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Boyes steps down as Buffalo State football coach

Jerry Boyes announced his resignation Friday as head football coach at Buffalo State. He will stay on as the college’s director of athletics.

Christian Ozolins, who has been a member of the Bengals’ coaching staff since 2003 and assistant head coach and offensive coordinator since 2013, was named interim head coach. Ozolins will coach the team for the 2019 season after which a search will begin for a permanent replacement.

Boyes said carrying the duties of football coach and athletic director "caught up to him" as he nears age 65.

"I felt I wasn’t doing the job any good," Boyes said. He thought recruiting, primarily, was suffering.

Boyes took over a fledgling Buffalo State football program in 1986 and turned it into a Division III power, leading the Bengals to seven NCAA playoff appearances and four ECAC Bowl championships in 25 seasons as head coach. After a string of five one-win seasons, Boyes led the Bengals to a 76-26 mark over the next 10 seasons.

Boyes gave up coaching once, in 2000, to concentrate on his duties as director of the Bengals’ extensive sports program. He returned to the coaching sidelines in 2009. Overall he had a record of 138-116.

Perhaps the achievement that stands out in Boyes’ coaching career was an upset at Wisconsin-Whitewater in 2013, the No.1 ranked team in the nation, snapping Whitewater’s 46-game winning streak.

Stepping out of Division III to Division 1-AA competition, Buffalo State twice, under Boyes, defeated Robert Morris teams coached by former NFL head coach Joe Walton.

He leaves after a 1-9 season, which equals the worst in his tenure.

Perhaps, a factor in Boyes’ decision was to see more of his youngest son, Zac, who is the starting quarterback as a junior at Kenmore West.

Boyes himself was a standout quarterback and all-around athlete at Ithaca College and then was offensive coordinator to Bomber teams and appeared three times in the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl, winning the 1979 Division III championship.

Ozolins previously coached at Maryville, Methodist, Alfred and Hamilton. As a player, he played in the NAIA National Championship Game for Cumberland University in Tennessee.

He earned his bachelor’s in education from Cumberland and completed a master’s degree from Alfred University.

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