Linguist optimistic about Bulls' future as program continues to gain exposure

Linguist looking forward to opportunity with UB
Posted at 6:30 PM, Jun 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-25 18:30:12-04

AMHERST, N.Y. [WKBW] — In the last 10 years, Maurice Linguist has made nine different coaching stops. The new head football coach at UB is ready to plant his roots as he tries to keep the Bulls heading in the right direction.

“I feel like my past and all my experiences I've been through have really prepared me,” Linguist said. “Just being able to come back now as a head coach, it's dream come true for me here at UB.”

Linguist got his start as a grad assistant at Baylor, where he played football as a student. He then made stops at Valdosta State and James Madison before his first stint at UB. In 2012 and 2013, Linguist served as the defensive backs coach for the Bulls.

After his time with UB, he made stops at Iowa State, Mississippi State, Minnesota, and Texas A&M. Linguist then spent a season as a cornerbacks coach with the Dallas Cowboys in 2020 and then spent a season with the Michigan Wolverines as the defensive backs coach and Co-Defensive coordinator.

Needless to say, he’s ready for things to settle down.

“It’s the right mix of stuff,” Linguist said about his return to UB. “The infrastructure is in place, the people are in place. The kids are excited and it felt like this was an outstanding opportunity with a place I'm familiar with and a place I have a lot of love for to come back now in my career and take the reigns as the head coach.”

“With his personality, with his energy level, I mean, you can put him in any room, student-athletes, donors, faculty members on campus and people are going to gravitate and really be fired up after hearing him speak,” UB Athletic Director Mark Alnutt added.

For the University, finding a strong replacement for Lance Leipold was crucial. Since joining Division 1-A in 1999, Leipold is the only head coach with a winning record for the Bulls. During his six-year tenure with UB, Leipold won MAC coach of the year twice and led the Bulls to three bowl games, including two wins. Leipold left the program better than he found it but keeping the momentum going is vital.

“Now we move forward,” Alnutt said. “It’s a short turnaround for the start of the season but we do feel like this is the right choice and we're excited for him [Linguist].”

For Linguist, this is his first head coaching job. He signed a five-year deal with the Bulls worth $675,000 annually, making him the highest-paid member of the athletics department at UB. Linguist’s contract also includes several opportunities for bonuses based on team performance.

“We are the front porch of the University, we're definitely not the most important aspect of the University but we're highly visible,” Alnutt said. “For us to have the continued success in football, basketball, even our non-revenue sports, again, that brings about exposure and talking points...whether it's our alums all over the country, whether it's prospective students for us to really put UB in a place where it's a desirable choice.”

Only time will tell if Linguist can maintain UB’s status as one of the top football programs in the MAC. He’s confident his team will be ready and is excited to show everyone what UB Football is all about.

“We want someone to be flipping through the channels, just sitting at home relaxing and us flash on the screen and somebody to say, man, they play the game so hard.”