taking the same job at Lake Forest College.

Last Wednesday night, Marybeth Nugent was promoted to head coach of the Women’s Basketball team after Kevin Clifford left for the same position at Division II Roberts Wesleyan.

Nugent was an assistant under Clifford for the past three seasons. She graduated from Daemon College in 2011 where she holds school records for single-game assists and single game three-point percentage.

The busy September follows a summer which saw a lot of turnover in the department.

In July, Ashley O’Brien was promoted from interim to permeant head coach of the Women’s Lacrosse team after Lindsay Byrnes resigned.

Byrnes’ departure also left an opening for the Senior Woman Administrator and Assistant Director of athletics, which Volleyball head coach Maria Roberts was promoted to later in the summer.

The Bengals also suffered a shocking loss after Men’s Soccer coach Mark Howlett took the same position at Geneseo.

In a report from The Buffalo News, Howlett cited the need to be closer to his wife’s family as the reason for leaving.

Francesco Cardillo has been promoted to Howlett’s position on an interim basis.

“We haven’t had changes like that in quite some time,” Boyes admitted. “It’s been an odd year for us which has made it a very busy for us but we get through that.”